Middlebrook Retail Park

West Bolton, 4 miles

Huge retail and leisure park


image of middlebrook-retail-park

Get there

Public transport: Many buses from Bolton and elsewhere, from road 5 mins.‘Horwich Parkway’ train station 5 mins. Private transport: over 3000 parking spaces, no charge.


Middlebrook must be one of the quietest developments in the world—it’s not well‐known in Greater Manchester. Reasons? It’s out‐of‐town, in what was mostly farmland, and developed in phases. If you wonder why it’s immense, it’s planted on the M61 motorway between Wigan and it’s‐not‐a‐city Bolton. Contents? A retail park, cinema and other amusements, cafés, two hotels, a sports and leisure complex, a police station, Bolton Wanderers football stadium, a chunk of University and a train station. The retail park… unreliable figures say it’s the largest in the UK. An outdoor shopping area centred on a rectangular half‐mile of parking. Round that a ‘U’ of big‐box stores, near‐all the same, all of them three times the size of other stores. Amusing map, because you can see everything from the carpark. Every high‐street brand. Only thing to do is shop, maybe eat lunch then go to the cinema. Middlebrook’s appeal is it’s size and ease of use, especially by car. Unreliable footfall figure: 12.5 million—a day out fit for a city.