Bolton Centre

North West Manchester, 10 miles

Town centre, large and pedestrianised


image of bolton-centre

Get there


Bolton is a city… no, on paper it has no Royal Charter, it governs no religious region, and it’s authorities decided not to pursue city status. But it has football teams, slump streets, carnivals and a town hall. Bolton can not offer the resonance, history or future of, say, Bristol, Brighton, York or Cambridge, but has opportunity. There’s not much of the special, but there is good. One thing, the entire centre of Bolton is pedestrianised. Not an odd road, the entire centre—it’s eerie, and welcome. If it’s your thing, good buildings. And, in all Manchester, Bolton centre alone has not been crushed by a shopping mall. There’s the neat, mid‐size Bolton Market (Tues, Thurs, Fri & Sat). And then Bolton Museum. Small, but can you guess why Bolton has a connection to Egypt? This museum made me think again about how collections of exhibits can be presented—if the museum had been larger, I’d be recommending the museum supported by the centre, not the other way about. Also, in the basement of the museum, an aquarium—it’s a Bolton thing, ok? These aside, Bolton has no obvious tourist attraction yet, though offbeat, it’s an easy place to be.