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

Get in

By air

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

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

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

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

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 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 British Home Stores, 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.


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.


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

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

Routes through Bolton

Preston Chorley  NW  SE  Salford Manchester
Preston Chorley  NW  SE  Salford Manchester

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 05, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.