Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > England > North West England > Greater Manchester > Bury
Bury is a town and borough in Greater Manchester, in the North West of England. Bury is pronounced "Berry". Bury is the largest part of the metropolitan borough of Bury which also includes Prestwich, Tottington, Ramsbottom, Radcliffe, and the largely residential area of Whitefield.
Bury, "home of the Black Pudding", has existed in various forms since the Industrial Revolution when it was a mill town based around the production of textiles. It has grown rapidly over the past decades to become the heart of a metropolitan borough. The borough stretches from wealthy Prestwich and Whitefield (Manchester's suburbia, with thriving, long-established Jewish populations), in the south, past the historically industrial town of Radcliffe to the pleasant small town of Ramsbottom, in the north, bordering Rossendale.
The Metrolink tram runs every 12 min between Bury and Manchester. During off-peak hours, it's the most efficient method of transport, with the journey lasting approximately 25 min (£4.10 Adult Return, £4.90 Adult Day Travelcard).
Most bus services to Bury are operated by First Manchester. The 135 bus runs between Manchester Piccadilly and Bury (lasting approximately 50 min), whilst the 471 bus runs from Bolton (lasting approximately 30mins). A System One DaySaver costs £5 (off peak) and allows you to catch any bus within the Greater Manchester area. This is especially useful if you're travelling from areas other than Manchester.
The 540 National Express coach service runs once daily from London (via Manchester), but in all honesty, it's much quicker (and cheaper) to travel by tram/bus once you reach Manchester, unless you really enjoy more than 6hr coach journeys!]
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.
Manchester Airport is the closest airport to Bury. You can either take a train from the airport to Manchester Piccadilly train station, or a coach to Manchester coach station. From there, take either the Metrolink or 135 bus to Bury.
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.
The Metrolink (tram system) is the quickest way to get from Bury into Manchester, and also through to Altrincham and Eccles via Salford Quays. It runs from Bury Interchange. While it is faster than bus, it is also moderately more expensive.
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
As in the rest of Greater Manchester, different bus companies operate with various fares and destinations. The most common of these is First Manchester. The different companies have different fares and so if catching more than two buses, a System One Daysaver, allowing use of all buses from all companies within the whole of Greater Manchester can work out to be the most cost-effective way to travel.
The number 135 bus is the main bus from Bury to Manchester city centre, running at least every 10 minutes. It will often be crowded with commuters and will also get stuck in the traffic congestion around rush hours, so these times are better avoided. This route is also a night bus service from Manchester city centre on Friday and Saturday nights.
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.
- Bury Parish Church. There is a fine parish church in the centre of town, next to a monument to Sir John Peel. Out of town, the Peel Tower is worth the hike in fine weather. It is just up the steepest of hills from Ramsbottom. On a good day you can see as far as North Wales!
- Bury Art Gallery & Museum (located in the town centre). Aa small but impressive collection of pre-Raphaelite and neoclassical painting and other exhibitions.
- East Lancs Railway (elr), East Lancs Railway, Bury Bolton Street, BL9 0EY, ☎ . Every Saturday and Sunday all year around. It is a ride on a steam or diesel train, and the line is about 12 mi (19 km) long.
- Burrs Country Park. Caravan Club site, canoeing, kayaking, other water activities, climbing, rope-based and adventure playground/obstacle course activities. The site is of industrial heritage significance as it was the site of water and steam powered mills. It also offers a great vantage point to observe the trains of the East Lancashire Railway, which steam past at regular intervals. The River Irwell flows through the park and attracts anglers as well as kayakers. It also provides a very attractive backdrop for walkers and dog-walkers. The oldest remaining building in the grounds has been converted into a pub, "The Brown Cow".
- Radcliffe. Located in the middle of the borough, this town is worth a visit to witness a real-life part of northern England, reflecting the changes with which once prosperous towns and cities of Industrial Britain have had to deal. While parts are run-down, where Radcliffe merges with neighbouring Whitefield it is very prosperous with a large Jewish population. The ancient 'Radcliffe Tower', dating from the 12th century is worth visiting. The town is awaiting regeneration to catch up, commercially and economically, with surrounding towns. The town attracted considerable media attention as the birthplace and home of Slumdog Millionaire film director Danny Boyle.
