Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Pub Crawl : Wigan town centre

There is a large choice of real ale pubs in Wigan and just one pub crawl couldn’t do it justice. This crawl focuses on the pubs surrounding the town centre transport hubs – the bus station and two railway stations. You can start this crawl from either Wigan Bus Station or Wigan North Western railway station and it takes in 11 pubs in a stroll of less than 700 metres. Check out our Wigan Lane crawl which takes in other town centre pubs.

Starting our crawl at the bus station, The Anvil is our natural first port-of-call being located at the entrance to the bus station. This very popular town-centre pub has won a multitude of CAMRA awards and offers beers from the nearby All Gates brewery plus a good selection of guest beers and a range of bottled beers. Up to seven real ales and two ciders.

Turn left out of The Anvil and continue up Hallgate. Our next pub is situated in Jaxons Court, up a small opening on the left-hand side of Hallgate. The Tap ‘n’ Barrel is the brewery tap for the local Martland Mill Brewery. A microbar in a mews style street has a pleasant covered, smoke free ‘artificial’ garden to the rear. Expect up to six real ales mainly from the Martland Mill range. Also, up to 4 real ciders are available plus a small range of wines.

Return to Hallgate and proceed to the main Market Square. Keep to the left of the Moon under Water pub and proceed to another small alleyway, Coopers Row, where our next pub awaits. The John Bull Chophouse is a former Wigan CAMRA Pub of the Year (in 2014). This unique pub in a 300+ year old building has been cottages, stables and a slaughter house in the past. It is now a family run pub with up to six real ales and three draught ciders and is very popular with the biking community. It is also renowned locally for its excellent jukebox.

Return to the main Market Square for our next pub. The Moon under Water, a Wetherspoon outlet, built on the site of a former building society, tailor’s shop and photography store. Expect the normal Wetherspoons fayre with up to eight real ales, when available.

It’s literally all downhill from here onwards as our journey takes us along Wallgate for all the remaining pubs on the crawl. First up on the left-hand side is the The Raven Hotel, a superb example of an early 1900’s Commercial Hotel, and worth the visit just for the look. After a lengthy closure, reopened at Christmas 2012 after having a full refurbishment whilst retaining many of the original features including panelling and windows. Up to five real ales and a handpump is dedicated to a varying range of ciders and perries. A Grade II listed building.

Just a little further down Wallgate, you’ll reach Little Fifteen on the left-hand side. An ‘olde worlde’ feel to the pub with dark wood and interesting photos adorning the walls and ceiling. Scatter cushions all over the place give it a warm comfy atmosphere. Serves up to two real ales.

Literally next door is the Boulevard, a surprisingly large basement pub with up to four real ales and two ciders available. A late night venue with irregular opening hours during the day.

Just a few yards further to The Berkeley, a former coaching house. A very sports oriented pub with eight large flat screen TV’s. A large bar serves up to five real ales.

The next pub is directly across the road – Harry’s Bar. Formerly the Clarence Hotel, this late Victorian (1898) Grade II listed building is impressive both inside and out. Also the venue for the annual World Pie Eating Championships. Up to four real ales.

Continuing along Wallgate, you’ll pass Wigan Wallgate railway station on your right and the next pub is directly opposite Wigan North Western railway station – the Swan and Railway. This beautiful, recently refurbished classic pub is housed in a Grade II listed building with impressive stained glass windows.  A wide range of cask ales are usually available.

Our final port-of-call is just a few yards away – under the railway bridge, turn left and you’ll be at Wigan Central. Wigan CAMRA’s Pub of the Year in 2015/2016 and Greater Manchester Regional Cider Pub of the Year in 2016. The pub has a railway themed interior with live departure/arrival boards for both Wigan railway stations. Up to seven real ales and a continental bottled beer library. Owned and operated by the local Prospect Brewery.