Nearby Chorley now boasts five micropubs in the town centre, all worthy of a visit. Getting from Wigan to Chorley couldn’t be easier – Arriva Bus 362 runs every 15 minutes during the day and the journey takes just 40 minutes. An all-day Arriva bus ticket costs just £4.20 so you can hop on and off when you want. This means you can also visit two more micropubs en-route – the Albion Ale House in Standish and Blundells Café Bar on the outskirts of Wigan. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can also combine this pub crawl with our Standish pub crawl.
It’s just a short hop from the bus station to the Ale Station on Chapel Street which opened on 14th July 2016 in premises previously used as a sandwich bar. A modern looking venue with a wine bar feel, this inviting pub serves five changing real ales are served, mainly from north western micro breweries. There are also two changing real ciders. A state of the art digital display board provides full price information and real ale details, in addition to updated train times for the railway traveller.
On the same street lies Shepherds’ Hall Ale House which opened on August 8th 2014. Formerly a florist’s shop, it has been tastefully converted and utilises fittings from other closed pubs in the town; the bar coming from Harry’s Bar and the tables from the Tut ‘n’ Shive. No TV, no music and up to 5 real ales are served, mainly from micro breweries from across the country, although a LocAle or two should normally be expected. 3 ciders are normally served, although hidden from site under the counter – check the chalk board for details.
Continue down Chapel Street until you reach Chorley Market. The Bob Inn is a tiny bar housed in a unit within the market. An adjacent unit now forms a lounge area separate from the main bar. The pub serves three changing cask beers sourced from smaller breweries and at least two ciders along with a good selection of (mainly) Belgian bottled beers.
Continue on until you reach Market Street where the D’Owd Inn awaits which is best described as a ‘microbar and café’ and opened on 5th October 2016. Situated in a corner shop unit, the pub is on a split level, with the upper area set out more for food and the lower area around the bar as the drinking section. Opening at 8 a.m. it is purely a cafe until noon when the bar opens. Food service stops at 2 p.m. and it becomes a conventional bar. Up to three real ales are available with two of them regularly changing and coming from smaller breweries from far and wide.
Continue along Market Street until you reach Bolton Street where you will find the Bootleggers which opened on 6th August 2016 in premises previously used as a lingerie shop. Spread over three distinct levels, there is a small drinking area with stools towards the entrance. A few steps lead up to the bar itself with a flight of stairs to the upper lounge area. Up to four cask ales are available, mainly from local breweries.
Not many towns can boast 5 micropubs but Chorley does within an 800 metre stroll from the bus station. The stroll also takes you past other real ale pubs well worthy of a visit, notably the Crown Hotel and Pearsons with others also nearby (see map above).