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Information for Visitors to MATTS

LOCATION

SCHOOL HOURS

TRAVEL

ACCOMMODATION

EATING

 

If you ever have the chance, I hope you can visit us. It's a remarkably easy trip, hourly trains from Euston direct to Wilmslow in under 2 hours, then a five minute walk to our school. There's quite a lot of things of interest in our Members' area also, and it only takes a minute to sign up.

 

Any school day would be fine, and I'm in every day. If you would like to see Malcolm also, then he is in on Thursdays and Fridays. I really don't need any notice, you are welcome any time.

Between now and the end of term, these are the exceptions to the above dates:

I am away (Assessing in Edinburgh) on Thurs and Fri 14th and 15th March. Malcolm will be here as normal on those days. Friday 29th March is Good Friday and there is no class that day, as our venue is closed.

Class times are 9 AM to 1 PM, although we are very flexible about that. We have a tea break at 11, with lots of snacks. If you're hungry before then, we are just across the car park from a large Sainbury's where you can get a sandwich and Costa coffee meal deal for not very much.

 

The address is Wilmslow Library, SK9 1NW. If you arrive before 10, you will need to enter via the side door, just to the left of the main door. The main Library doors do not open until 10.00 AM. Go up the stairs and our room is immediately in front of you at the top.

 

There is a very large car park with lots of empty spaces right in front and at the back of the Library. If you use a parking app, the location number is 804707. It costs £3.20 (in 2024) for up to 4 hours. If you arrive early, there are never traffic wardens first thing, so you can buy your ticket just before entering the Library. We're always out by 1 PM.

If you would prefer long term parking, or would like to park for free and walk, there is more information about location and parking here.

 

The school is remarkably convenient by train from London, just a five-minute brisk walk from Wilmslow railway station, with hourly trains from Euston, most in under 2 hours. Our classes are 9 AM to 1 PM, but of course you can arrive and depart to suit yourself. Dates and times are here. If you plan to stay over, I can make some accommodation suggestions, or it is possible that someone will be able to host you.

 

The numbers of teachers and trainees that attend our classes on any one day varies widely from about 9 to about 18. We have 14 trainees, but many are part-time, so our daily average student number is about 8, with considerable variation. There tend to be more teachers on a Thursday, but this is not always so.

I think you were disappointed with the breakfast at the hotel, and I've heard the same from other visitors, but there are lots of places to go in Wilmslow. Or you can do what Malcolm does and get the "meal deal" in Sainsbury's on the way in the morning and eat it at the school!

Our classes run from 9 AM to 1 PM each day. The classes are in Wilmslow Library, which doesn't open its doors until 9.00 exactly. The class may start a few minutes late on Wednesday, since we will have quite a few things, such as teaching tables, to bring in for the new term. The Library is a four minute walk (see map) from your hotel. The building that you walk around to get to the Library is a supermarket, and you can pick up good coffee, sandwiches, etc, there if you want. We have a tea break at 11.00, and everything is provided.

 

We are very flexible about times. I expect you will want to be in all morning, but if you want to arrive late or leave early, that is always fine, and you don't need to inform me. I expect that Wednesday will be a moderately busy day once everyone arrives. Thursday will probably be very busy, with around 20 people altogether (about half teachers and half students), although it is always hard to predict exactly since everyone (including students) is free to come when they wish, without notice.

You would have two choices:

You could come as a teacher, in which case you would receive some turns and could work with students as much or as little as you like, or,

You could come as a formal postgraduate student. If you do this, then you would need to pay £60 for each day that you attend. You would receive turns from most (sometimes all) of the teachers each day and be given supervised hands-on groups on some days with Malcolm and me and possibly also other teachers. Again, you are free to work with students as much or as little as you like

You do not need to rush to decide between these options, either way is fine.

The hotel you have chosen is probably the nicest place to stay in Wilmslow, both as a hotel and because of its location. I didn't mention it in my previous email because it is usually a little more expensive than the others, but it is probably worth paying for. The rooms are of a good standard and modern but the hotel has no other facilities apart from the attached large pub, which is quite nice. Our school is in Wilmslow Library, a four minute walk from the hotel according to Google, but actually a two minute walk if you go around the back of Sainsbury's!

The hotel is a five minute walk from the centre of our small town, two minutes from a large Sainsbury's, and a five minute walk to the school.

 

I have two suggestions about the hotel. Firstly, to request a room at the back of the hotel and on the side furthest from Sainsbury's - this will be the quietest. Secondly, not to book breakfast at the hotel - everyone tells me that it is overpriced and not very good! You are within a five minutes' walk of many places to find breakfast. There are all the coffee shop chains (Costa, Starbucks, Nero, etc) and places that offer a very good (but a little expensive) breakfast, such as Gails or a very inexpensive breakfast to take back to your hotel room, such as Greggs. Lunch and dinner at the pub are reasonably good.

I might (I would need to check) be able to organise for you to stay with one of our students in south Manchester for some of the days if you would prefer that, and she would give you a lift in each morning. If you would like to stay in a hotel or B&B, my knowledge is limited, but you can find out about what there is on websites like booking.com

 

However, there is a large chain of hotels in the UK called Premier Inn. They have a formula where you get a very nice, very clean and comfortable room of a good standard, but that is really all there is at the hotel, no other facilities. There are two within walking distance of the school. They are much cheaper if you book in advance with the non-refundable option, but you would need to be sure that you were coming for this to work! The one on Racecourse Road (I've put in the dates for your first week) is closer (about a 15 minute walk to the school) but more expensive. The one in Handforth is much cheaper (an average of £42.50/night), but a 30 minute walk. There are some buses, but they are infrequent. The cost of the first week in Handforth is probably cheaper than anything else you could find in the Wilmslow area, but the second week in both hotels is more expensive. The King's Arms Hotel (really a pub with rooms) is very close to the school and is slightly cheaper than the Handforth Premier Inn for the second week. I have heard that it is a nice place to stay.

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