Bolton (Halliwell), Greater Manchester:
Visited on: Thursday 23rd January 2020
When this micropub opened in the Halliwell district of Bolton in 2015 its founders, former teachers Darryl and Sarah Leach were told that it wouldn’t catch on in this mostly suburban residential area. Well the naysayers were proved wrong and it has thrived well. The pub is named after a character in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of being Earnest.
As I walked the short distance from the bus stop I could identify its location by the number of empty casks outside awaiting collection. Once inside the former shop I could see that it was long and narrow.
At the far end on the right I could see the bar counter. Also on the right side are a pair of low tables with an upholstered fitted bench type seat facing away from the wall.
Inside the window on the left of the entrance are two armchairs facing each other with a small round table between them. Next along the left side is a small table with a couple of wooden chairs.
After that there is a large area of shelving that contains a vast array of cans and bottles for consumption in the pub or to take away. This display faces the bar counter.
Where the bottle and can shelving finishes the bookshelves begin with a fine selection of beer related reading. There is a small room at the rear that looks very comfortable. It has colourful padded seats with lots of cushions and there are varnished wooden tables. In this room there is an old electronic arcade machine of the “Asteroids” type.
Cask beers on offer when I visited were Bad Co. (Dishforth, North Yorkshire) Pale Aura (3.8%); Beer Brothers (Preston, Lancashire) Stouty McStoutface (4.7%) and a collaboration from Strata (Whitworth, Greater Manchester) and Brewsmith (Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester): Esker (4.5%), described as a Winter session IPA.
Bunbury’s was Bolton CAMRA Pub of the Year in 2017, a testament to its excellence. It offers a full spirits range along with wines. There are also some “craft” keg beers on sale.
The pub is a lovely little addition to the area and is well worth a visit if you are around here.
Bunbury’s, 397 Chorley Old Road, Bolton BL1 6AH. Tel: 07952_344838. Web: bunburys.co.uk
Hours: Monday-Tuesday: 17.00-22.00; Wednesday-Thursday/Sunday: 13.00-22.00;
The pub is very easily reached on the 125 Gold bus route. This operates from Bolton Bus Station to Preston. This long route passes many interesting micropubs in Horwich, Chorley and Bamber Bridge.
At its busiest it runs every ten minutes Monday to Saturday. Reduced frequency on Sundays and evenings.
To get to the pub from Bolton alight at the Mowbray Street stop and walk forward for around 200 metres.
To return to Bolton, turn left out of the pub, walk 200 metres, cross over to the Merlin Grove bus stop.