Pub Curmudgeon has been exploring Britain’s real ale deserts on his blog. It’s a good read, and like him, I’d rather see a busy keg pub providing an essential service to old folk than an empty ale emporium.

Westhoughton is one of those suburbs of Bolton (or Wigan) that in my mind I’d expect to have lost most of its cask in the last 30 years.  It’s a one street town which looks to Horwich as much as Bolton or Wigan for it’s shopping, but remains well-pubbed and retains some lovely red brick edifices.

The keg pubs aren’t reported on What Pub (yet), but a look at the cask pubs is a bit of a revelation. There’s actually a good, and increasing range of cask outlets, though nothing in the Beer Guide this year. Provenance offers scallops and apple torched cauliflower, the Fat Pig a £55 mixed grill, and new micro Beer School provides an arty blackboard.

In the rain, it didn’t feel like a town experiencing a beery renaissance, but then Mansfield surprised me a year ago.  I wondered what the good folk packing out the Wetherspoons on Saturday morning thought of it all.



I didn’t actually ask them; they were too focussed on their 3rd pint of Guinness. Even I couldn’t face a 10am pint of Lytham Stout, though one chap had a pint and a half of it.  I always admire people who buy two drinks for themselves at the same time.

If I’m honest, I only stopped here for the magnificent Eggs Benedict , and to revisit one of my favourite houses.  Even in the rain, this place on Victoria Street )Below) is quite stunning, particularly with a little dusting of snow. A bit too big for Mrs RM though.



  1. Westhoughton is Bolton, though probably has a relationship akin to Leigh vs Wigan. I used to work in Westhoughton, their shopping plaza where Gee Tees is was always referred to as “Little Middlebrook”

    Always quite like the Robert Shaw, if you’re ever in Leigh check out the Tommy Burke.


  2. I have only done four pubs in Westhoughton which is a pretty poor show from me,but i did get two Joseph Holts tied houses done which is the reason for going there.
    Hindley 8 done
    Wigan 21 done
    Leigh 18 with 11 keg only this was the Greater Manchester crawl that broke the camels back,i did it on 1st October 2005 and have only been back to anywhere in Greater Manchester three times and not on pub crawls,but i did do a couple of pubs on each visit.


      1. I had done most of them,i wrote a letter to the brewery way back in about 1986 and they kindly sent me a two page A4 list of their managed tied houses and tennented houses 90 in all i was missing 3 off that list,but since then they have got more pubs and i have done 113 of them,but still not all and have not done a proper look at their tied estate for a few years.


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