Stockport & South Manchester

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Weekday Wander - Urmston

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Urmston can be reached by both bus and train, but the timings are such that there is little difference in journey times (but as Stagecoach will have introduced their £2 maximum fare the bus is cheaper!)

Our first port of call will be the Tim Bobbin, the outlet of JD Wetherspoon in Urmston. The building has an impressive façade, hinting at Art Nouveau and/or an institutional building, and was reportedly a former gas showroom. Food is available and, if you intend indulging in their meal plus a pint, don't rush to get your pint in before ordering your meal (unless you intend drinking two!)

Next door but three and we will be visiting the Prairie Schooner. It falls in to a twilight zone, though described as a micro bar, it is actually bigger than some proper pubs such as the Circus in Manchester. They champion LocAles so all the draught beers shouldn't be from afar, unlike the 200 plus bottles and cans which are sourced from all over the UK, the continent and America [I assume the US of A]. Lovers of whisky, gin and wine will also find something of interest.

Our next destination is the Steamhouse, who's name gives a hint at its former use. Was it a wash-house? Or maybe a Turkish sauna? No, the pub is located in what is described as the original (1872) railway station building. However, as it was rebuilt after years of neglect by Network Rail and the Railway Heritage Trust, it is a bit like Trigger's sweeping brush — original but with three new handles and two new heads!. As we are visiting on Wednesday food will be available and, should you wish to linger, poker will be played in the evening. Four ales should be on offer, but from national brewers as opposed to the Prairie Schooners local offering.

A short walk back towards Stretford (under 10 minutes) brings us to our final destination, the Lord Nelson.

Supposedly the Nellie has adorned Urmston since the time of the Battle of Trafalgar, in what is described as a French-style building. When Britain was still at war with Napoleon it is confusing why a French style was adopted, but why let logic get in the way of a good story. Whatever its history this Holts pub still serves its community well, with beer reputedly delivered in barrels at busy times. It is also one of a dwindling number which offer both mild and bitter, accompanied by another offering from Holts. Though usually quieter in the afternoons, however we may well see some people still engaged in what WhatPub describes as "Tuesday night features the extremely long running quiz".

Because the 23 bus passes through five traffic bottlenecks (Stretford, Chorlton, Princess Parkway, Didsbury and East Didsbury) those timed between 3:30pm and 5:00pm can take over an hour to make the journey, so delaying departure may get you to Stockport only a few minutes behind an earlier bus.

11:15am11:20amMeet in Stockport bus station on Heaton Lane at stand H2
11:20am12:12pmBus 23 [for Trafford Centre] direct to Urmston. Passes through Didsbury around 11:35.
12:20pm1:55pmTim Bobbins41 Flixton Road, Urmston M41 5ANFood
2:00pm2:55pmPrairie Schooner33 Flixton Road, Urmston M41 5AW
3:00pm3:55pmSteamhouseStation Road, Urmston M41 9SBFood
4:10pm5:10pmLord Nelson49 Stretford Road, Urmston M41 9LG
Bus 23 direct to Stockport.
The later service take less time due to easing of rush hour.

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