Bury grew rapidly from the 18th century as a textile town, initially for wool but later chiefly for cotton. Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) was born here to a wealthy textile family, and founded the modern police force and served as British prime minister. The lot of Bury's mill workers was less fortunate, as the 19th C town became overcrowded, squalid and rife with disease. Still they made a living - until the mid 20th C when the cotton industry collapsed, and much of the town became derelict. Historically within Lancashire, in 1974 Bury became part of Greater Manchester, and is nowadays primarily a commuter town. The borough also includes the more affluent suburbs of Prestwich and Whitefield (with long-established Jewish populations), Radcliffe, and (the most scenic) Ramsbottom on the edge of the Pennines.
Bury is indelibly linked to the black pudding, produced and consumed here in industrial quantities, and hurled over record-breaking distances at an annual contest in Ramsbottom.
Bury no longer has mainline trains, but it's a terminus of the Metrolink trams, green and yellow lines. These run downtown via Whitefield and Prestwich to Manchester Victoria station; the yellow line forks south to Piccadilly station, while the green line crosses city centre westwards and out to Old Trafford, Stretford, Sale and Altrincham. Change in city centre for the other lines to Salford Quays, Media City and Eccles, to Etihad Stadium and Ashton-under-Lyne, to Imperial War Museum and Trafford Centre (this line opened in Match 2020), to Wythenshawe and the airport, and to East Didsbury.
Trams normally run every 10 min or so between 06:00 and 23:30. See TGM Metrolink website for fare deals, service updates and travel planner; you must buy your ticket before boarding.
1 Bury Interchange, off Haymarket Street, is in Fare Zone 4, so a ride to city centre costs £4.60 single. The same ticket would actually take you all the way to the airport, 90 mins.
First Manchester Bus 135 runs between Manchester Piccadilly and Bury every 10 mins or so, taking 50 min. It also operates as a night bus late on Friday and Saturday. Bus 471 bus runs from Bolton, taking 30 min.
Bury lies at the junction of the A56 and A58. From the M60, exit J17 to join the A56 (Manchester Road/Bury New Road). From the M66, exit J2 to join the A58 (Bolton Road).
There is plenty of parking available in and around Bury. Prices vary, according to the type of parking offered (e.g. private, council-run, multi-story, on-street) but they are pretty reasonable compared to city prices. Free parking is available for Metrolink users at most stops, so it may be an idea to leave the car and hop-on a tram for the day instead.
See Manchester#Get_around for ticket deals and passes for the bus & tram network.
Being a small town, most places in Bury are within walking distance (i.e. it will take you less than 20 min to walk from one side of the town to the other). If you are planning on venturing a little further out of the centre, then a bus may be useful.
There are many cycle lanes throughout Bury. For cycling enthusiasts, the TFGM website provides information on a few scenic routes around the more 'rural' outskirts.
Bus services in the Bury area:
- 98 Bury-Manchester via Ainsworth, Radcliffe (FirstManchester) 60 minutes
- 137 Bury-Manchester via Unsworth, Whitefield, Prestwich, Broughton (FirstManchester) 40 minutes
- 466 Bury-Norden via Jericho, Fairfield (Rossendalebus) 68 minutes
- 471 Bury-Bolton via Elton, Breightmet (FirstManchester) 29 minutes
- 471 Bury-Rochdale via Fairfield Hospital, Heywood Sudden (FirstManchester) 33 minutes
- 472 Bury-Ramsbottom via Brandlesholme, Holcombe Brook (FirstManchester) 18 minutes
- 474 Bury-Ramsbottom via Walmersley, Holcolmbe Brook, Brandlesholme (FirstManchester) 32 minutes
- 512 Bury-Bolton via Radcliffe, Kearsley, Farnworth, Moses Gate (Maytree) 50 minutes
- 513 Bury-Bolton via Radcliffe, Whitefield, Kearsley, Farnworth, Moses Gate (Maytree) 50 minutes
Private-hire taxis and black cabs are available within and around Bury. Private hire taxis cannot be hailed, they must be booked either in person from a taxi rank, or over the phone, or else the car's insurance is void. Prices on private hire taxis are quite reasonable and if there is more than one person travelling short distances, they often end up being cheaper than the equivalent bus fares.
- 1 Church of St Mary the Virgin, The Rock, Bury BL9 0AH. Anglican parish church on a high point just north of town centre. The previous 16th C church was replaced in two stages, so the present spire dates from 1842 and the rest from 1876. Note the hammerbeam and tiebeam roof, mosaics, and stain-glass windows. It's a regimental church of the Lancashire Fusiliers, and in 2013 the military funeral of the murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby was held here.
- 2 Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre, Moss St, Bury BL9 0DR. Tu-F 10:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-16:30. Small but impressive collection of pre-Raphaelite and neoclassical painting, plus new sculpture centre, and various exhibitions. Big names include JMW Turner's Calais Sands, Sir Edwin Landseer's The Random Shot, and John Constable's Hampstead Heath. Free.
- 3 Radcliffe is a village two miles south of Bury, on the same tram route. It's post-industrial and run-down, but see the 14th-15th Church of St Mary (Anglican) and the crumbling remnants of 15th C Radcliffe Tower.
- 4 is a well-preserved mill village six miles north of Bury, hemmed in by the steep Pennine slopes, where streams surged down to power the mills. Its 19th century Grant family may have been the model for the Cheeryble brothers in Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby. They practised a rapaciously efficient "Truck System" - employees were not paid in cash but in tokens that could only be spent on beer in the company-owned pub.
- 1 The Met, Market St BL9 0BW (within Mill Gate shopping centre), ☏ . This small space hosts theatre and comedy, but is mostly a live music venue.
- 2 Burrs Country Park is a park and caravan site on the riverside two miles north of town. It has canoeing, kayaking, angling, other water activities, climbing, ropes, adventure playground and obstacle course. Steam trains of the East Lancashire Railway chuff through.
- Irwell Sculpture Trail is a 30 miles (50 km) in length footpath from The Quays to Bacup dotted with large sculptures. On the section around Bury find Trinity, Our Seats Are Almost Touching, the Outwood Colliery group, Nailing Home, the barge in the bulrushes, As if I Were a River, Seek and You Will Find, In the Picture, Remnant Kings, Whispering Wall, Gateway, Willow Tree, Bocholt Tree, and Logarhythms.
- 3 Peel Monument on Harcles (or Holcombe) Hill commemorates Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850); the 39 m (128 ft) tower has a viewing platform and you may be able to ascend further. Lots of footpaths with valley views all around. Don't call it the "Peel tower" as that refers to a type of stubby medieval fort common across northern England and lowland Scotland.
- Hiking: lots of other hikes in the West Pennine Moors. Use OS Landranger map 109 Manchester and 103 Blackburn.
- 4 East Lancashire Railway, Bolton St, Bury BL9 0EY, ☏ . Oct-Mar Sa Su, Apr-Sept W-Su. Heritage standard-gauge railway which plies between Heywood, Bury, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall, a 12 mile run, often steam-hauled. They also have occasional steam excursions on the UK mainline. Ticket includes admission to Bury Transport Museum. Adult day ticket £16, family (2+3) £42.
- Watch football but alas not at Bury FC, you'll have to head into Manchester. In 2019 Bury won promotion to League One, the third tier of English soccer, but they collapsed financially and were thrown out of the League before they'd even kicked a ball in the 2019/20 season.
- World Black Pudding Hurling Championships are held on the second Sunday of September outside The Oaks pub on Bridge St, Ramsbottom. The format is like a coconut-shy: a pile of Yorkshire puddings are mounted on a 20-foot plinth, and the aim is to knock over the maximum number in three underarm shots. The next event is on Sun 13 Sept 2020.
- 1 Bury Market. Open air markets are W, F and Sa, with the Market Hall open M-Sa. There's a grand variety of stalls.
- 2 Mill Gate Shopping Centre. Usual high street chains.
- 3 The Rock. The town's newest shopping centre, mostly fashion / clothing outlets.
- Leckenbys (formerly Chocoholics), 27 Minden Parade, Mill Gate Shopping Centre, ☏ . M-F 09:30-16:30, Sa 09:30-17:30, Su 11:00-16:00. Cafe/tea room. Service is excellent and the salads, sandwiches and cakes are superb. The whole place is spotless.
- TGI Fridays, Valley Park Rd, Prestwich M25 3TG (next to Premier Inn at Junction 17 of M60). M-Sa 11:30-23:00, Su 11:30-22:30. Chain diner.
- 1 Peppe's Pizzeria, 264 Bury New Rd, Whitefield M45 8GS, ☏ . Tu-Th & Su 17:00-21:30, F Sa 17:00-22:30. A tiny, family run Italian restaurant. Good pizza & pasta, cash only.
- 2 Forts of India, 7-11 Radcliffe New Rd, Whitefield M45 7QX, ☏ . Gets very mixed reviews for quality of food and price. M-Sa 17:00-23:00, Su 13:00-22:00.
- 3 Roma, 268 Bury New Rd, Whitefield M45 8QS, ☏ . M-Th & Sa 09:00-18:00, F 09:00-20:00. Good during the day for coffee and lunch.
- 4 Slattery's, 197 Bury New Road, Whitefield M45 6GE, ☏ . M-F 09:00-17:30, Sa 09:00-17:00. Cake shop & bakery with big cafe on the first floor, good for lunch and afternoon teas. Ample parking.
- 5 Owens, 10 Railway Street, Ramsbottom BL0 9AL, ☏ . serving Su-Th 09:00-20:30, F Sa 09:00-21:00. Good restaurant serving English fare.
- The restaurant at The Village Hotel offers good food and friendly service to residents and non residents alike.
- The Rock incorporates apartments, a cinema, a 25-lane bowling complex and many high street stores, bars, cafes and restaurants.
- The restaurant/cafe bar at the Bury Met Theatre is good and also popular, as a bar, in the evenings.
- The Bank (formerly Yates), 20 Market St, Bury BL9 0AJ. M-W 10:00-23:00, Th-Sa 10:00-03:00, Su 12:00-02:00. A large bar behind the Robert Peel statue. Fair selection of food and drinks at a good price, live TV sport.
- 1 The Duckworth Arms, 416 Whalley Road, Ramsbottom BL0 0EG, ☏ . Daily 12:00-23:00. Good country pub with decent eats.
- 2 [dead link] Shoulder of Mutton, Lumb Carr Road, Ramsbottom BL8 4LZ, ☏ . Daily 12:00-23:00. Good trad pub with food, dog friendly, at the foot of the walk to the Peel Tower.
- 3 Irwell Works Brewery, Irwell St, Ramsbottom BL0 9YQ, ☏ . Tu-Th & Su 12:00-23:00, F 12:00-00:00, Sa 11:00-00:00. In the former 'Steam, Tin, Iron and Copper' works, opposite the Ramsbottom Morrisons. The brewery brews all of its beers on site, examples of which are 'Copper Plate', 'Steam Plate' and 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen'. Friendly, but it's a small bar and the place gets very full, difficult to get served.
- 4 Eagle & Child, 3 Whalley Rd, Ramsbottom BL0 0DL (on A56), ☏ . M-Th 12:00-15:00, 17:00-23:00, F Sa 12:00-23:00, Su 12:00-19:00. Slick country pub with beer garden and really good food, has rooms. B&B double £80.
- 1 Village Hotel, Waterford Business Park, Rochdale Rd, Bury BL9 7BQ (just off Junction 2 of M66), ☏ . Hotel with decent facilities, pool & gym. No a/c against hot weather. On riverside so some rooms bosky with nice views, but most just get to look at the M66 traffic. B&B double £125.
- 2 Old Mill Hotel & Leisure Club (Best Western), Springwood St, Ramsbottom BL0 9DT, ☏ . Decent franchise hotel with spa. Lacks a/c, a problem in hot summers, and no lift. B&B double £55.
- There are two Premier Inns. The Manchester Bury Premier Inn is 200 yards south of Bury town centre, off Duke St by the junction of A58 ring road and A56.
- The Manchester Prestwich Premier Inn is on Bury New Road A56 just south of Junction 17 of M60, midway between Prestwich and Whitefield and next to TGI Fridays.
As of June 2021, Bury has 4G from O2, Three and Vodafone, and 5G from EE.
|Routes through Bury|
|Burnley ← merges with ←||N S||→ → Central Manchester|
|Burnley ← Rossendale ←||N SE||→ Prestwich → Central Manchester|
|Wigan ← Bolton ←||W E||→ Rochdale → Leeds|