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 — Land o' cakes
11:20 Tuesday 1st August, Stockport Rail Station

Despite the title, this isn't a trip to Scotland, but a visit to Eccles, purveyor of a curranty cake not to be mistaken for one from Chorley!

We're going west this month, Lamb Hotel, Salford Council Photo Library but in the geographic sense and not in the downhill meaning! If visiting Eccles, everyone must call in at the Lamb (photo right), a large Holts pub across the road from the tram stop. There is a cosy vault to the right, but as a group of any more than three would take over, we will go straight on into one of the main rooms. The surprisingly small bar for such a large pub still has space for not only bitter but mild as well. But don't just focus on the beers, look up at the etched glass bar surround (none of those spray on fakes here) which, reputedly, still slide up and down. The front rooms are well appointed with Edwardian décor, fixed seating and inbuilt bell pushes, but the most interesting room is that to the rear. This was the billiards room, hence the raised seating for spectating. In its later days it did resort to snooker, but those days are long gone (but remembered by this author!)

Just along Regent Road we enter the new kid on the block, New Regent Cinema, Salford Council Photo Library the Eccles Cross. A JWD outlet which is surprisingly small as it is housed in the former New Regent cinema (photo left). Maybe Eccles was pioneering the small, cosy multi-screen concept way back in 1920! Internally it is as you would expect, but do take note of the dugouts housing intimate drinking booths. There is also an outside drinking courtyard, should the weather be with us.

Unlike other towns with famous cuisine, Stanley Arms, Salford Council Photo Library Eccles doesn't have a Ye Olde Eccles Cake Shoppe, so we will be departing cake-less to Patricroft for our next pub. The Stanley Arms (photo right) is a complete contrast to the Lamb in everything except for its beer range. Small and intimate, and could probably fit into the front room of the Lamb! Never the less, it is still full of character (and characters) and a must visit pub as it is Grade II listed and included in CAMRA's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors.

In days gone by Patricroft was made world famous by two of its engineering giants. At one time every forge would have had a Nasmyth steam hammer, (or a copy) for all those heavy metal forming jobs. Likewise there were hundreds of Gardner Diesel engines from the 6LX range powering buses, lorries and small ships. Both are now lost (though Garners lives on as Garners Marine in Kent). A third local employer was the massive Patricroft motive power depot (engine shed to you and me), again all gone. And we can't leave without mentioning the pioneering Bridgewater Canal, the first waterway built independent of an accompanying river, unlike the Mersey & Irwell Navigation which merely straightened out bends in the river.

We finish the day with not one, but two micro bars (plus a stand-by Holts pub) a little way up the road in Monton. Monton Road, Salford Council Photo Library Park Inn, Salford Council Photo Library First up is the Monton Tap (general view of Monton Road in the photo right), opened in 2018 in a former shop. As would be expected it is small and cosy, but still offers three beers, usually from local breweries. There is also French café style seating outside on the surprisingly wide pavement, should the weather be with us! Secondly we have, but with opening time of 4:30pm, the Malt Dog which was first opened in 2013 and again serving three changing guest beers. This is a little larger, having an upstairs room along with the pavement drinking area.
NOTE: For anyone still hankering for another Holts beer, the Park opposite (previous 1950s incantation photo left) offers salvation.

Travel arrangements below are laid out from Stockport using the train, but for some, a tram from Didsbury to Pomona, then changing for the Eccles line may be much more convenient. Unfortunately there are works on the line, and trams are only travelling as far as Weaste, with a bus replacement to the last two stops! See you in the Lamb.

11:2011:20Meet at Stockport Rail Station
11:2511:35East Midland train to Piccadilly
  Back-up in case of delays: 11:26 - 11:40 Northern to Piccadilly or 11:36 - 11:47 Avanti to Piccadilly
11:5412:10Northern train Piccadilly to Eccles and eight minute walk to pub < < < Alternate joining point
12:1013:15Lamb Hotel33 Regent Street, Eccles, M30 0BP 
13:1514:15Eccles Cross13 Regent Street, Eccles, M30 0BPYes
14:1514:30Travel to Patricroft options: Walk for 22 minutes or bus from across the road:
14:15 - 14:20 Bus number 67 — 14:22 - 14:26 Bus number 20 — 14:23 - 14:27 Bus number 100
14:3015:40Stanley Arms295 Liverpool Road, Patricroft, M30 0QN 
15:30~16:00Travel to Monton options — Walk 26 minutes
15:30 - 15:46 Bus number 22 — 15:45 - 15:59 Bus number 65 — 15:53 - 16:18 Bus number 20
16:0016:45Monton Tap165 Monton Road, Monton, M30 9GS 
16:4517:29Malt Dog169 Monton Road, Monton, M30 9GS 
17:2918:2317:29 - 17:47 Walk to Eccles Station — 17:48 - 18:02 Train to Piccadilly — 18:15 - 18:23Train to Stockport
  Alternative options
Walk to Eccles then tram back towards Didsbury (bus replacement Eccles to Weaste)
17:35 - 18:43 Bus 33 to Manchester then train
17:38 - 18:54 Complex two bus and train
17:53 - 19:02 Bus 34 to Manchester then train
17:58 - 19:02 Bus 21 to Swinton then three trains
18:06 - 19:18 Bus 33 to Manchester then train


July Weekday Wander — Pie Eating in Wigan
10:50 Wednesday 5th July, Stockport Rail Station

A day out in Wigan eating pies with the occasional beer as well.

