Some possible long distance itineraries are shown below, comparing, where relevant, posting (travelling non-stop) with day-coaching (resting overnight). To keep track of days each journey starts on a Monday.
• Macclesfield to London, posting:
- 11:30 the Royal Mail from the Macclesfield Arms, arrive London 07:00 Tuesday.
• Macclesfield to London, day-coaching:
- 09:30 the Traveller from the Flying Horse, arrive Birmingham 18:10, overnight in the Albion,
- 06:45 the Crown Prince from the Albion, arrive London 20:15 Tuesday.
• Nantwich to Edinburgh, posting:
- 09:30 the Nettle from the Three Pigeons, arrive Manchester 16:15,
- 16:45 the Royal Mail from the Royal Hotel, arrive Carlisle 06:45 Tuesday,
- 07:00 the Royal Mail from the Bush Inn, arrive Edinburgh 01:00 Wednesday.
• Nantwich to Edinburgh, day-coaching:
- 09:30 the Nettle from the Three Pigeons, arrive Manchester 16:15, overnight in the Star,
- 04:45 the New Times from the Star, arrive Carlisle 20:00 Tuesday, overnight in the Bush,
- 07:00 the Royal Mail from the Bush, arrive Selkirk 17:00 Wednesday, overnight in Selkirk,
- 08:00 the Sir Walter Scott from Selkirk, arrive Edinburgh 18:00 Thursday.
• Stockport to Dublin, via Liverpool:
- 10:00 a market coach from the Buck and Dog, arrive the Talbot Manchester 11:00,
- 12:00 the Marshall from the Talbot, arrive Liverpool 16:00,
- 17:00 the Royal Mail Steam Packet from Liverpool, arrive Dublin approx 17:00 Tuesday.
• Stockport to Dublin, via Holyhead:
- 13:00 a market coach from the Buck and Dog, arrive the Talbot Manchester 14:00,
- 14:45 the Royal Mail from the Swan, arrive Jones Coach Office Chester 19:30,
- 19:45 the Royal Mail from Jones Coach Office, arrive the Eagle & Child Holyhead 07:00 Tuesday
- 08:00 the Royal Mail Steam Packet from Holyhead, arrive Dublin approx 20:00 Tuesday.
• Chester to Paris, posting:
- 08:00 the Royal Mail from the White Lion, arrive the Golden Cross London 07:30 Tuesday,
- 08:30 the Eagle from the Golden Cross, arrive Dover approx 19:30 Tuesday,
- An overnight Steam Packet, crossing time 3 hours, arrive Calais early Wednesday morning,
- A morning malle-poste from Calais, journey time about 24 hours, arrive Paris Thursday morning.
• Chester to Paris, day-coaching:
- 06:30 the Dispatch from Jones Coach Office, arrive Birmingham 18:30, overnight in the Albion,
- 06:45 the Crown Prince from the Albion, arrive London 20:15 Tuesday, overnight Golden Cross,
- 08:30 the Eagle from the Golden Cross, arrive Dover approx 19:30 Tuesday, overnight in Dover,
- A morning Steam Packet, crossing time 3 hours, arrive Calais Wednesday pm, overnight in Calais,
- A morning diligence, journey time about 12 hrs, arrive Amiens Thursday eve, overnight in Amiens,
- A morning diligence from Amiens, journey time about 12 hrs, arrive Paris Friday evening.
• Altrincham to York:
- 08:00 the Sir Oliver from the Bay Malton, arrive Manchester 09:00,
- 09:30 the Umpire from the Star Inn, arrive Leeds 14:30,
- 15:30 the Wellington from the Hotel, arrive York 19:00.
• Altrincham to New York:
- 6 hours before highwater, Bridgewater Packet from the Bay Malton, arrive Runcorn at highwater,
- At highwater, the Bridgewater Steamer from Runcorn, arrive Liverpool 3 hours after highwater,
- A passage from Liverpool to New-York, departures weekly, voyage duration about four weeks.
At that time, most of the population could not afford stage-coach fares. They rarely left their home village except for the occasional day visit to the local town. Those who had to travel walked. Their journeys may have been similar to the following:
• Macclesfield to Liverpool, for a young fit person:
- 05:00 leave Macclesfield, walk via Knutsford, Warrington, and Prescot, arrive Liverpool 18:00,
(40 miles at 3 mph = approx 13 hours walking).
• Macclesfield to Liverpool, for a family:
- 07:00 leave Macclesfield, 14 mile 8 hour walk via Knutsford, spend the night in a barn near Mere,
- 07:00 leave Mere, 17 mile 9 hour walk via Warrington, find shelter near Rainhill,
- 07:00 leave Rainhill, 10 mile 5 hour walk via Prescot, arrive Liverpool midday Wednesday.
The world of long-distance coach travel.
Anecdotes written by people who actually travelled on the coaches
The coachmen, the inns, the coach proprietors - they’re all here. Come in and meet them
Britain’s roads were pretty impassable for most of our history. Coach travel was very difficult until they improved
Wheeled transport evolved over many years. Find out how coaches developed
Home Page of the Coaching Website
Sources and information about how I came to create this website