THIS year's gin festival is in full swing at Bolton Town Hall where visitors have begun to try and taste their favourite tipples.

Around 200 residents turned out for the opening night of the Gin Society Festival on Friday to enjoy a range of dry, fruity and citrus varieties.

The second annual event continues on Saturday, with a special screening of the royal wedding to ensure visitors do not miss out on the celebrations.

More than 120 types of gin are available at the bars, which include British, world and cocktails among others.

Organiser Isabel Mourato said: "We had a really great first night.

"It is our second time in Bolton. We loved it last year so we decided to come back.

"We are loving the vibe. Everybody seems to be enjoying themselves.

"We aim to create a festival that is about drink — it is a boozy festival — but it is more about the experience. Visitors get to speak with staff. We have a big range of mixers, including rose lemonade and ginger ale. People can try and taste lots of flavours.

"One of my favourites is Gin 13 — in the world gins section. The whole ethos behind that drink is that you make your own luck."

The event also features masterclasses from distillers Kuro, Cuckoo Gin and Tarsier, who are sharing their skills, explaining which botanicals go best with each drink and talking to guests about where and how the gins are made.

New and unusual spirits are available at the Be Our Guest bar, where visitors can learn about the history of the drink.

Newcomers Tarsier, who are based in Styal, hosted a bar with their Southeast Asian gin. Described as a 'citrus forward gin, with spicy undertones', it contains Kampot pepper from Cambodia, Galangal from Indonesia, Kalamans from the Philippines, and Thai sweet basil.

Assistant distiller Neil Wall, aged 37, said: "We have had a really good uptake considering we are so new.

"We have a couple of nationwide distributors and the gin is available in 125 different bars and restaurants across the North West."

Rosh Kumar of British Gins said: "It has been really good so far.

"It is really nice when people are inquisitive.

"We have a range of sweet, dry, citrus and fruity gins including Brockmans, Mombasa and the coconut and grapefruit flavoured Hoxton gin."

On arrival, guests received a gin glass and brochure to guide them through the tasting experience.

DJ Sid provided a combination of blues, jazz, swing, mambo and RnB as the background to the event.

Friendly Lesley Jones and Joanne Bottomley, from Rochdale, and other work colleagues were among the visitors.

Ms Jones said: "We all like gin so this it was an excuse to come out with the girls.

"We've tried the Williams Chase and parma violet by Zymurgorium brewers.

"The bar staff we have spoken to are very knowledgeable."

While Amanda Ryder, aged 50 from Walkden, said: "I tried the Tarsier because it is a brand new one. It was lovely.

"It is a really nice atmosphere . It is a lovely building and setting for it."

There will be a screening of the royal wedding in a separate function room at the town hall on Saturday for festival-goers who want the best of world worlds.

The Saturday afternoon session runs between 12noon and 4.30pm, while the evening event will take place between 6pm and 10.30pm.

Tickets, costing £10, can be purchased on the door or online at All gins and tonics plus garnishes are priced at £5.