The Raven Hotel is in the centre of Wigan, being but yards from the Market Place. Built in 1904 as a commercial hotel but fell into dereliction before being renovated in 2012. This didn't entail ripping out the inside so many original features are retained, and replacements blend in. This update didn't jeopardise its Grade II listing which was originally granted in 1997. Home cooked food is available, featuring their own pies, courtesy of Gary. Four changing beers are available, some of which should be local as they are LocAle accredited.

A few minutes walk around the parish church, no doubt passing a pie shop, takes us to the Anvil on Dorning Street. A wide range of refreshments are available, with seven handpulls, ciders and continental lagers. There is also a garden out the back should the weather be clement. There is, however no mention of pies!

Returning past the church and heading back towards Wigan North Western Station we find our next outlet snuggled up to the rail lines. Built in 1898 by WEV Crompton and winner of a Historic England Conservation Award. The interior is divided up into a number of rooms, and includes an impressive stained-glass window. Also of historic note is the working Bass handpump on the bar. Pies are available here until 8pm.

Crossing the road and diving in to two railway arches below the station we finally come to the new kid on the block, Wigan Central. You must ask why they chose the name of the closed and demolished Cheshire Lines Committee/Great Central Railway station, which was located (sort of) behind the Raven Hotel. This award-winning two-roomed pub has a railway- themed interior and serves up to seven real ales. A former Greater Manchester Pub of the Year and runner-up National Pub of the Year. Of great use to us is the live feed displaying arrival and departure times from both railway stations - so you can get that last pint in confident your train is delayed! Alas, no mention of pies.

10:50am10:54am Meet at Stockport Rail Station
10:54am11:09am TrainsTranspennine Express to Oxford Road
11:27am12:06am Northern Train via Bolton to Wigan Wallgate       < < < Alternate joining point
12:15pm13:45pm The Raven Hotel5 Wallgate, Wigan WN1 1LDYes - Including Seniors offer
13:55pm14:55pm The AnvilDorning Street, Wigan WN1 1NDNo
15:05pm16:05pm Swan & Railway80 Wallgate, Wigan WN1 1BAYes
16:10pm17:20pm Wigan CentralArch No. 1 & 2, Queen Street, Wigan WN3 4DYNo
17:39pm18:18pm Northern Train Wigan Wallgate to Manchester Oxford Road
18:39pm18:54pm East Midlands Railway Manchester Oxford Road to Stockport


June Weekday Wander — East of Manchester
11:20 Tuesday 30th May, Bridgefield Street Bus Stop

Though refered to as Bridgefield Street bus stops by Transport for Greater Manchester they are actually on Little Egerton Street, at the east end of Prince's Street.

We start today in what feels like the heart of the country — In the middle of Gorton! The Vale Cottage is so well hidden from Hyde Road that there are locals who don't know it exists. As this is June, fingers crossed, that the weather is good enough to enjoy their beer garden. Home cooked meals are also on offer.

Exiting needs to be co-ordinated with the buses, or a 25/30 minute walk along the Fallowfield loop is an optional alternative.

The Railway on Manshaw Road is so named because the road used to be on Station Road, with the original Fairfield Station being at the bottom. On entering take note of the grand (formally?) gas light over the door. When there was a World War One army training camp in what were then fields opposite, Post box in Moravian Settlement the room to the left was known as the Officers Mess (as in mess room and not reflecting the unkempt state of the room!)

We can make the next connection using an occasional bus, but a pleasant 15 minute walk, taking in the Moravian Settlement, where tuition into the difference between cobbles and setts can be given. There is also a gorgeous post box to be examined as well as some stone fencing.

Entering Droylsden, Silly Country is obvious on the corner of the shopping centre. This modern bar and bottle shop is almost the complete opposite of our two earlier establishments. A modern bar inside with outside street drinking and a range of beers and cider. Now to the interesting name, I will leave you to ask.

Finally to the Grove, a traditional Holts street corner pub. The vault has an exquisite 'carved' wooden bar area. Also of note is the World War One memorial plaque. Perhaps of more note to the drinker is the rare (in southern Manchester) classic Holts Mild.

Return to Stockport is easiest via Manchester, to which there are frequent buses and trams, but there are cross town options via the 171/172 and 53 bus routes.

Because of the somewhat strung out nature of the itinerary this means a later return to Stockport than usual, but it is summer and the nights are light so let's make the best of them.

