Weekday Wanders

Weekday Wanders were created to accommodate people who had free time during the day, especially those unable to participate in Friday night Staggers. The intention is to visit only three or maybe four pubs in a locality and have a leisurely drink in each, with plenty of chat and maybe a game of dominos or cards. It is also intended to avoid lengthy journeys; the aim is under an hour, It also hopes to introduce people to other worthwhile local areas to visit for a day out.

To this end the historic Wanders are listed here to enable you to re-create our outings at your leisure. However do check both travel arrangements as they are often updated as well as pub opening hours as they are also variable.

August Weekday Wander — Greenfield
11:30am Wednesday 3 August 2022

We are off into the hills again for this Weekday Wander. Situated on the fringe of Greater Manchester, Greenfield used to be part of Gods Own Country as it was part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, so be on the lookout for WRCC markers on public structures. Many of the older 17th Century houses still display the distinct, many windowed, upper floors which indicate they were used for hand-loom wool cloth weaving. I use the term wool cloth, because whether they were producing woollen fabric [soft and springy like tweed] or worsted [smooth and lustrous used for suits] isn't recorded. (For more on the wool/worsted differences see thedreamstress.com or www.huddersfieldtextiles.com.

Though not dating back as far in time, three of our objectives today could still be described as "olde worlde". The first of these, the Wellington, is an end of terrace local, with darts, dominoes and cribbage all in evidence. Because there is a difference in the frontage with next door, and the stone better dressed, I speculate that this is a later addition rather than being part of the original terrace - discuss. I assume the pub is named after the Duke and not his footwear, but who knows Food is available here, but only Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, hence the date of our visit.

Our next destination, The King Willian IV, known locally as the King Billy, is set at right angles to the main road. I have no idea what connection the King would have had with Greenfield, unless the pub opened around the year of his coronation. With both a red post AND phone box outside, along with a 'yard' and what is described as a cobbled area on WhatPub.com, it is the epitome of a country pub. This misunderstanding between cobles (rounded stones usually recovered from a river bed) and setts (square dressed quarried stone) is not uncommon, but unforgivable to a pedant. With two rooms and four beers this isn't a typical Star (Heineken) pub, so they must be doing something right to avoid the eyes of the corporate management. The King Billy also purveys food, but only after 5pm today, so unless you plan staying a little longer [or coming back?] you will have to miss out.

The walk to our next establishment, Donkeystone Brewery Tap, would have been a lot shorter until September 2021, as the original site was behind the houses on the opposite side of the road from the king Billy. Today we must return towards the station and behind the Tesco we enter our only modern building, an industrial unit housing the brewery tap. No old world accoutrements here, just industrial chic, but with plenty of beers on offer, not just Donkeystone's own. Food may be available here, but I'm not sure when [depends which web page you consult!]

Returning towards the station and our final destination, but before we enter, take note of the interesting building to the right of the pub. With its obvious loading doors, this must have been some form of manufactory, but for what, and with such a small footprint I don't know. As the buildings here are two stories on the front street, but four at the back, the extra front floor seems a little greedy.

Our final establishment is the Railway, and there is no mystery how it got its name. Again an elderly building, was it here before, or was it built/opened to take advantage of the business from the station opposite? There is a simple two room layout, with an accompanying beer garden offering views across the valley. Being on the Transpennine Ale Trail [or whatever the Manchester to Leeds rail pub crawl is now called] weekends can see a sudden influx of people as the latest train disgorges its revellers. Hopefully things will be a little calmer on a midweek afternoon.

As we board our train home, take a moment to inspect Greenfield Station. Interestingly Greenfield station is the only rail station remaining of the around 25 formally in the current Oldham Borough. Opened on 1 August 1849 on the same day as was the section of line between Huddersfield and Stalybridge. This was remarkably early considering work on the single line Standedge tunnel was only started in 1846. It did have the advantage of the adjacent canal tunnel which acted as a supply route and had already proved the ground through which the tunnel was bored. Compare this to the Elizabeth line in London! Look carefully at the station and you may be able to detect a former bay platform at the Manchester end. This was the terminus of occasional trains from Oldham, but as that line closed to passengers in 1955 it isn't obvious. Another 'claim to fame' is that it is one of only a handful of stations which are not fully step-free accessible in Greater Manchester, though the engineering problems entailed creating this from the Huddersfield platform can be appreciated.

 

ArriveLeavePubAddressFood
11:30am11:36am Stockport Rail Station for 11:36 train to Piccadilly
11:46am11:58am Piccadilly Station for 11:58 train to Huddersfield
12:12pm12:12pmGreenfield Station
12:30pm1:55pm Wellington Inn29 Chew Valley Road, Greenfield, OL3 7AF12:00noon
2:00pm3:00pm King William IV134 Chew Valley Road, Greenfield, OL3 7DD5:00pm
3:10pm4:20pm Donkeystone Brewery TapWellington Indust Est, Wellington Rd, OL3 7AQNo
4:30pm5:35pm Railway Inn11 Shaw Hall Bank Road, Greenfield, OL3 7JZNo
5:40pm5:45pm Greenfield Station for train to Piccadilly arrive 6:10
6:10pm6:27pm Piccadilly Station for 18:27 train to Bournemouth arrive Stockport 18:35

 

July's Weekday Wander — Hayfield
11:30am Tuesday 5 July 2022

Now the good weather is (should be!) here it is off into the countryside for sun, views, beer and the option of a short walk, so something for all.

We will be travelling on the 358 bus from Stockport to Hayfield, then comes our first decision, wait 14 minutes for a bus connection or opt to walk to our first pub. The shorter walk (unfortunately alongside the busy A624) is about 3/4 mile, but there is an alternative field footpath of a mile. Depending on how fast we walk, and how late the bus is, either option could reach the Lantern Pike first. As we will be catching the bus back, and the bus only takes 25 minutes before returning (but thankfully is hourly) we will be spending around an hour and twenty minutes there. Plenty of time to eat.

It would have been nice to have witnessed the Hayfield Sheepdog Trials, which usually takes place across the road in September, but unfortunately they are cancelled for 2022.

Back in Hayfield the three pubs can actually be done in any order, as they are all within 5 minutes walk of each other. However there is a second decision to be made, how long we stay in each pub. The buses back are at 16:50, 17:44 (via New Mill Newtown) and 18:10, so it is either a brisk pint in each pub, a less frantic drink but a more exotic return or a leisurely pint all around. For those really adventurous the busses are hourly back so there is an option to take in the Sportsman, a 10 minute/half a mile walk along the Kinder Road (but don't overrun and end up on Kinder Scout!). Beware the last bus leaves 10 minutes early, at midnight and not 00:10 — how's that for a service!

Unfortunately the only other pub in Hayfield opens only Thursday to Sunday, so an overnight stay, or revisit tomorrow, will be required to get the full card of Hayfield pubs.
 

FromToWhatAddressFood
11:30am11:35am Stockport Mersey Square bus stop G (up the slope towards St Peters Square)
11:35am12:29pm Bus 358 for Hayfield via Marple (12:05) and New Mills (12:18)
12:29am12:50pm Walk to Little Hayfield
12:43pm12:46pm Bus 61 for short hop to Little Hayfield
12:43pm2:10pm Lantern Pike 45 Glossop Road, Little Hayfield, SK22 2NGNoon - 3pm
2:13pm2:15pm Bus 61 for short hop back to Hayfield
Swift TourLeisurely Drink 
FromToFromToPubAddressFood
2:18pm3:15pm2:18pm3:35pm Royal Hotel Market Street, Hayfield, SK22 2EPNoon - 2:30pm
3:15pm4:00pm3:35pm4:50pm George Hotel 14 Church Street, Hayfield, SK22 2JENoon - 9pm
4:00pm4:45pm4:50pm6:05pm Kinder Lodge 10 New Mills Road, Hayfield, SK22 2JGNo
4:50pm5:40pm  Bus 358 all the way to Stockport
5:44pm6:20pm  Bus 61 to New Mill Newtown (6:00pm) then train to Stockport
5:44pm6:23pm  Bus 61 to New Mill Newtown (6:00pm) then SkyLine 199 bus to Stockport
  6:10pm7:00pmBus 358 all the way to Stockport

 

June's Weekday Wander — Chorlton

In all previous years, Monday would have been a Bank Holiday, and this Wander would have been later in the week, but for this year only (well, until another monarch reigns for 70 years that is) we have a double Bank Holiday on Thursday and Friday. We could put the Wander back a week, but that leaves two events on the same week, and from Monday 13 June many of us are involved with setting up and running the Stockport Beer & Cider Festival. So as you see why we have been backed into a corner.
 

ArriveLeavePubAddressFood
11:30am11:35am Stockport Bus Station stand H2 for 23 bus (or stand AA [192 stand on Wellington Road North] for 11:42am 25 bus)
11:35am12:07pmBus travel [Arrive 12.21pm if on 25 bus]
12:10pm1:10pm Spread Eagle526-528 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, M21 9LDNo
1:15pm2:25pm Sedge Lynn21a Manchester Road, Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, M21 9PNYes
2:30pm3:25pm Beer House57 Manchester Road, Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, M21 9PW
NOTE: If visiting Font instead of Dulcimer leave at 3:50pm
No
3:30pm4:30pm Dulcimer567 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, M21 0AENo
4:00pm5:00pm Font115-117 Manchester Road, Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, M21 9PG
NOTE: Does not open until 4pm on Tuesdays
Yes
Multiple options for bus travel is outlined below. Taking the tram to East Didsbury, then onwards by bus, appears to be feasable, but it is only minutes quicker as it relies on buses to complete journey to Stockport.
16:51pm
17:11pm
17:30pm
17:50pm
17:33pm
17:53pm
18:09pm
18:29pm
Bus 23 Chorlton to Stockport via Didsbury
17:08pm
17:42pm
17:50pm
18:22pm
Bus 25 Chorlton to Stockport via Burnage

 

May's Weekday Wander — Stalybridge

For May we are heading for the hills with a visit to Stalybridge. With a train approximately every half hour from Manchester to Stalybridge and trains from Stockport entering the main body of Piccadilly, travel time is only about 40 minutes.

Mild Magic will still be running, so if you need those last two stickers, bring your card along and 'bag' two areas as well. There is a varied offering of pubs, from one which maintains "traditional" afternoon closing, two micro-bars [one of which brews its own beer] and the legendary Station Buffet Bar. You can also sample the experience of taking your chippy bought food into a pub. Because the Wharf Tavern doesn't do food they allow you to take food in from the chip shop next door. You will be confused when entering Bridge Beers, where you will be able to see the original signboard from the Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn, not to be confused with the New Old Thirteenth Cheshire...   which we passed after leaving the station — this is a modern imposter!
 

ArriveLeavePubAddressFood
11:10am11:14am Stockport Station, train to Manchester Piccadilly - arrive 11:23
11:23am11:35am Piccadilly Station, train to Stalybridge - arrive 11:50
11:50am12:45pm Station Buffet BarRassbottom Street, Stalybridge, SK15 1RFYes
13:00pm14:00pm Wharf Tavern77 Caroline Street, Stalybridge, SK15 1PDNo but see below
14:15pm16:00pm Bridge Beers55 Melbourne Street, Stalybridge, SK15 2JJNo
16:00pm17:00pm Cracking Pint41 Melbourne Street, Stalybridge, SK15 2JJNo
17:15pm17:22pm Stalybridge Station, train to Piccadilly - arrive 17:37
17:22pm17:47pm Manchester Piccadilly Station, train to Stockport - arrive 17:56

The Wharf Tavern doesn't do food, but there is an arrangement with the chip shop next door that their food can be eaten in if you are also drinking!

 

April's Weekday Wander — Hyde

Today we are undertaking a Dickensian Weekday Wander — what do we mean by this? It is a Tale Of Two Cities - okay two options. Option one is the simplest, just walk between all four pubs before catching the bus back to Stockport. Option two involved a short bus ride to pick up the last two pubs - this will demand a little accuracy in drinking to catch the bus, but they are fairly regular. Both options end with a pub not opening until 4pm, so if a prompt return is desired at 5pm rapid drinking will be involved, but the 330 bus is every 10 minutes so there isn't too much accuracy required.
 

What can you expect on this wander?

We start with a lively traditional Holts pub with the usual accoutrements, but supplemented by that rare beer, Holts Mild, being on offer, so bring along your Mild Magic cards. Next up, the Sportsman, has been a stalwart outlet for Rossendale Brewery beers almost from the day the brewery was founded. Six ales are available, of which two or so are 'guests' [ie not Rossendale beers]. So if you are suffering from Sunshine withdrawal after the closure of the Railway in Portwood this is a must. Food is available here, with some dishes having a Caribbean persuasion.

We now have to choose two from four [unless you are enthusiastic and want to visit all!] varying from a pub with its own brewery, a modern micro a large ale house and a canal side pub with a good selection of guest beers.

And for the adventurous, returning to the Sportsman for 6pm will be rewarded by their curry night!

Something for everyone!
 

ArriveLeavePubAddressNotes
11:15am  Meet Mersey Square, Stockport outside TfGM Travel Shop
11:20am11:30pm Walk to Little Egerton Street, other end of Merseyway, for temporary bus stop.
11:38am12:06pm Bus 330 for Ashton Under Lyne, alighting at Hyde
12:15pm1:20pm Queens23 Clarendon Place, Hyde, SK14 2NDNo food but shops nearby
1:30pm3:00pm Sportsman57 Mottram Road, Hyde, SK14 2NNWed - Fri: 1pm - 9pm
Option One
3:00pm4:00pm Cotton Bale21-25 Market Place, Hyde, SK14 2LX 
4:00pm5:00pm Jack's Bar3 Hamnett Street, Hyde, SK14 2EXOpens at 4pm
Option Two
3:00pm4:00pm Lowes Arms301 Hyde Road, Denton, M34 3FFTue - Fri: noon - 2.30pm, 5pm - 9pm
4:00pm5:00pm Cheshire Ring72-74 Manchester Road, Hyde, SK14 2BJOpens at 4pm
5:00pm onwards35 minutes later Bus 330 back to Stockport are every 10 minutes at this time of day

 

March's Wander — Altrincham

For today's Weekday Wander we will be visiting Altrincham. Travel can be either quick and simple on the 17 minute train journey or long and tortuous using either bus or tram for an hour! This Wander is planned as a four pub trip, but as the last doesn't open until 4pm and the train back is at 5pm, we have the options of (1) only visiting the first three at a more leisurely pace (2) catching the 6pm giving us an extra hour drinking or (3) sticking to this schedule. None of the visited pubs serve food, but there is both the Altrincham Market Food Hall plus we are in the heart of the town so there are ample food outlets to choose from.
 

ArriveLeavePubAddressFood
11:45am11:52am Stockport Rail Station ready for train
11:52am12:10pm Northern Train Manchester Piccadilly to Chester geting off in Altrincham
12:20pm1:15pm Pi18 Shaws Road, Altrincham, WA14 1QUNone but Altrincham food market across street from the first pub and there are many food outlets in the town
1:25pm2:15pm Cheshire Tap36 Railway Street, Altrincham, WA14 2RE
2:20pm3:50pm Costello's Bar18 Goose Green, Altrincham, WA14 1DW
4:00pm4:50pm Old Market TavernOld Market Place, Altrincham, WA14 4DN
5:00pm5:17pm Train Altrincham to Stockport - Alternative 6pm ariving 6:17pm

 

February's Wander — Glossop

The destination for this Weekday Wander will be Glossop, but because of the later opening of some pubs we have the option of a three pub leisurely visit or, with a change of location for the final pub, making it a four pub outing with a later return to Stockport. Below is the four pub outing.

ArriveLeavePubAddressFood
11:00am11:05am Stockport Rail Station Platform 4 ready for Northern Train to Piccadilly
11:05am11:16am Alderly Edge - Southport train to Piccadilly (with 11:11am Hazel Grove - Blackpool as backup)
11:33am12:03pm Train Piccadilly to Hadfield, getting off at Glossop
12:10pm1:00pm Victoria Lounge1 Bernard Street, Glossop, SK13 7AA12:00noon till 9pm
1:05pm2:00pm Norfolk ArmsNorfolk Square, Glossop, SK13 8BP12:00noon till 8:30pm
2:00pm3:15pm Bar 29 High Street East, Glossop, SK13 8DANo
3:22pm3:29pm Train from Glossop to Broadbottom [next service at 3:52pm]
3:35pm4:50pm Harewood Arms2 Market Street, Broadbottom, SK14 6AXNo
4:59pm5:42pm Train Broadbottom via Piccadilly to Stockport
 Earlier Broadbottom departure 4:29pm arrive Stockport 5:17pm or later departure 5:29pm ariving at 6:22pm