A former mill town in north-west England, Bolton is dotted with cultural venues, country parks, museums and Victorian Gothic architecture. Bolton also offers a fascinating look at a centuries-old textile town founded by Flemish weavers.
Things to do in Bolton
Visit the Bolton Museum, Aquarium and Archive under one roof. Stop by for a deep-dive into regional history and achievements in displays of botany, zoology, archaeology and Egyptology. Visit two art galleries on the lower floor, then explore marine life at the centre’s renowned aquarium.
Marvel at the working steam mill engines at Bolton Steam Museum, then discover 12 “sites of interest” on the Industrial Heritage Town Centre Walking Trail. You’ll wind through canals, railways, coal sites and former cotton gins that contributed to Britain’s Industrial Revolution.
Nature awaits at Moses Gate Country Park, a nature reserve with walking, cycle and horseback riding trails through picturesque woodlands. Three picturesque lakes offer opportunities for fishing, canoeing and viewing migratory birds. Travelling with the family? Visit the petting zoo at Smithills Open Farm, which also operates a bouncy castle and adventure playground.
Pop into the 19th-century Bolton Parish Church to view intricate stained-glass windows and carved woodwork, then sample local brews at Bank Top Brewery. In the evening, take your pick from several performing arts theatres, including the Octagon and the Phoenix Theatre Company Check the schedule for ballet performances, plays, music concerts, opera shows and community theatre.
Getting around Bolton
Buses and taxis operate throughout Bolton’s town centre. You can rent a car at Manchester Airport, about a 30-minute drive from Bolton.