11:20am11:26am Meet at Bridgefield Street Stop LE, east end of Prince's Street
11:26am11:53am Bus 203 to Manchester Piccadilly, alight Hyde Road/Far Lane
12:00pm13:35pm Vale CottageKirk Street, Gorton, M18 8UEYes - Home cooked
13:45pm14:05pm Bus 7 or 172 to Ashton Old Road then 10 min walk (bus can be used)
14:05pm15:00pm Railway2 Manshaw Road, Openshaw, M11 1HSNo
15:00pm15:15pm Walk via Moravian Settlement (can catch 217 bus at 14:47)
15:15pm16:15pm Silly Country121 Market Street, Droylsden, M43 7ARNo but... See bottom
16:18pm16:33pm Tram or 216 us to Clayton Hall stop
16:35pm17:30pm Grove652 Ashton New Road, Clayton, M11 4SQNo
17:32pm18:11pm Regular trams and buses to Piccadilly Station/Gardens then train home - 40 to 50 minutes

Customers can bring their own food (no 'Chippy' food other than pies).


May Weekday Wander — Stalybridge
11:10 Wednesday 3rd May, Stockport Rail Station

This month we plan to return to Stalybridge both because it is a grand place to visit, but also because, for those taking up the Mild Challenge, there is the potential to pick up no less than three stickers. 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.

There is a varied offering of pubs, from one which maintains "traditional" afternoon closing, a micro-bar [which brews its own beer], a traditional local 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 your chips bought from the shop next door in to the pub. This can result in "Last orders" being called twice, once for the chip shop and the second for the pub! When entering Bridge Beers you may be confused thinking you have entered the wrong pub because 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 pass after leaving the station — this is a modern imposter! The Wander is planned to end at the famous Station Buffet Bar, but for the adventurous Mild Magic enthusiast there is the potential to catch the train one more stop and bag Mossley, where there are a potential two extra stickers on offer!

11:10am11:15am Meet on the platform, Stockport Station
11:15am11:25am Northern train to Manchester Piccadilly
11:35am11:50am TransPennine train Piccadilly Station to Stalybridge
12:00pm13:20pm Wharf Tavern77 Caroline Street, Stalybridge, SK15 1PDYes and No! See below
13:30pm14:50pm Bridge Beers55 Melbourne Street, Stalybridge, SK15 2JJNo
15:00pm16:00pm White House1 Water Street, Stalybridge, SK15 2AGNo
16:05am17:10pm Station Buffet BarRassbottom Street, Stalybridge, SK15 1RFYes
17:23pm17:39pm TransPennine train from Stalybridge Station to Piccadilly
17:55pm18:06pm Avanti train from Manchester Piccadilly Station to Stockport

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!

NOTE: When visiting, we talked with the landlord and he informed us the Wharfe has been sold, and he didn't know what its future will be. So use it as we may well loose it!



April Weekday Wander — Altrincham
11:15 Tuesday 4th April, Stockport Rail Station

This month's Weekday Wander is a return trip to Altrincham for two very important reasons:
1) Because it is a mighty fine place to visit for a beer or two.
2) Anyone partaking in Mild Magic can pick up two areas.

Travel can be either quick and simple on the 17 minute train journey or long and tortuous using bus, tram or both for an overall journey time of around an hour!

Our first pub will be the Unicorn, a Wetherspoon's outlet, so food is available here. Because of the scheduling of the trains, we should arrive by 11:45am, just in time for the breakfast menu.

Next up will be Costello's Bar, the tap for nearby Dunham Massey Brewery. The brewery is well known for its range of milds, with a light, dark and cherry mild being produced in the past. Who knows what we will find today, but don't be surprised if two milds are available [but only one Mild Magic sticker however many you try!] To allow for this excess, extra time has been allowed for this stop.

We will next wander back towards the Market Hall, where two excellent pubs are on offer, so a choice had to be made. We will be passing the Con Club (bet you can't work out why it is called that, Sherlock!) and turn in to the Market Hall. Here we will find Jack in the Box, which is a Black Jack Brewery tap. The bar is surrounded by a number of food outlets, so anyone still peckish can replete themselves. Warning: electronic payment only. So those technologically challenged (or wanting to tick a full house of pubs) can bob into the Con Club instead, where coins are acceptable, and they also do food.

Whichever establishment we favour, our final port of call is 3.14159 — sorry π. What! You can't find it. Well no wonder; they have bowed to the masses and display their name as Pi. Originally this was Le Trappiste, and the continental bar feeling is still preserved. This includes street drinking (weather permitting) but without the stifling fumes encountered in some Bruxelles or Paris bars.

Because of the trains, the overall timing either has to be a little tight in order to catch the 4:57pm departure, getting to Stockport by 5:14pm, or we can throw caution to the wind and catch the 5:57pm train, not getting back to Stockport until 6:14pm.

These timings reflect the former option, but we can vary it on the day!

11:15am11:19am Stockport Rail Station ready for train
11:19am11:36am Northern Train Manchester Piccadilly to Chester geting off in Altrincham
11:45am1:00pm Unicorn1 Ashley Road, Altrincham WA14 2DPYes
1:05pm2:35pm Costello's Bar18 Goose Green, Altrincham, WA14 1DW 
2:40pm3:40pm Jack In The BoxAltrincham Market Hall, Altrincham WA14 1SAFood adjacent
3:40pm4:40pm Pi18 Shaws Road, Altrincham, WA14 1QU 
4:57pm5:14pm Train Altrincham to Stockport - Alternative 5:57pm ariving 6:14pm



March Weekday Wander — Northern Sixteenth
11:30 Tuesday 28th February, Stockport Rail Station

Today's Weekday Wander takes in not Manchester's Northern Quarter, but about a quarter of the Northern Quarter — hence the title!

