Revealed: The 6 best pubs in Bolton (according to CAMRA)

Revealed: The 6 best pubs in Bolton (according to CAMRA)

The House Without a Name in Harwood

The Bowling Green in Horwich

The Crown in Horwich

The Dunscar Arms in Egerton

The Bank Top Brewery Tap in Sharples

The Victoria and Albert in Horwich

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , business editor

BOLTON’S real ale pubs will go head-to-head on Wednesday night for the title of the best in town.

Six have been shortlisted for the crown of pub of the year by the Bolton branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).


The shortlist:

  • The Bank Top Brewery Tap (Sharples)
  • The Dunscar Arms (Egerton)
  • House Without a Name (Harwood)
  • The Bowling Green (Horwich)
  • The Crown (Horwich)
  • The Victoria and Albert (Horwich)

CAMRA members will cast their votes when they meet at the Spinning Mule in Nelson Square at 8.15pm.

Landlord of Horwich’s Victoria and Albert pub in Lee Lane, Dave Pawson, is vying for his third consecutive Bolton pub of the year title.

“I think we have been so successful because we are a free house,” said Mr Pawson, aged 40.

“Real ale drinkers are getting beer no-one else gets – from micro breweries within a 15 to 20-mile radius of Bolton to beers from across the UK from places like Scotland and the Shetland Islands. We have seven casks on at once.”

The Victoria and Albert also finished third in the equivalent CAMRA award for Greater Manchester last year.

One of the V&A’s arch rivals is the Brewery Tap in Belmont Road at Astley Bridge one of two pubs in the Bolton area now run by the Bank Top brewery.


MORE:


Bank Top boss Dave Sweeney said the pub’s nomination was evidence the micro brewery’s mission statement was working.

“Our aim was to create a pub for the locals for quality, affordable drinking,” he said.

“We want to bring back the community spirit in to pubs and to stop the unnecessary distraction of big screen TVs, gaming machines and juke boxes – a return to the pub as a place of conversation.

“I am sure the other pubs shortlisted are worthy of nomination.”

Other pubs up for the award include two other Horwich pubs – the Bowling Green in Lee lane and the Crown Hotel.

The Dunscar Arms in Darwen Road, Egerton and the House Without a Name in Harwood have also been nominated.

Do you agree with CAMRA's shortlist? What do you think is the best pub in Bolton? Tell us in the comments section below.

Comments (25)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:09pm Tue 25 Feb 14

steveG says...

We are very lucky to have a large number of great real ale pubs in the Bolton area - other great pubs,not on the shortlist include the ale house Horwich,little cocker in doffcocker,pack horse affetside,Bob smithy and countless others.
We are very lucky to have a large number of great real ale pubs in the Bolton area - other great pubs,not on the shortlist include the ale house Horwich,little cocker in doffcocker,pack horse affetside,Bob smithy and countless others. steveG
  • Score: 19

5:36pm Tue 25 Feb 14

AndyMorton says...

We are lucky to have pubs left they all being shut down
We are lucky to have pubs left they all being shut down AndyMorton
  • Score: 26

5:39pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Wolfie190 says...

Meeting in the Spinning Mule that tells you everything. About ten real ales on all for £1.99 bound to be one of your favourites on or some other very nice real ales.
Meeting in the Spinning Mule that tells you everything. About ten real ales on all for £1.99 bound to be one of your favourites on or some other very nice real ales. Wolfie190
  • Score: 8

6:18pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Reality50 says...

None in my area of Farnworth would get in the top 100.
None in my area of Farnworth would get in the top 100. Reality50
  • Score: 8

6:31pm Tue 25 Feb 14

am2916 says...

Can't believe the Dunscar Arms has been nominated It's always dead in there
Can't believe the Dunscar Arms has been nominated It's always dead in there am2916
  • Score: 4

8:23pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Count de Monet says...

am2916 wrote:
Can't believe the Dunscar Arms has been nominated It's always dead in there
What's the cask beer like?
[quote][p][bold]am2916[/bold] wrote: Can't believe the Dunscar Arms has been nominated It's always dead in there[/p][/quote]What's the cask beer like? Count de Monet
  • Score: 3

8:57pm Tue 25 Feb 14

The Priceshagger says...

The Dunscar Arms isn't in Egerton, it is in Dunscar.
The Dunscar Arms isn't in Egerton, it is in Dunscar. The Priceshagger
  • Score: 8

9:05pm Tue 25 Feb 14

wsw69 says...

The Priceshagger wrote:
The Dunscar Arms isn't in Egerton, it is in Dunscar.
Stole my thunder - lol. The clue is in the name of the pub, always has been.
[quote][p][bold]The Priceshagger[/bold] wrote: The Dunscar Arms isn't in Egerton, it is in Dunscar.[/p][/quote]Stole my thunder - lol. The clue is in the name of the pub, always has been. wsw69
  • Score: 7

9:07pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Jim271 says...

