In days gone by, the Wigan Lane pub crawl on a Friday or Saturday night was the highlight of the weekend for many Wiganers. Well, the ‘crawl’ is still alive and kicking but now with plenty of real ale choices en-route.
Let’s start off at Docs Symposium on the edge of the town centre, just a short walk from Wigan Bus Station. Wigan’s first micropub (opened in August 2014) and winner of several Wigan CAMRA awards. The bar has a very light and airy feel to the ‘lounge’ and with outside on-street seating, this pub has a very continental feel. Up to five real ales and a variety of European wines and beers.
Next up is Dochertys, the home of the Mayflower Brewery so you can expect up to three of their beers to be adorning the bar. An open plan pub with art deco styled bar and fittings. Wooden floor greets you at the entrance with carpeted areas on either side. The pub also serves four changing guest beers.
From there just cross the road to Fifteens of Swinley. Part of the ‘Inn the Bar’ pub group and you can expect up to 3 changing real ales on the bar of this former doctors surgery. The pub also offers overnight accommodation with 5 modern bedrooms.
After a strenuous fifty yard walk, your next destination is the Royal Oak. Tastefully refurbished June 2016, this is another pub in the ‘Inn the Bar’ group. It has four separate areas and a large quiet garden area. Expect up to 5 real ales to be available.
From here it’s a short walk uphill to the Fox and Goose. However, if you’re in luck, you’ll be able to call in at the Northern Beer Temple bottle shop to pick up some craft beers to enjoy when you get home.
The Fox and Goose is an open-plan pub restored to two rooms. It can get boisterous at weekends with karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights but you’ll be rewarded with up to 5 changing real ales.
It’s now another 100 yard walk to The Millstone. However, if you’re feeling a bit peckish you’ll be passing a host of fast food and take-aways on your way.
The Millstone is a modern pub with a conservatory extension but has a traditional feel. Owned by Thwaites, you can expect their beers to have a presence. Usually one handpull serves a local ale, plus a range of bottled continental beers.
Just across the road and next up is Blundells Café Bar – one of Wigan’s newest micropubs. A quiet haven with cream modern furniture and tables. One wall has an impressive mural of a Venice canal. Expect up to 4 real ales with an emphasis on local breweries.
Another 50 yard stroll will take you to the Bowling Green, a popular pub with two well-appointed lounges and where guest ales change frequently. Live music most weekends. Expect up to four real ales.
If you’re still feeling thirsty, just across the main road from the Bowling Green is The Swinley. A former Wigan CAMRA Club of the Year (in 2014) has a large concert room, two bars and a games room. Entertainment at weekends and up to three real ales.
With 9 pubs/clubs serving real ale, a bottled beer shop and a selection of fast food outlets and restaurants all within a 900 metre walk, the Wigan Lane pub crawl is still alive and kicking. Why not give it a try.