Meet at 11:30am on Stockport rail station platform for 11:33am Norther all stations train to Piccadilly, followed by a 15 minute walk to Blossom Street. The Edinburgh Castle reopened in 2019 after a number of years closure. Tucked away in the heart of industrial Ancoats, the Edinburgh Castle wouldn't be on the trendy person's radar were it not for the recent rejuvenation of the whole district. A few years back Ancoats could have stood in for a Peaky Blinders backdrop (accent excepted!) but the Victorian architecture would now rival many a continental square. The interior, though brought up to date, still retains most of its former glory.

On leaving we will return to Great Ancoats Street, where we will pass the iconic 30s Grade 2* listed Daily Express building. Until the 1980s you could stand on the pavement and watch copies of the newspaper flying off the presses. Now put to other uses, it still strikes one as a modern, nay futuristic, structure.

Next door but two we come upon the Crown and Kettle, another Grade 2 listed building. The site was originally built in 1734 with the gloriously ornate ceiling being added in the 1800s. The interior included wooden panelling from the R101 airship. After a little conflict between City and United in 1989 the pub was closed, and during this cessation of business a devastating fire ravaged the interior. Upon reopening in 2005 the building had been partially restored, below around 10foot (3 metres to you modern types) it is mostly modern, but the ceiling and parts of the wall are as left by the fire. Do take a look at the ceiling, but do it carefully to avoid a strained neck.

Next up we proceed along Swan Street to the eclectic Belgium styled Bar Fringe. The decoration couldn't be more different to that in the Crown and Kettle, including, among other things, a motorbike! Another fixture of note are the Ducketts of Burnley urinals, sorry men only. Along with the five handpumps, there is an extensive range of 'proper' Belgium and German beers, should you wish to go continental. There is an exquisite beer garden out back, but probably not for us on the last day of February. Although formerly known as the Old White Bear and Polars, that is so long in the past that this correspondent has only ever known it as Bar Fringe.

Finally we cross the street, passing the iconic Band On The Wall, to visit the Smithfield Market Tavern, formerly the Smithfield Hotel. In this instance your correspondent does remember it operating as a hotel. Blackjack Brewery took it over in 2020, modernised the interior and extended into next door, turning it into a modern styled bar. The beers however are still traditional with six handpulls (featuring Blackjack beers) along with ten keg beers for the modern among you.

This leaves us with a dilemma, travel home at the height of the rush hour, or visit an extra pub! Conveniently, on the walk back towards Piccadilly station, we pass the front door of the Castle Hotel on Oldham Street. This Robinsons pub is yet another Grade II listed building which goes back 200 years. Though a Robinsons house, it is one of their beer shrine outlets, and features some outside beers. The building, narrow at the front, goes back a long way, encompassing a back bar drinking room with a concert room to the rear. The ornate interior is on the Nationally Historic Pub Interior listing.

As said originally, this sortie covers a mere quarter of the Northern Quarter, so a second (or third) Northern Sixteenth wander is likely.

11:30am11:30am Meet Stockport Rail Station
11:33am11:47pm Northern all stations train terminating in Manchester Piccadilly
11:47am12:02pm Walk to Blossom Street
12:02pm1:15pm Edinburgh Castle17 Blossom Street, Manchester M4 5ANFood till 8pm
1:20pm2:30pm Crown and Kettle2 Oldham Road, Manchester M4 5FEFood till 8pm
2:40pm3:45pm Bar Fringe8 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JZ 
3:55pm5:00pm Smithfield Market Tavern37 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JZ 
 Additional extra if desired - Avoids travelling at the height of the rush hour
   Castle Hotel66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE 
  There are numerous travel options back to Stockport from Piccadilly, too many to list.



February Weekday Wander — Oldham
11:20 Tuesday 31st January, Stockport Rail Station

This month only three pubs are on the timetable as all are worth lingering in, however a fourth is suggested because it is in the National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. We can decide on the day.

The travel arrangements given is only one of many available. Tram connections can easily be made from Piccadilly to either St Peters Square [Altrincham or Eccles service] or Victoria [Bury service], also the connection can be made on foot. The important thing is to catch a Pink Line tram, destination variously Shaw & Crompton/Rochdale.

Until the opening of our two other venues, the Ashton Arms was probably Oldham town centre's premier outlet for real ale. Four to six real ales are usually on offer, but the pommeliers among the party may be disappointed. Housed in row of terraced buildings, but maybe not part of the terrace. The architecture does not match the buildings either side (see right), so is it an infill, or was it originally free standing with the adjacent buildings being erected later. Discuss. Whatever the answer inside is a welcoming pub, with real fires when required.

