The ladies go out and about – in Bolton

Our intrepid group of ladies set out on their travels again, with a trip to to the wet and windy town of Bolton. Ann Ward tells us what they found….

The first of our stops was in the Lifestyle Hall inside Bolton Market, a lovely little bar and aptly named One For The Road.

©Ann Ward

With three cask ales and plentiful food on offer, we suitably fed and watered ourselves.

Next it was on to the Hen & Chickens, Deansgate, a welcoming bar with multi-rooms, and five cask ales. A nice touch was when the beer barrel ran out before our order was completed the first half pint from the next was given free. As explained, this was the custom of the pub and it was unexpected, as we had already ordered an alternative.

A short walk then led us to Great Ale At The Vaults, Market Place, a very interesting underground bar, four cask ales offered here, with the owners previously having a bar in the market.

Ladies in The Vaults
Ladies in The Vaults ©Ann Ward

Now it was out again and into daylight and back on to Deansgate with rain, we called upon a Theakston’s pub, the Olde Three Crowns at the lower end. A basic old fashioned boozer, and interesting windows. Only the brewery’s Old Peculiar, which went down well at 5.6% ABV and ) Lancaster brewery’s Blonde ale (4.0% ABV were available. Whilst we were there a workman who had come in out of the rain asked one of our ladies if there was a dryer in the ladies toilets – and then asked if she could dry his socks! Not a regular occurrence that happens often one would suspect. She of course obliged and he was thus very grateful.

Historic Old Man & Scythe ©Ann Ward

Further along on the opposite side where it becomes Churchgate, was Ye Olde Man & Scythe, fronted in a mock-Tudor style, a building which goes way back to when there was a pub on this site in 1251. This is Bolton Camra’s Cider pub of the year with friendly locals, up to four cask ales and four cask ciders available too – what more could anyone want – perhaps the resident ghost might join you and imbibe!

Barristers Bar is also on Churchgate, but the entrance is just around the corner on Bradshawgate. Using a door to the right, we encountered another old world pub which boasted six cask ales available.

©Ann Ward
©Ann Ward

Our seventh pub, the Northern Monkey Brewery Co Pack Horse  bar on Nelson Square has friendly staff and was totally different to the previous pubs, with the addition of a small glass of popcorn to accompany their Film Club Popcorn Stout, and a delicious drop at 6.0% ABV. Three of their beers in total were available,

Lastly we couldn’t do a pub crawl without at least one Wetherspoons. The Spinning Mule, also on Nelson Square was extremely busy but provided a fitting end to our day.

©Ann Ward

Only one charity shop visited this time, but all the pubs were good, many giving CAMRA discount and kept us dry on a wet and windy day.