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For other places with the same name, see Bolton (disambiguation).

Bolton is a large town in Greater Manchester, England, composed of several constituent 'townships' along with Bolton 'proper'. 17 miles north-west of Manchester City Centre and 40 miles from Blackpool, Bolton can be found in the North-West of England. Blackburn with Darwen, borders it to the north, and Chorley borders it to the north-west.

Bolton Town Hall


Generally considered one of Britain's friendliest towns, Bolton is a typical post-industrial Northern mill town, but one that is in many ways unique. Bolton is a proud town and has been known to call itself the United Kingdom's largest town, even though Reading holds this honour; its attempts to become an official city have been frequent, but equally unsuccessful. The borough is surrounded, particularly to the North and East, by the lush countryside that forms part of the West Pennine Moors. Bolton is twinned with Le Mans and Paderborn and many street and building names in the area reflect this connection.


Bolton owes much to the Industrial Revolution during which it became one of Lancashire's main mill towns. The district of Smithills was built on the site of a Saxon Palace, whilst the present Bolton Parish Church, the third on its site, is built on the site of an original Saxon church. During the English Civil War the town was a parliamentary stronghold, leading to the Bolton Massacre of 1644 and the ultimate execution of seventh Earl of Derby in Churchgate at the end of the war in 1651. This event is commemorated annually on the nearest Saturday outside Ye Olde Man & Scythe Inn by a street play. Bolton grew greatly during the Industrial Revolution, boosted by the invention of the spinning mule within the town and became a centre for cotton production and bleach manufacture. Whilst many of Bolton's mills and chimneys have gone, it continues to attract visitors to both its modern and historic attractions.


Prestolee Aqueduct, a late 18th-century structure in Prestolee, Kearsley, Bolton
  • Astley Bridge
  • 1 Blackrod. Blackrod is located on hilly ground to the south of Horwich and the west of Westhoughton. As one of the higher points in Bolton, views across the area are particularly good.
  • Bradshaw
  • Bradley Fold
  • Breightmet
  • Bromley Cross
  • Egerton
  • Farnworth
  • Great Lever
  • Hall i'th' Wood
  • Halliwell
  • Harwood
  • 2 Heaton. A leafy suburb of Bolton, Heaton is a wealthy district, home to larger houses and the attractive Bolton School. Sandwiched between Lostock and the town centre, one can walk from Heaton into Bolton through the very pleasant and recently refurbished Queen's Park.
  • 3 Horwich. One of Bolton's three 'townships', Horwich is a former railway town, now home to Bolton Wanderers Football Club. It is very close to the beautiful countryside of the West Pennine Moors and is easily accessible by rail and motorway.
  • 4 Kearsley. Located in the southern part of Bolton bordering Farnworth and Radcliffe and Whitefield in Bury, the village of Kearsley is located on very hilly and steep ground.
  • Leverhulme
  • 5 Little Lever. 3 miles between both Bolton and Bury, Little Lever is home to the former Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal as well as a few pubs and shops. Like nearby Radcliffe and Farnworth, Little Lever does have its rough parts but is mainly a quiet and peaceful area.
  • Lostock
  • Moss Bank
  • Smithills
  • The Haulgh (say hoff)
  • Tonge Fold
  • Tonge Moor
  • Toppings
  • Westhoughton

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool Airports are all close-by and are serviced by many major and budget airlines. There is a good direct train service from Manchester Airport to Bolton whilst the journey is just 30 minutes by car.

By train[edit]

Bolton Trinity Street railway station

Bolton Trinity Street railway station is located to the south of the Town Centre, approximately 5 minutes walk away from the Town Hall. Trains from Bolton are regular and operated by Northern and First Trans-Pennine Express. Trains to Manchester are especially common and one can be in the city centre in just 20 minutes from where one can access many frequent InterCity rail connections to the rest of the country. Trains also run from Bolton to Blackpool, Preston and, less commonly, Edinburgh.