Halliwell Road has 5 pubs left, used to be 14
Halliwell Road has 5 pubs left, used to be 14 Jim271
  • Score: 4

9:45pm Tue 25 Feb 14

I, Ludicrous says...

The No Name really should put TT Landlord back on. Give punters a premium ale option even if it does cost more. Absolutely stunned that Bob's Smithy isn't among the six. Lovely pub, fantastic ale.
The No Name really should put TT Landlord back on. Give punters a premium ale option even if it does cost more. Absolutely stunned that Bob's Smithy isn't among the six. Lovely pub, fantastic ale. I, Ludicrous
  • Score: 2

9:50pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Bilulek says...

Dunscar Arms??? Best pub? Heheh would certainly win for the most empty one. Only proves this whole thing is a joke
Dunscar Arms??? Best pub? Heheh would certainly win for the most empty one. Only proves this whole thing is a joke Bilulek
  • Score: 8

10:26pm Tue 25 Feb 14

BWFC71 says...

Doesn't matter on how full or hoe popular a bar is its about the choice of the ales, the price a pint and how consistent the temperature is.

A bar could be only open 1 night a week and still win because its about the beer ONLY!

As for meeting in The Spinning Mule - it is independent and as such less chance of corrupting the final vote! If it was to be held in one of the bars then there would be screams of the vote being fixed!!!

My own personal choice would have to be The Tap on Belmont road - mainly because I do like the majority of the Bank Top beers!
Doesn't matter on how full or hoe popular a bar is its about the choice of the ales, the price a pint and how consistent the temperature is. A bar could be only open 1 night a week and still win because its about the beer ONLY! As for meeting in The Spinning Mule - it is independent and as such less chance of corrupting the final vote! If it was to be held in one of the bars then there would be screams of the vote being fixed!!! My own personal choice would have to be The Tap on Belmont road - mainly because I do like the majority of the Bank Top beers! BWFC71
  • Score: 2

8:39am Wed 26 Feb 14

gjh1980 says...

Sweet Green Tavern would have been worthy of a nomination in my eyes. Always a good varied selection of ales on from various breweries and always in good condition.
Sweet Green Tavern would have been worthy of a nomination in my eyes. Always a good varied selection of ales on from various breweries and always in good condition. gjh1980
  • Score: 6

9:42am Wed 26 Feb 14

I, Ludicrous says...

@BWFC71. I agree that The Tap is a cracking pub, however, as much as I enjoy Bank Top's ales I struggle to tell one from another.
@BWFC71. I agree that The Tap is a cracking pub, however, as much as I enjoy Bank Top's ales I struggle to tell one from another. I, Ludicrous
  • Score: 4

9:57am Wed 26 Feb 14

wild one says...

The flea pit in horwich is one of my favorites first class ales from the moorhouse range.
The flea pit in horwich is one of my favorites first class ales from the moorhouse range. wild one
  • Score: 2

10:03am Wed 26 Feb 14

Stan1966 says...

Some good pubs on the list, my views for what they are worth:

Brewery Tap - great example of a traditional local - well kept beers from Bank Top and a guest brewery, real cider and good range of foreign beers. Good atmosphere, no distractions from jukebox / TV or gaming machines.

Dunscar Arms - welcoming pub, great for a quiet pint. Usually a couple of cask ales in good condition.

No Name - Characterful pub, good to see it doing well. Good ale, usually 3 permanent beers and 3 guest beers.

Bowling Green - several ales that are well kept. Good mix of clientele, seperate drinking areas.

The Crown - large Holts pub with several beers including cask mild. Despite the size it never seems to feel empty; always seems to be something going on but you can always find a quiet corner if that's your preference.

Victoria and Albert - modern decor and well kept beer. Gets busy at times. Supposedly the brewery tap for Black Edge but the Black Edge beer was £3 a pint on Saturday, which is pricey for a tap. Good range of beers.

Obviously everyone has their own opinion on pubs, but don't forget that local members of CAMRA have come up with this list. If you disagree, join up and join in!

