Photo: The Tudor House in Wigan. 
                               The Orwell                                                                    The Anvil                                                             The Tudor House  

When visiting Wigan, a big impression was left in my memory of the rivalry between rugby league and football fans, both teams playing at the DW Stadium, and I have been stunned when being congratulated by locals for beating their football team!  No doubt, years of surviving in the Premier Division will have encouraged many younger Wigan folk to follow the football, but this is historically a rugby league (Wigan Warriors) town. 


The other impression, for me, being heavily influenced years ago by George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, is the canal-side The Orwell at Wigan Pier, Wallgate, WN3 4EU (01942 242456), an 1877 warehouse, which was rebuilt and converted to a pub in 1984, another milestone year for people who have read Orwell.  The Orwell is a large establishment situated by the canal side at Wigan Pier selling a changing range of real ales, and a particularly favourite memory I have is of drinking Slater’s Original before and after a match at the JJB Stadium, then being congratulated by locals all the way back to Manchester, where I changed trains.


The Orwell sells good ales, food from midday 7 days a week, has a beer garden, shows live sports on plasma screens and, handily, is on the way to the stadium from the centre of town and stations.  The Orwell is a very pleasant place to visit before and/or after going to the stadium, indeed, is large enough to have function facilities for nearly 400 people in total, at any one time, in 2 different areas of the building, for weddings, parties and other occasions.


Of course, there are other good public houses to visit in Wigan, including The Anvil, Dorning Street, WN1 1ND (01942 239444), which sells 6 ales from handpumps, including beer supplied by the nearby AllGates Brewery, 6 continental beers on draught and many bottled beers too.  The Anvil is a very popular town centre pub, in particular on match days, next to the bus station and close to the railway stations, and with a heated outside terrace. 


The Tudor House Hotel, New Market Street, WN1 1SE (01942 700296) is also a CAMRA recommendation.  The ale range varies at the Tudor House and it is reported to sell "reasonably priced food." The pub has two beer gardens. 

                          The Berkeley                                                                The Royal Oak                                                     The Moon Under Water     


Opposite Wallgate Station is The Berkeley, 27-29 Wallgate, WN1 1LD (01942 242041), a former coaching house, which has a very friendly welcome, indeed, a pub where we have been congratulated, in the past, on beating Wigan, the football club.  At least three real ales are on offer, usually including at least one from nearby Prospect Brewery, and food is served every day until 7pm.


A few doors along the road is The Boulevard, 17-19 Wallgate, WN1 1LD (01942 497165), which also provides a good range of ales, usually including beers from AllGates and Prospect breweries and a cider.  This is a cellar bar, bigger than you may expect, that has a large back room where live music is on offer on Fridays and Saturdays.


Another brewery ‘tap’ is The Royal Oak, Standishgate, WN1  1XL (01942 323137), which sells cask ales from Mayflower Brewery, continental draught beers, and a good selection of bottled beers.  The Royal Oak is a good-looking early 17th century listed building, with a number of separate rooms and a pleasant beer garden.


Finally, if you want to visit a Weatherspoons, there is one in Wigan that is listed in CAMRA’s 2011 Good Beer Guide, The Moon Under Water, 5-7a Market Place, WN1 1PE (01942 323437).  You know what to expect in a Weatherspoons house, including beers from local microbreweries, so expect this to be busy as this is where you will be able to buy cheap food.