A short walk across town takes us to Tommyfield Market, sadly not the original building which was destroyed by a massive fire back in 5 October 1974. Here is an Oldham Times article on the fire and a YouTube film of the demolition. Oldham Council is now threatening to close the market and move the businesses down into the under-used Spindles Centre. In the meantime, let us enjoy the delights of the recently opened Cob and Coal with its six handpulls, plus a sprinkling of continental real ales. Pommeliers are also well catered for with upwards of four real ciders/perrys. No wonder it was CAMRA ROB's pub of the year, followed by it taking the Greater Manchester accolade. Though accommodated in a small unit, there is extensive 'outside', ie in the market hall, seating. On a side note, what does the Cob in the name refer to? If cob, as in bread roll/bun, what has this to do with coal? If used in the sense of a cob of coal, isn't that tautology? Further investigation required.

Another recent to the Oldham real ale scene is our third destination, the Fox and Pine, almost across the road (okay square) from the Ashton Arms, so a reversal of direction is required. With ten handpumps there must be something to suit everyone, without needing to trouble the five Bavarian Beer fonts. A dark beer is invariable on offer, and the house beer is advertised as Bass! No wonder it became CAMRA ROB's Pub Of The Year, succeeding its stablemate in 2022. The Fox & Pine is arranged on two floors, along with an outside drinking area which is unlikely to trouble us in February! The name is supposedly derived from the home town of the two owners, namely Leicester and Oldham. This confused me as Leicester City are known as The Foxes, but Oldham are known as The Latics, and the bird on their logo is an owl. Further investigation reveals that Oldham Athletic began with the founding of Pine Villa F.C. in 1895. Mystery solved.

With two pubs of the year on the outing, it was felt that adding a fourth wasn't so much adding icing to the cake, more putting the cherries on the icing! However the nearby Royal Oak Hotel a little way along Union Street would fit that bill as it is on the National Inventory of Pub Interiors. The drawback is it isn't a multi-ale house, simply serving Robinsons beer. It can be added either at the beginning or end and utilising the Mumps tram stop instead of Oldham Central.


11:20am11:25am Meet Stockport Rail Station
11:25am11:39pm East Midland train to Oxford Road - Note: express so does not call at Heaton Chapel
11:39am11:47pm Walk to St Peters Square
11:57am12:27pm Metro to Oldham Central Stop
12:30pm1:45pm Ashton Arms28 - 30 Clegg Street, Oldham OL1 1PLFood till 8pm
1:50pm3:25pm Cob & Coal TapUnits 12, Tommyfield Market, Albion Street, Oldham OL1 3BGOutlets in market
3:30pm4:45pm Fox & Pine18 Greaves Street, Oldham OL1 1AD 
4:55pm5:26pm Metro to St Peters Square
5:26pm5:34pm Walk to Oxford Road Station
5:39am5:57pm East Midland train to Stockport - Misses Heaton Chapel
 Additional extra if desired - above times can be adjusted or later departure (trams every 6-10 minutes)
   Royal Oak Hotel178 Union Street, Oldham OL1 1EN 


January Weekday Wander — Romiley
11:20 Wednesday 4th January, Stockport Bus Station

After getting over all the drunken debauchery of Christmas and New Year, this Weekday Wander will be a complete contrast, an afternoon out in four quiet local pubs.

We are starting in the picturesque village of Compstall at the Andrew Arms. Looking at it today, it is hard to believe Compstall was formerly a mill village, built by George Andrew in the 1820s to house his 800 workers. Many people visit the nearby Etherow Country Park to feed the ducks and stroll through the park, but most miss the Andrew Arms as it is tucked away 'around the back' out of view. Internally it is a cosy traditional pub serving good food, while outside (for warmer weather) there is an exquisite beer garden.

We now hop back on the bus, but this time the 383 back towards Romiley, alighting at the Duke of York at the other end of town. On entering you realise the Duke of York is a traditional village pub, having been built in 1786, some 35 years before the Andrew Arms! At this time of year we will probably be greeted by a roaring fire. There is a restaurant upstairs but meals can also be consumed downstairs [though some swift footwork will be required as last food order is at 2pm].

On leaving we trek back to the centre of town, and in around 5 minutes we will find Platform One, which in its former life was the Railway. The layout shouts at this being a former brewery owned pub which was re-opened in 2012 as a free house and wine bar. Again there is a restaurant upstairs (Platform 2) but food is also served in the bar. The occasional rumble you may hear isn't a starving local's stomach but the train passing overhead. If the Network Rail numbering convention adopted in the station were kept to, this establishment should really be called Platform Zero. If we have any devotees of the apple, real cider is available here.

Our final destination doesn't open until 3pm, so let us not rush the early part of the afternoon and end up having to await the door opening!. Another five minute walk along the street will bring us to Jake's Ale House. Should our party exceed a dozen, we will virtually fill what is a cosy micro-pub. Previously a shoe and clothing shop, the bar now ticks all the boxes by serving cask ale, craft keg, wines and spirits - so something for everyone. The real ales emphasise local suppliers where possible, and there can be up to five available.


11:20am11:25am Meet Stockport Bus Station, Heaton Lane
11:29am12:10pm Catch bus 384, Romiley Circular from Stand H3
12:15pm1:35pm Andrew ArmsGeorge Street, Compstall SK6 5JDFood till 2pm
1:40pm1:50pm Catch 383 bus towards Romiley
1:55pm2:55pm Duke Of YorkStockport Road, Romiley SK6 3ANFood till 2pm
3:00pm3:55pm Platform One6 Stockport Road, Romiley SK6 4BNFood
4:00pm5:05pm Jakes Ale House27 Compstall Road, Romiley SK6 4BT - Opens at 3pm 
 383 bus via Romiley back to Stockport
 The 384 via Marple can be used but takes 45minutes at 5:05 (5:49), 5:25 (6:09) and 5:45 (6:29)


December Weekday Wander — BOLTON
11:00 Tuesday 29th November, Stockport Rail Station

This Weekday Wander to Bolton has been shoehorned into the timetable because the convenient direct trains may or may not be on the new [December 11] timetable (this is being prepared before the timetable is announced). Not that there are going to be no trains to Bolton, but direct travel is in jeopardy, but connections will always be possible.

After a scenic stroll around and through some of the Victorian splendour of Bolton a.k.a. the Town Hall, Cenotaph, Library and Museum, we will take advantage of Tuesday being market day and visit One For The Road in the Market Hall. Opening hours are limited by the market, but these are still 9:30am to 5:30pm! Like many market hall outlets, seating is shared with neighbouring stalls, so can be busy at times. The advantage is, many of these are food stalls from such places as Malaysia and Cameroon, with more local Wigan pies and Bury Black puddings for the less adventurous.

On leaving we turn left and perambulating along Black Horse Street (passing the old bus station) the Hen and Chickens can be found on your right as you reach the Deansgate junction. This is a proper traditional town centre pub, which was much busier when the town's bus station stood across the road. Originally a two roomer, it has been made into a single room, but not barn like, and definite retaining its two sides.

While travelling to our next pub, time must be taken to salute Bolton's most famous celebrity. Who do I mean you ask. Samuel Crompton? Hylda Baker? William Lever? Sarah Cox? Ian McKellan? If I were to say "One mistake up here and it's half a day out with the undertaker!" would you know? As we will be passing, we must visit the statue erected to Fred Dibnah, along with a working steam engine [unfortunately powered by electricity — having someone permanently stoking the boiler would be very impractical!]

Next up we will be visiting the Olde Man and Scythe down by the Parish Church [with weather vanes repaired by Fred]. Reputedly the fourth oldest pub in Britain, but defiantly being around in the Civil War as it accommodated the 7th Earl of Derby's before he had a "little off the top" in 1651 outside the pub's doors. As you would expect from an old establishment, the floors are stone flagged and the inevitable wooden beams are low. Unfortunately the prices aren't in groats nor is the beer served in earthenware pots.

Heading back towards the station we have two options, both situated either side of Nelson Square, where, confusingly there is also a "spare" cenotaph which duplicates [in function not architecture] that seen earlier in Victoria Square opposite the Town Hall. You can't say that Bolton does things by half!

Option one is Bolton's Wetherspoon outlet, the Spinning Mule. This isn't named after some psychotic Equus asinus x caballus which is chasing its own tail, but a revolution in cotton manufacture invented by the aforementioned Samuel Crompton. There is no example of a typical factory mule internally [they could be up to 150 feet long by 5 foot travel!] but there is a statue of Samuel outside in Nelson Square.

Option two can't be entered before 4pm, but is very conveniently on the other side of the square. Northern Monkey Bar is associated with the brewery of the same name, so expect two of their beers, along with guests. Originally the Northern Monkey Brewery was housed in this former Italian restaurant but is now in a local industrial estate. The food on offer continues this link with its former incantation, being in the form of pizzas. If intending catching the 4:54pm train home this visit might need to be fleeting as you need to allow a good 15 minutes travel time because the Manchester bound platforms feel to be halfway back to Piccadilly.


11:00am11:10am Meet Stockport Rail Station
11:11am11:50am Catch Hazel Grove to Blackpool train [all station to Piccadilly]. Arrive Bolton 11:50
12noon1:00pm One For The RoadStalls F14, Ashburner Street Lifestyle Hall, Bolton BL1 1TJVarious
1:05pm2:00pm Hen & Chickens143 Deansgate, Bolton BL1 1EXPies
2:05pm2:10pm Fred DibnahOxford Street and Deansgate junction 
2:15pm3:45pm Olde Man & Scythe6-8 Churchgate, Bolton BL1 1HL 
two options
5:00pm Spinning MuleUnit 2, Nelson Square, Bolton BL1 1JTVarious
 Northern Monkey BarNelson Square, Bolton BL1 1AQPizza
5:10pm5:51pm Alderley Edge train, all stations Piccadilly to Stockport. Arrive Stockport 17:51
5:22pm6:01pm Hazel Grove train, all stations Piccadilly to Stockport. Arrive Stockport 18:01
5:55pm6:35pm Airport train to Piccadilly then express Cross Country to Bornmouth. Arrive Stockport 18:35


November Weekday Wander — Urmston
11:15 Wednesday 2nd November, Stockport Bus Station

Urmston can be reached by both bus and train, but the timings are such that there is little difference in journey times (but as Stagecoach will have introduced their £2 maximum fare the bus is cheaper!)