Long live the pub!
Some good pubs on the list, my views for what they are worth: Brewery Tap - great example of a traditional local - well kept beers from Bank Top and a guest brewery, real cider and good range of foreign beers. Good atmosphere, no distractions from jukebox / TV or gaming machines. Dunscar Arms - welcoming pub, great for a quiet pint. Usually a couple of cask ales in good condition. No Name - Characterful pub, good to see it doing well. Good ale, usually 3 permanent beers and 3 guest beers. Bowling Green - several ales that are well kept. Good mix of clientele, seperate drinking areas. The Crown - large Holts pub with several beers including cask mild. Despite the size it never seems to feel empty; always seems to be something going on but you can always find a quiet corner if that's your preference. Victoria and Albert - modern decor and well kept beer. Gets busy at times. Supposedly the brewery tap for Black Edge but the Black Edge beer was £3 a pint on Saturday, which is pricey for a tap. Good range of beers. Obviously everyone has their own opinion on pubs, but don't forget that local members of CAMRA have come up with this list. If you disagree, join up and join in! Long live the pub! Stan1966
  • Score: 6

10:08am Wed 26 Feb 14

Wolfie190 says...

gjh1980 wrote:
Sweet Green Tavern would have been worthy of a nomination in my eyes. Always a good varied selection of ales on from various breweries and always in good condition.
Yes but at £3.00 a pint its a third more expensive than wetherspoons and had my worst pint of real ale ever in there the other Sunday. Its a proper pub though but £18.00 for six pints sack that!
[quote][p][bold]gjh1980[/bold] wrote: Sweet Green Tavern would have been worthy of a nomination in my eyes. Always a good varied selection of ales on from various breweries and always in good condition.[/p][/quote]Yes but at £3.00 a pint its a third more expensive than wetherspoons and had my worst pint of real ale ever in there the other Sunday. Its a proper pub though but £18.00 for six pints sack that! Wolfie190
  • Score: 5

10:36am Wed 26 Feb 14

I, Ludicrous says...

Not been in for a good while but The Flag up at Bromley Cross always used to have a cracking selection of quality guest ales. Have they let it slip?
Not been in for a good while but The Flag up at Bromley Cross always used to have a cracking selection of quality guest ales. Have they let it slip? I, Ludicrous
  • Score: 1

12:02pm Wed 26 Feb 14

janpb says...

The Fox and Stork on Halliwell Rd has a great selection of cask ales and at the moment is the only one on the road serving cask. This pub has been dragged kicking and screaming back to life after becoming extremely run down and unloved. It is now finally becoming the true family friendly, community spirited, local pub that it once was and deserves to be.
The Fox and Stork on Halliwell Rd has a great selection of cask ales and at the moment is the only one on the road serving cask. This pub has been dragged kicking and screaming back to life after becoming extremely run down and unloved. It is now finally becoming the true family friendly, community spirited, local pub that it once was and deserves to be. janpb
  • Score: 3

12:04pm Wed 26 Feb 14

janpb says...

Jim271 wrote:
Halliwell Road has 5 pubs left, used to be 14
Hi Jim271. Sadly you are right about Halliwell road however The Fox and Stork has been resurrected and now serves quality cask ales.
[quote][p][bold]Jim271[/bold] wrote: Halliwell Road has 5 pubs left, used to be 14[/p][/quote]Hi Jim271. Sadly you are right about Halliwell road however The Fox and Stork has been resurrected and now serves quality cask ales. janpb
  • Score: 1

1:36pm Wed 26 Feb 14

MESmith says...

Jim271 wrote:
Halliwell Road has 5 pubs left, used to be 14
The Ainsworth Arms is reopening. Used to be a nice and friendly good pub when Tony ran it and served good ales. Hopefully it will come back and become a good ale pub again.
[quote][p][bold]Jim271[/bold] wrote: Halliwell Road has 5 pubs left, used to be 14[/p][/quote]The Ainsworth Arms is reopening. Used to be a nice and friendly good pub when Tony ran it and served good ales. Hopefully it will come back and become a good ale pub again. MESmith
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Wed 26 Feb 14

MESmith says...

I, Ludicrous wrote:
@BWFC71. I agree that The Tap is a cracking pub, however, as much as I enjoy Bank Top's ales I struggle to tell one from another.
The Tap is the best ale pub . Cheap and very good ales. Taste the same?? Slapper, Blonde and Pavilion: three totally different tasting ales. You need to go more often!
[quote][p][bold]I, Ludicrous[/bold] wrote: @BWFC71. I agree that The Tap is a cracking pub, however, as much as I enjoy Bank Top's ales I struggle to tell one from another.[/p][/quote]The Tap is the best ale pub [ along with BT's Ale House, too new to be listed?]. Cheap and very good ales. Taste the same?? Slapper, Blonde and Pavilion: three totally different tasting ales. You need to go more often! MESmith
  • Score: 3

2:39pm Wed 26 Feb 14

I, Ludicrous says...