By coach[edit]

Coaches from London and other major UK cities stop at the coach station on Moor Lane in Bolton. You can also catch other coaches from Manchester.

Get around[edit]

A common joke amongst the people of Bolton is that the best thing about the town is the ease with which one can escape it. Flippant though this may be, Bolton's transport links are excellent, allowing for easy travel around the whole of North West England.

Bolton is an ideal town for walking and cycling in. Most major roads in the borough have cycle lanes and large swathes of the town centre are pedestrianised. The West Pennine Moors are on Bolton's doorstep and perfect for recreational walking and cycling with many public footpaths and cycle-tracks.

Bolton has very good local bus and rail links. There are high frequency buses from Bolton to Manchester, Wigan, Bury & Salford as well as covering all areas within the Bolton borough. There are frequent rail services from Bolton to Wigan, Manchester Victoria, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport as well as less frequent services to Preston, Blackpool, Blackburn and other regional locations.

Below are some examples of frequent bus services in the Bolton area

  • 8 Bolton - Manchester via Farnworth, Kearsley, Pendlebury & Pendleton (First Manchester) 65 Minutes
  • 22 Bolton - Stockport via Farnworth, Kearsley, Swinton, Eccles, Trafford, Urmston, Stretford, Chorlton & Burnage (First Manchester/Stagecoach in Manchester) 136 Minutes
  • 36 Bolton - Manchester via New Bury, Little Hulton, Walkden, Swinton & Pendleton 70 Minutes
  • 37 Bolton - Manchester via Farnworth, Walkden, Swinton, Irlam o'th Heights, Pendleton & Salford Shopping City (First Manchester) 70 Minutes
  • 68 Bolton - Trafford Centre via Farnworth, Little Hulton, Walkden, Worsley, Monton, Eccles & Patricroft (First Manchester) 79 Minutes
  • 126 Bolton - Preston via Doffcocker, Horwich, Adlington, Chorley, Clayton Green & Bamber Bridge (Stagecoach in Lancashire) 90 Minutes
  • 471 Bolton - Rochdale via Breightmet, Bury, Heap Bridge, Heywood & Sudden (First Manchester) 25 Minutes
  • 501 Moss Bank way - Farnworth Via Bolton,Royal Bolton Hospital,Hollins (FirstManchester) 19 Minutes
  • 505 Bolton - Horwich Via Markland Hill, Middlebrook (Maytree) 20 Minutes
  • 507 Bolton - Harwood Via Tonge Moor (FirstManchester) 15 Minutes
  • 510 Bolton - Bury Via Breightmet, Ainsworth (FirstManchester, Arriva) 52 Minutes
  • 512 Bolton - Bury Via Moses Gate, Farnworth, Kearsley, Radcliffe (Maytree) 50 Minutes
  • 513 Bolton - Bury Via Moses Gate, Farnworth, Kearsley, Whitefield, Radcliffe (Maytree) 50 Minutes
  • 515 Bolton - Ladybridge (SouthLancsTravel) 10 Minutes
  • 524 Bolton - Bury via Moses Gate, Little Lever & Radcliffe (First Manchester) 45 Minutes
  • 540 Bolton - Wigan via Deane, Westhoughton, Hindley & Ince (First Manchester) 60 Minutes
  • 575 Bolton - Wigan via Lostock, Horwich, Aspull & Scholes (Arriva North West/Maytree Travel) 63 Minutes
  • 582 Bolton - Leigh via Daubhill, Over Hulton, Four Lane Ends & Atherton (First Manchester) 50 Minutes

Bolton is to receive a new bus station at Bolton Interchange in 2014 to connect directly with the railway station.


Bolton Museum and Library, located behind the town hall.
  • The annual Bolton Food & Drink Festival +44 1204 334321, e-mail: . is one of the town's major draws, featuring celebrity chefs and hundreds of stalls featuring local produce and delicacies. Attracting upwards of 200,000 people, the festival is the largest of its kind in the North West.
  • The Museum and Art Gallery at Bolton Central Library in the town centre are worth a look, particularly for their Ancient Egyptian collection. There is also an aquarium in the basement.
  • The famous Fish and Veg Market, the newly developed Market Hall and Churchgate are worth visiting.
  • The Ironman UK Triathlon that Bolton hosts annually.
  • St Gregory's Social Club13 Church Street, Farnworth BL4 8AG +44 1204 573168, +44 7513 897949. M-Th 19:00-23:30, F-Su 17:00-23:59. For fans of the cult comedy series Phoenix Nights, Bolton is home to the real deal on which the world famous Phoenix Club was based.
Turton Tower
  • Turton TowerBromley cross (just out of Chapeltown).


  • Catch a production at The Octagon Theatre.
  • Go walking in the West Pennine Moors that are on the edge of the town.
  • Visit Bolton Museum, Library & Aquarium in the town centre.
  • Play and walk in the town's two large central parks: Queen's Park and Moss Bank Park. Both parks have recently been renovated.
  • Bolton Food and Drink Festival. Takes place across the Summer Bank Holiday, generally mid-August. Bolton comes alive each year with the arrival of its food and drink festival. The town centre is filled with the sights, smells and tastes of cuisine from around the world, whilst its open spaces are occupied by stalls and stages, hosting household names and demonstrations. Previous guests include Michael Caines, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, Aldo Zilli and James Martin.


The newly renovated market hall.

Bolton's constantly improving shopping district is popular with people from all around Greater Manchester and beyond. The town's market hall was recently converted into a modern shopping centre, The Market Place, with Zara, H&M and Starbucks branches, adding to the pre-existing Debenhams and Next. The town's former Arndale Centre, Crompton Place also contains many major high street names such as Boots the Chemist, and Primark. The town centre also contains a large Marks & Spencer department store as well as many smaller shops with different specialisms.

The Middlebrook Retail Park located in Horwich, on Bolton's outskirts, and adjacent to Bolton Wanderers' Reebok Stadium is also popular with shoppers. The Middlebrook also has a cinema, a bowling alley, a Marks & Spencer department store and an ASDA supermarket, as well various eateries and other stores.


  • Ye Olde Pastie ShoppeChurchgate (off Bradshawgate). One of Bolton's most prized food outlets. It's only open during weekdays and is renowned for its pasties.

The pasties bought here can be taken into Ye Olde Man & Scythe Inn, also in Churchgate, and enjoyed with a pint of their speciality - cloudy cider.

  • Rice and ThreeGreat Moor street (on the fringe of the town centre). an independent curry house,serving a plethora of home-made curry and other curry-based dishes.


  • Bolton is home to an independent brewery, Bank Top. Bank Top ales can be found throughout the borough in pubs and off-licences.
  • Other ales from the area include Lees (Middleton), Holts (Manchester), Hydes (Manchester) and Robinsons (Stockport).

A few pubs in the town centre:


Bolton is home to the University of Bolton (formerly Bolton Institute).


There are many good hotels in Bolton: both chains and independent concerns.


The local dialling code for Bolton is 01204. The country code for the United Kingdom is +44.

Stay safe[edit]

In an emergency call 999 for Police, Ambulance, Fire Service or Coastguard. Call 101 to report concerns to the Police that do not require an emergency response.

Go next[edit]

  • Manchester - Manchester is a major centre for culture and commerce in the North of England and a great (and easy!) place to visit from Bolton. The city formerly known as 'Cottonopolis' has hung up its clogs and welcomed in a world of culture, business, music, art, shopping and fine dining. This exciting, evolving city is a must-see for visitors to the area and an excellent place to go for some retail therapy when Bolton's outlets have been exhausted.
Routes through Bolton
PrestonChorley  NW National Rail logo.svg SE  SalfordManchester
PrestonChorley  NW UK motorway symbol.svg SE  SalfordManchester

This city travel guide to Bolton is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.