Thousands of people  flocked to Bolton over the bank holiday to watch chefs cook up a storm and sample plenty of food and drink.

Bolton Food and Drink Festival 2022 was once again a huge success.

The town centre was buzzing with excitement as residents and visitors from across the country came to Bolton to enjoy a range of food and drinks, as well as meet celebrity chefs including Michael Caines, The Hairy Bikers, Ainsley Harriott and James Martin.

And Bolton Council are already cooking up ideas for next year's three day extravaganza.

The Bolton News: Bolton Food and Drink Festival 2022Bolton Food and Drink Festival 2022

Bolton Council Leader, Martyn Cox  said: "It was brilliant wasn't it, it was just superb.

"It has been a triumph really, we had some great weather but that's nothing if you don't put on a good show and I think we really, well the team, surpassed themselves this year.

"I haven't got the numbers yet but we are expecting it to be 400,000 plus at least that attended.

"I'm having a de-brief today with the team but it was an absolute triumph.

"It was packed.

"The team are the ones who created this really and put this together and it is a great team led by Nicola Littlewood and Nicky Larkin and they are a fabulous team who work incredibly hard, they have been there this week from seven in the morning until sometimes very late at night and they put on a great show and it gets better and better every year.

The Bolton News: James MartinJames Martin

"That is important that because if people are going to keep coming back they need to see it getting better every year and I think this year they have surpassed themselves.

"It was superb and it's just the sort of event we need to build on and they have got tonnes of ideas for next years, so it is definitely coming back."

Chef and TV star James Martin spoke to The Bolton News about his affinity for the festival and the town.

He said: “The appetite for it is back more than ever.

"I mean the numbers here are phenomenal, what it brings to the town, it’s unbelievable.

“I’ve been doing it for 12 years here now, it’s just morphed and grown bigger and bigger and bigger each year.

“It’s certainly the biggest in the UK, this is probably the biggest in Europe, when you look at the volume and the numbers that come into it, hundreds of thousands of people, you don’t really get that at any food festival anywhere.

“It benefits from the council support, and that’s what it needs, it needs everyone pedalling in the right direction and because of that, that’s what makes it successful. If you didn’t have any of that, then it wouldn’t.”

James spoke about why he keeps coming back, saying: “The place, you know, people love the place and people love the people. People have always been very friendly to me and always been very supportive.

“When you see something… and you’ve seen it grow, I think that’s what makes it more special.

“I remember doing a cooking demonstration in the town square in a little tent with about 50 or 60 people I think, and now you’ve got more than 1,000 people each time, sold out for months beforehand, yeah it’s great.”

Pictures by Danny Crompton and Henry Lisowski as well as Bolton News staff