LEIGH WEAVES ITS MAGIC

My last Beer Guide entry for Greater Manchester was in Leigh.  I always save the best Manc tick till last, except for the time I had to go to Walkden.

Leigh doesn’t make a natural weekend break, but while Mitchells & Butler ran their Innkeepers Lodge in Lowton at bargain rates (£59.90 for 3 nights including breakfast) we often stayed close enough to do it justice.

I can recommend it purely on the basis of Pennington Flash, even for non twitchers.  It’s one of Wigan’s endless supply of great country parks, with a surprising feel of wilderness and a complete lack of real ale nearby, though the Nevison puts it on in the Summer.

Acknowledgement – Wigan World

Leigh itself has more modest attractions, more than enough redbrick buildings for a decent stroll, and a small art gallery that makes an effort.

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I made my usual request to nose around the town hall too; some attractive windows but better on the outside.  As was the imposing parish church.

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There’s some stately pubs across the road from the church, notably the red brick Boar’s Head, whose Walker’s livery may invoke nostalgia among some Woolybacks.

I found this place more than a bit “lively” a few years back, but it’s recently changed ownership and gone family-friendly (apparently).

Just as cosy is the White Lion, Leigh’s premier real ale pub, with bargain Allgates and a superb interior.

White Lion - Leigh, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
White Lion Photo – Tony P, Wigan

The George and Dragon had the now standard bargain beer (a half of Blond Witch was £1.05, NBSS 3), an interior closer to Last Orders than Boar’s Head, and a dozen TV tuned in to the Budget Cheltenham horseracing.

 

This was my ninth Beer Guide pub hereover the years, and one of the best.  It was refreshing to see a pub so busy mid-week, helped by prices on a par with a decent Spoons and a great atmosphere.

A decade ago the Musketeer became Manchester’s Pub of the Year before some unfortunate changes.  It would be great to see a proper community local like the George & Dragon win wider plaudits, but I doubt it needs them.

 

Add in the Spoons and you have four good pubs in a row serving decent beer in decent buildings at close to £2 a pint. It’ll never catch on.

 

NB As one of the largest towns without a station, the investment to at least improve the bus route into Manchester is long overdue.  Can’t find much out about it on TfGM website though.

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