Stockport & South Manchester

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Weekday Wander - Prestwich

Tuesday 3 October 2023 11:40

October Weekday Wander — Prestwich
11:40 Tuesday 3rd October, Manchester Victoria

This month's Weekday Wander heads north on the tram to visit Prestwich. Though this might sound like a cruel practice carried out on wise women of old the meaning is a little simpler. The prest of Prestwich is possibly from the Old English preost meaning priest with the wich being farm, village or home. This is rather ironic as seeing a priest nowadays would be a rarity as the area houses, combined with neighbouring Whitefield, Cheetham Hill, Crumpsall and Broughton Park, the second-largest Jewish community in the United Kingdom.

Unfortunately this Wander has a dearth of food outlets, but as a later than normal meeting is timetabled, hearty sustenance can be consumed prior to departure

Though advertised as 0_Mural-of-footballing-legends-Eric-Cantona-George-Best-Collin-Bell-Sergio-Aguero-and-Leah-Williams.jpg Prestwich, we will actually alight the tram at Besses o' th' Barn and walk a little south to visit the Coach & Horses. A good, friendly, Holts local which has three separate drinking areas served by a narrow bar. The snug serves as a library room. A true traditional pub which still retains darts and dominoes teams. Of note is the mural on the wall outside as shown left. In passing, Besses o' th' Barn was (supposedly) the only railway sign to use lower case letters in the days of steam as illustrated at

We now have a choice, return to Besses o' th' Barn and catch a tram or walk into Prestwich. The walk, weather permitting (in October!), will take 15 minutes while the tram could take 10 to 20 depending on whether a tram is just missed!

Our next stop, Keg, Cask & Bottle couldn't be a bigger contrast to the Coach & Horses had we organised a trip to the moon (well okay, not quite that big a contrast!) This micro-bar, housed in a shop premise in the Longfield Shopping Centre, is modern and, as the term implies, cosy. Though dominated by beer taps, draught ale is still available, along with many shelves of bottles and cans. Seating is limited so we may have to spill out on to the slojevi_ceste-768x604.jpg boulevard (well what do you call a walkway in a shopping precinct?). This is undercover so not too weather dependant (save for driving snow).

To reach our next venue we need to cross Bury New Road. Though this implies it is of more recent vintage then Bury Old Road, it is conjectured that Bury New Road actually lies on the line of the Manchester to Ribchester Roman Road (full account of the road). Having safely navigated crossing this VERY busy road we come to the Wine & Wallop. Another modern outlet which could be described as a pub, café or restaurant, and with much more space than across the road, so accommodation is no problem.

Around the corner ROB-729-24083-church-inn-prestwich.jpg and down the streets leads to the historic centre of Prestwich and the Ostrich Inn. What? I thought the next venue was the Church Inn. It is, and has been renamed more fittingly as it stands next to the parish church (or was Prestwich noted for flocks of Ostriches in times of old?) Internally the pub is divided in to a warren of low beamed rooms with plenty of space for us. In fact, if we don't all arrive together the vanguard could easily hide their whereabouts to the rear-guard.

When departing, there is an opportunity to visit an excellent food outlet. Being called Chips@No8 gives the fayre away. The attention to detail is such that, unlike most places where your fish of choice has to be ordered on entry, it feels like the request "A bag of chips" would be met with "Certainly, King Edwards? Maris Piper? Jersey Royal?"

Back to the tram ROB-271-17746-royal-oak-prestwich.jpg station and a short hop to the Heaton Park stop and just around the corner we espy the Royal Oak. Owned by Hydes, and a good example of the honest street corner pub and offering three of their range of beers. Consisting of three rooms, along with an outside drinking area (though probably not being first choice at 5pm in October!) As the tram is but a stones throw away, departure home is fluid.

The original idea was to visit the Railway and Naturalist because of its unusual name but unfortunately no cask ale. Here is a possible explanation of that name: In around 1880 the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway built a line which, in 1916 was an early example of green transport, being converted from steam to electric operation — this is the railway. Several locals are also noted for their writings about the fauna and flora in the area such as Richard Buxton, James Cosmo Melvill, Leo Grindon and Thomas Rogers — are these the Naturalists?

11:4011:45Meet at Manchester Victoria Station Rail Station
11:4812:15Bury bound tram alighting at Besses o' th' Barn
12:1513:30Coach & Horses71 Bury Old Road, Whitefield, M45 6TB 
13:3013:45Back to tram and travell to Prestwich OR walk (if weather clement?)
13:4514:00Call in nearby shop for food break
14:0015:00Keg, Cask & BottleUnit 7 Longfield Centre Prestwich, Prestwich, M25 1AYBelow
15:0016:00Wine & Wallop401-403 Bury New Road, Prestwich, M25 1AAYes
16:0016:45Church Inn40 Church Lane, Prestwich, M25 1AJ 
16:4517:00Tram Prestwich to Heaton Park
17:0017:45Royal Oak23-25 Whittaker Lane, Prestwich, M25 1HA 
17:4518:00Tram back to Manchester Victoria (tram every 6/7 minutes)

⇒ The Keg, Cask & Bottle is small so 'sittings' may be required. This could be an opportunity to visit nearby shops to pick up food if desired.

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