MESmith wrote:
I, Ludicrous wrote:
@BWFC71. I agree that The Tap is a cracking pub, however, as much as I enjoy Bank Top's ales I struggle to tell one from another.
The Tap is the best ale pub . Cheap and very good ales. Taste the same?? Slapper, Blonde and Pavilion: three totally different tasting ales. You need to go more often!
I think you might be right :-)

Regarding The Ainsworth reopening, Tony Bretherton used to serve the best pint of Landlord I think I've ever tasted. Sorely missed.
[quote][p][bold]MESmith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]I, Ludicrous[/bold] wrote: @BWFC71. I agree that The Tap is a cracking pub, however, as much as I enjoy Bank Top's ales I struggle to tell one from another.[/p][/quote]The Tap is the best ale pub [ along with BT's Ale House, too new to be listed?]. Cheap and very good ales. Taste the same?? Slapper, Blonde and Pavilion: three totally different tasting ales. You need to go more often![/p][/quote]I think you might be right :-) Regarding The Ainsworth reopening, Tony Bretherton used to serve the best pint of Landlord I think I've ever tasted. Sorely missed. I, Ludicrous
  • Score: 1

3:24pm Wed 26 Feb 14

MESmith says...

I, Ludicrous wrote:
MESmith wrote:
I, Ludicrous wrote: @BWFC71. I agree that The Tap is a cracking pub, however, as much as I enjoy Bank Top's ales I struggle to tell one from another.
The Tap is the best ale pub . Cheap and very good ales. Taste the same?? Slapper, Blonde and Pavilion: three totally different tasting ales. You need to go more often!
I think you might be right :-) Regarding The Ainsworth reopening, Tony Bretherton used to serve the best pint of Landlord I think I've ever tasted. Sorely missed.
You are right, he certainly did. I haven't had as good a pint of Landlord anywhere since he left. And that includes at the Wooly Sheep in Skipton and The Town Hall Tavern in Leeds. I hope he is enjoying his retirement ! Back to Bank Top; the Ale House in Horwich is as good as the Tap but probably too new to get on the shortlist.
[quote][p][bold]I, Ludicrous[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MESmith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]I, Ludicrous[/bold] wrote: @BWFC71. I agree that The Tap is a cracking pub, however, as much as I enjoy Bank Top's ales I struggle to tell one from another.[/p][/quote]The Tap is the best ale pub [ along with BT's Ale House, too new to be listed?]. Cheap and very good ales. Taste the same?? Slapper, Blonde and Pavilion: three totally different tasting ales. You need to go more often![/p][/quote]I think you might be right :-) Regarding The Ainsworth reopening, Tony Bretherton used to serve the best pint of Landlord I think I've ever tasted. Sorely missed.[/p][/quote]You are right, he certainly did. I haven't had as good a pint of Landlord anywhere since he left. And that includes at the Wooly Sheep in Skipton and The Town Hall Tavern in Leeds. I hope he is enjoying his retirement ! Back to Bank Top; the Ale House in Horwich is as good as the Tap but probably too new to get on the shortlist. MESmith
  • Score: 2

4:01pm Wed 26 Feb 14

gjh1980 says...

MESmith wrote:
I, Ludicrous wrote:
MESmith wrote:
I, Ludicrous wrote: @BWFC71. I agree that The Tap is a cracking pub, however, as much as I enjoy Bank Top's ales I struggle to tell one from another.
The Tap is the best ale pub . Cheap and very good ales. Taste the same?? Slapper, Blonde and Pavilion: three totally different tasting ales. You need to go more often!
I think you might be right :-) Regarding The Ainsworth reopening, Tony Bretherton used to serve the best pint of Landlord I think I've ever tasted. Sorely missed.
You are right, he certainly did. I haven't had as good a pint of Landlord anywhere since he left. And that includes at the Wooly Sheep in Skipton and The Town Hall Tavern in Leeds. I hope he is enjoying his retirement ! Back to Bank Top; the Ale House in Horwich is as good as the Tap but probably too new to get on the shortlist.
I heard from a couple of different people the Ainsworth had been bought by Dunscar Bridge Brewery and is being opened as its Tap Pub.
[quote][p][bold]MESmith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]I, Ludicrous[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MESmith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]I, Ludicrous[/bold] wrote: @BWFC71. I agree that The Tap is a cracking pub, however, as much as I enjoy Bank Top's ales I struggle to tell one from another.[/p][/quote]The Tap is the best ale pub [ along with BT's Ale House, too new to be listed?]. Cheap and very good ales. Taste the same?? Slapper, Blonde and Pavilion: three totally different tasting ales. You need to go more often![/p][/quote]I think you might be right :-) Regarding The Ainsworth reopening, Tony Bretherton used to serve the best pint of Landlord I think I've ever tasted. Sorely missed.[/p][/quote]You are right, he certainly did. I haven't had as good a pint of Landlord anywhere since he left. And that includes at the Wooly Sheep in Skipton and The Town Hall Tavern in Leeds. I hope he is enjoying his retirement ! Back to Bank Top; the Ale House in Horwich is as good as the Tap but probably too new to get on the shortlist.[/p][/quote]I heard from a couple of different people the Ainsworth had been bought by Dunscar Bridge Brewery and is being opened as its Tap Pub. gjh1980
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree