Stockport & South Manchester

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Weekday Wander - Rochdale

Tuesday 4 October 2022

Rochdale is on the borderline of Weekday Wander or Saturday Day Out, there are enough outlets to make this into a ten pub outing, but the four we will visit were chosen to give a representative cross section. Travel from Stockport can be simplified by using a train direct to Salford Crescent then changing to the stopping train to Rochdale, with arrival being ten minutes later. Were we visiting on Wednesday real ales are £2.70 through much of this part of Rochdale!

Our first location, the Flying Horse Inn opposite the Town Hall, was Greater Manchester Pub Of The Year back in 2019 and will not disappoint. A multitude of ales are available along with honest, home cooked meals including, on my last visit, that fabled local delicacy, rag pudding! Look out for the meal deals and CAMRA discount. Another point of interest is the real log fires — but not today we hope!

The next obvious destination was Wetherspoon's Regal Moon, but as these Wanders are designed to encourage quiet conversation between the participants, and this pub is always busy and noisy, we are crossing the Esplanade [bit posh sounding for Rochdale] instead.

The Medicine Tap occupies the original Main Post Office building and is an impressive Portland Stone faced Edwardian building. It is owned and run by the Mighty Medicine Brewery from Whitworth so expect some of their beers being available. Along with inside drinking a large part of the Esplanade is cordoned off for outside drinking [weather permitting]. Food is also available (should the rag pudding not having filled you!) but expect a less traditional menu.

Wending or way round the modern shopping centre [there is probably a way through, but it is a little like a maze with many dead ends!] we enter a heritage area of Rochdale. The Baum is laid out in a way that is quite intimate, with bare wood floors and a traditional feel to it. For those still hungry food is served daily and is excellent quality at a reasonable price. Awards here go one better than Greater Manchester, as the Baum was the National Pub Of The Year in 2013. The nearby Rochdale Pioneers [the kernel of the Co-Op movement] museum is well worth a visit in its own respect, but not today.

Threading our way back through pedestrianised streets (keep an eye open for passing trams) towards the station we pass many other worthy bars before arriving at D'Ale House on Dale Street. Opened in 2021 in a converted shop it has already become a favourite destination. One Pictish and two Brightside beers are complimented by two other real ales along with others such as genuine German larger. Don't be upset if you look to have been served a short measure as lined glasses are used. Sorry if you are still peckish but there is no food available here. Cunningly we will exit through the back door, shortening the walk to the rail station by a few minutes.

There are several methods of returning home from Rochdale station including via Salford Crescent, travelling between Victoria and Piccadilly using a TPE train, a tram or simply walking. There is also the option of using the tram all the way back, especially to Didsbury, but takes around 1¼ hours as opposed to about an hour.

11:05am11:14amArrive Stockport Rail Station
11:14am11:23amTrain Stockport to Piccadilly followed by tram Piccadilly (11:30) to Victoria (11:40) [times approximate]
11:55am12:11pmTrain Victoria (platform 1 or 2) to Rochdale
12:11pm12:20pmWalk from rail station to first pub
12:20pm1:55pmFlying Horse Hotel37 Packer Street, Rochdale OL16 1NJYes
2:00pm2:55pmMedicine TapGround Floor, 2 The Esplanade, Rochdale OL16 1AEYes
3:00pm3:55pmBaum35 Toad Lane, Rochdale OL12 0NUYes
4:05pm5:00pmD'Ale House18 Drake Street, Rochdale OL16 1NT
Here are three options for return to Stockport
5:15pm6:13pmTrain to Victoria (5:30) then 5:39 train to Piccadilly (5:49) then 6:01 train to Stockport (6:13)
5:19pm6:22pm5:19 - 6:22 Train to Victoria (5:39) then 5:54 tram to Piccadilly (6:03) then 6:15 train to Stockport (6:22)
5:36pm6:51pmTrain to Salford Crescent (6:01) then 6:22 train to Stockport (6:51)

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