A visitor passing through Bolton was left surprised after being told he could not have oat milk in his coffee.

Paul Whitley was passing through Bolton station after seeing his family for a funeral.

Originally from Hindley, the 39-year-old – who now lives in Sheffield – decided to stop off at Bolton station’s WHSmith for his coffee fix.

However, when asking for oat milk instead of cow's milk, Paul was told that they ‘don’t do that kind of thing here’.

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The arts centre manager told The Bolton News joked that he was ‘initially surprised’ by the response – before remembering he was in Bolton.

Paul said: “The staff member was nice. I’d hate to get her in trouble.

“She did offer skimmed as an alternative. I noticed they had about six different flavours of syrup.”

Paul, who has been happily married to his husband, Steve, for 13 years, added: “I don’t think she was lying. They did offer iced coffee on the menu, so they do partially cater to the gays.”

Paul’s experience has now gone viral on X (formerly Twitter) – racking up more than one million views.

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Other users of the social network shared their experiences of ordering food and drink in different parts of the north, though some sounded slightly far-fetched.

Wayne Trevor replied: “Once asked for a glass of white wine in a pub in the Peak District. I took a sip as I was paying.

“The bar lady took it off me and poured it into a half-pint glass because ‘men don’t drink out of wine glasses’.”

User Roberto said: “Another thing Bolton has in common with Paris.”

Dan Jackson shared his experience ordering an espresso in Sunderland.

He posted: “The lady behind the till said (with some concern): “they’re just those little coffees mind”.”

Have you had issues asking for milk alternatives in Bolton? Please get in touch.

WHSmith was contacted for comment.

If you have a story, I cover the whole borough of Bolton. Please get in touch at jack.fifield@newsquest.co.uk.