Our first port of call will be the Tim Bobbin, the outlet of JD Wetherspoon in Urmston. The building has an impressive façade, hinting at Art Nouveau and/or an institutional building, and was reportedly a former gas showroom. Food is available and, if you intend indulging in their meal plus a pint, don't rush to get your pint in before ordering your meal (unless you intend drinking two!)

Next door but three and we will be visiting the Prairie Schooner. It falls in to a twilight zone, though described as a micro bar, it is actually bigger than some proper pubs such as the Circus in Manchester. They champion LocAles so all the draught beers shouldn't be from afar, unlike the 200 plus bottles and cans which are sourced from all over the UK, the continent and America [I assume the US of A]. Lovers of whisky, gin and wine will also find something of interest.

Our next destination is the Steamhouse, who's name gives a hint at its former use. Was it a wash-house? Or maybe a Turkish sauna? No, the pub is located in what is described as the original (1872) railway station building. However, as it was rebuilt after years of neglect by Network Rail and the Railway Heritage Trust, it is a bit like Trigger's sweeping brush — original but with three new handles and two new heads!. As we are visiting on Wednesday food will be available and, should you wish to linger, poker will be played in the evening. Four ales should be on offer, but from national brewers as opposed to the Prairie Schooners local offering.

A short walk back towards Stretford (under 10 minutes) brings us to our final destination, the Lord Nelson.

Supposedly the Nellie has adorned Urmston since the time of the Battle of Trafalgar, in what is described as a French-style building. When Britain was still at war with Napoleon it is confusing why a French style was adopted, but why let logic get in the way of a good story. Whatever its history this Holts pub still serves its community well, with beer reputedly delivered in barrels at busy times. It is also one of a dwindling number which offer both mild and bitter, accompanied by another offering from Holts. Though usually quieter in the afternoons, however we may well see some people still engaged in what WhatPub describes as "Tuesday night features the extremely long running quiz".

Because the 23 bus passes through five traffic bottlenecks (Stretford, Chorlton, Princess Parkway, Didsbury and East Didsbury) those timed between 3:30pm and 5:00pm can take over an hour to make the journey, so delaying departure may get you to Stockport only a few minutes behind an earlier bus.

NOTE: On the day, because the Prairie Schooner opened late, and the Steamhouse had a limited beer range we had to change the sequence and also substituted the Barking Dog for the Steamhouse.


11:15am11:20am Meet in Stockport bus station on Heaton Lane at stand H2
11:20am12:12pm Bus 23 [for Trafford Centre] direct to Urmston. Passes through Didsbury around 11:35.
12:20pm1:55pm Tim Bobbins41 Flixton Road, Urmston M41 5ANFood
2:00pm2:55pm Prairie Schooner33 Flixton Road, Urmston M41 5AW  
3:00pm3:55pm SteamhouseStation Road, Urmston M41 9SBFood
4:10pm5:10pm Lord Nelson49 Stretford Road, Urmston M41 9LG 
 Bus 23 direct to Stockport.
 The later service take less time due to easing of rush hour.


October Weekday Wander — Rochdale
11:05 Tuesday 4 October from Stockport Rail Station

Rochdale is on the borderline of Weekday Wander or Saturday Day Out, there are enough outlets to make this into a ten pub outing, but the four we will visit were chosen to give a representative cross section. Travel from Stockport can be simplified by using a train direct to Salford Crescent then changing to the stopping train to Rochdale, with arrival being ten minutes later. Were we visiting on Wednesday real ales are £2.70 through much of this part of Rochdale!

Our first location, the Flying Horse Inn opposite the Town Hall, was Greater Manchester Pub Of The Year back in 2019 and will not disappoint. A multitude of ales are available along with honest, home cooked meals including, on my last visit, that fabled local delicacy, rag pudding! Look out for the meal deals and CAMRA discount. Another point of interest is the real log fires — but not today we hope!

The next obvious destination was Wetherspoon's Regal Moon, but as these Wanders are designed to encourage quiet conversation between the participants, and this pub is always busy and noisy, we are crossing the Esplanade [bit posh sounding for Rochdale] instead.

The Medicine Tap occupies the original Main Post Office building and is an impressive Portland Stone faced Edwardian building. It is owned and run by the Mighty Medicine Brewery from Whitworth so expect some of their beers being available. Along with inside drinking a large part of the Esplanade is cordoned off for outside drinking [weather permitting]. Food is also available (should the rag pudding not having filled you!) but expect a less traditional menu.

Wending or way round the modern shopping centre [there is probably a way through, but it is a little like a maze with many dead ends!] we enter a heritage area of Rochdale. The Baum is laid out in a way that is quite intimate, with bare wood floors and a traditional feel to it. For those still hungry food is served daily and is excellent quality at a reasonable price. Awards here go one better than Greater Manchester, as the Baum was the National Pub Of The Year in 2013. The nearby Rochdale Pioneers [the kernel of the Co-Op movement] museum is well worth a visit in its own respect, but not today.