- (6 mi (9.7 km) north of Bury). A pretty historic village amidst the West Pennine Moors.
- The Met. A small theatre in the town centre hosts many touring acts and local productions and some big names can be seen there for modest ticket prices.
- 1 Peel Tower/Holcombe Hill. Peel Tower is one of the most notable of Bury's monuments, as it resides upon Holcombe Hill, which sits 1,100 ft (340 m) above Ramsbottom. Peel Tower is perfect for fans of walking, and has plenty of footpaths in various locations throughout the Bury district, and since the tower is always in sight on the roads, it makes it an easy place to find. Thankfully, there is a bench on the top of the hill to accompany the tower, for resting. The sights from the hill are astounding, and have to be seen to grasp Bury's natural beauty. From here you can see the urban sprawl around Manchester, the Peak District and beyond. The 39 m (128 ft) tall memorial to Sir Robert Peel, the 19th century British prime minister and creator of the modern British police force
- East Lancashire Railway. Take a ride on the heritage railway which runs through Ramsbottom which provides scenic views from authentic steam and vintage trains.
- Hiking. Ramsbottom is situated amidst the West Pennine Moors,which provides it with excellent views and walking. If you fancy a bit of local history have a walk up to Peel Tower near Holcolmbe.
- Full markets are held every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with the Market Hall and selected stalls open every day except Sunday. There is a huge variety of stalls. Join the coach trips from all over the UK.
- Mill Gate Shopping Centre. This shopping centre houses many of the brands you would come to expect from a typical shopping centre (WHSmiths, Waterstones, Marks and Spencers), and it has a unique selection of jewellers, among the largest selection in Manchester, if not the largest selection in a shopping centre.
- The Rock. A largely developing shopping district in the town centre, which already contains a wide variety of places to eat, shop and drink.
- Ramsons in Ramsbottom is the place to eat in the whole borough and is also one of the best places to eat in Greater Manchester as a whole. It has often featured in Manchester Evening News reports and revues. They have won prizes nationally and regionally. Much of their food and wine is sourced directly from Italy. Book in advance as this place has a great reputation. They do some sort of "book last minute" promotion at times.
- The restaurant/cafe bar at the Bury Met Theatre is good and also popular, as a bar, in the evenings.
- Chocoholics has to be the best cafe/tea room in town. This is in the shopping centre, up the "street" opposite the entrance to Boots the Chemist. Service is excellent and the salads, sandwiches and cakes are superb. The whole place is spotless.
- Yates's. A large bar located directly behind the 'Robert Peel' statue. Features a fair selection of food and drinks at a good price.
- TGI Friday's is in Prestwich by the Premier Inn on Junction 17 of the M60.
- Peppe's is like the above in the south of the borough, this time in Whitefield, down Manchester Road from Bury centre. It is a tiny, family run, Italian restaurant next to the Metrolink station. Excellent food and very popular.
- Antonio's in Whitefield, has been refurbished and this family run restaurant is very friendly. The Budha Lounge and Fort of India (both good) are on the same crossroads.
- Roma is just up the road from the above and good during the day for coffee and lunch.
- Slattery's is also on Bury Old Road in Whitefield in a former pub building. The cafe on the first floor is vast and good for lunch and afternoon teas. On the ground floor they sell excellent cakes, for which they are well known throughout the area. There is a good car park.
- 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.
- Owens, 10 Railway Street, Ramsbottom. medium.
- The Duckworth Arms, on Whalley Road, Ramsbottom.
- The Waterside Bar and Restaurant, in Summerseat.
- The Shoulder of Mutton in Holcolmbe .
- Irwell Works Brewery, Ramsbottom. 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'. There is a friendly atmosphere, however it is often full.
- The Village Hotel (just off the Bury junction of the M66 motorway). Considered to be a very good hotel in the Bury area. It has good facilities, for example a good swimming pool area with a sauna, and an extensive gym amongst other things. The views are mediocre, often of the M66 motorway. The hotel seems to be quite clean.
- Old Mill Hotel & Leisure Club (Best Western), Springwood St, Ramsbottom, ☎ .
Further south in the borough there is a Premier Inn in Prestwich on junction 17 of the M60 orbital motorway. This is also very handy for Manchester city centre.