Threading our way back through pedestrianised streets (keep an eye open for passing trams) towards the station we pass many other worthy bars before arriving at D'Ale House on Dale Street. Opened in 2021 in a converted shop it has already become a favourite destination. One Pictish and two Brightside beers are complimented by two other real ales along with others such as genuine German larger. Don't be upset if you look to have been served a short measure as lined glasses are used. Sorry if you are still peckish but there is no food available here. Cunningly we will exit through the back door, shortening the walk to the rail station by a few minutes.

There are several methods of returning home from Rochdale station including via Salford Crescent, travelling between Victoria and Piccadilly using a TPE train, a tram or simply walking. There is also the option of using the tram all the way back, especially to Didsbury, but takes around 1½ hours as opposed to about an hour.


11:05am11:14am Arrive Stockport Rail Station
11:14am11:23am Train Stockport to Piccadilly followed by tram Piccadilly (11:30) to Victoria (11:40) [times approximate]
11:55am12:11pm Train Victoria (platform 1 or 2) to Rochdale
12:11pm12:20pm Walk from rail station to first pub
12:20pm1:55pm Flying Horse Hotel37 Packer Street, Rochdale OL16 1NJYes
2:00pm2:55pm Medicine TapGround Floor, 2 The Esplanade, Rochdale OL16 1AEYes
3:00pm3:55pm Baum35 Toad Lane, Rochdale OL12 0NUYes
4:05pm5:00pm D'Ale House18 Drake Street, Rochdale OL16 1NT 
  Here are three options for return to Stockport
5:15pm6:13pm Train to Victoria (5:30) then 5:39 train to Piccadilly (5:49) then 6:01 train to Stockport (6:13)
5:19pm6:22pm 5:19 - 6:22 Train to Victoria (5:39) then 5:54 tram to Piccadilly (6:03) then 6:15 train to Stockport (6:22)
5:36pm6:51pm Train to Salford Crescent (6:01) then 6:22 train to Stockport (6:51)


September Weekday Wander — Marple & Marple Bridge
11:20am Wednesday 31 August 2022

This is another Weekday Wander which has been backed into a corner by the calendar — the first of the month is on Thursday and Monday is a Bank Holiday! Oh well se la vie.

Because of the later opening times of some of today's pubs, this entails a bit of toing and froing to fit them all in, so make sure you have a runabout bus ticket.

First off we will be travelling to Marple Bridge to the Norfolk Arms where, if they have re-stocked after the Bank Holiday weekend, food is available, but I'm intrigued why their webpage has a menu priced in US dollars! They have a varying range of beers on offer, with occasional 'eclectic' offerings as illustrated by a Facebook post of 30 June for Mystic Cherry beer from Belgium. Unfortunately we won't be staying late enough to take advantage of their Happy Hour as we need to double back up the hill to Marple.

On Market Street in Marple we will be calling in to the Samuel Oldknow. With six handpulls, one dedicated to Brightside and another to a dark beer there should be something for everyone. The premise isn't overlarge, so should we number twenty or more some may have to retire to the outdoor drinking area. For anyone still desiring food, there is an excellent Cambodian restaurant (it was the first in England) just around the corner on the main street.

Back on the bus again, this time travelling past the Norfolk Arms to alight at the stop labelled Northumberland Arms. We will however be diverting to the Spring Gardens first [saves crossing the road twice!]. Rescued from a period of closure, the smart, light and airy interior is extensive in size, so no exiling of people unless the party swells to fifty or more. For those who don't want to partake of traditional pub games, dominoes and cribbage, there is a room towards the rear which has a table football and a pinball machine.

Crossing the road we enter the Northumberland Arms, which is a complete contrast in decor. Several small areas branch off the bar, so again we may have to split up! Originally a Robinsons house, when facing closure, the local residents banded together and purchased it and now run it as a community pub. The beer is now anything but Robinsons, so expect the unexpected.

Now it is time to leave, and the two circular bus routes are timed to cross virtually outside. If anyone has a preference to complete the circle there is a bus at around 5:20pm to Stockport via Romiley. For those less fussy, and who wish to avoid crossing the road again, the Marple bound bus is timed at around 5:15pm


11:25am11:58am Bus 383 from stop G Mersey Square [on the rise up to St Peters Square] Stockport to Marple Bridge
11:59am1:00pm Norfolk Arms2 Town Street, Marple Bridge, SK6 5DSNoon - 9pm
1:09pm1:13pm 384 bus Marple Bridge back to Marple
1:15pm2:50pm Samuel Oldknow22 Market Street, Marple, SK6 7ADNo
2:58pm3:03pm Bus 383 from Marple to Spring Gardens/Northumberland Arms
3:05pm4:05pm Spring Gardens89 Compstall Road, Marple Bridge, SK6 5HENo
4:10pm5:10pm Northumberland Arms64 Compstall Road, Marple Bridge, SK6 5HDNo
 384 bus to Stockport via Marple or
 383 bus to Stockport via Romiley


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.


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.

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 
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.

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
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
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.
Bus 23 Chorlton to Stockport via Didsbury
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!

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!

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.

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.

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