With outside terraces open once again, it’s about time we all got up off our arses and out of the door – and what better way to explore the best pubs and bars around than with a pub crawl?
Get a full-day ticket on the Metrolink, bring a mask and a jacket for when it gets cold and enjoy the best of what the Altrincham – Piccadilly Gardens line has to offer…
There are so many places to go to in Altrincham that it can take its own fully-fledged Finest Day out article all on its own. The place is so jam-packed full of exciting and brilliant restaurants, bars and cafes that you could be here all day. This is a pub crawl though so you’ve not got all day – just a quick stop and then you’re off. You can either start yourself off at One Central (perhaps kick things off with a Frosé), Con Club or maybe Blanchflower where you can grab yourself a truly outstanding bit of brunch with your first drink to set you up for the day.
The Old Packet House
Now it must be said, when you get off the tram at Navigation Road, it doesn’t look like there is much here. And that would be true. There’s a few houses, probably a woman walking her dog, a few trees and a car lot that would make Barry Evans look small time. Take a stroll down Navigation Road for about 5 minutes and you’ll end up at The Old Packet House, a boozer which used to service the workers on the canal and now serves up decent food, loads of booze and plenty of smiles to the myriad of walkers, cyclists and pub crawlers of the area.
The Old Packet House, 1 Navigation Rd, Altrincham WA14 1LW
Unfortunately Timperley tram stop is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, so you’re going to struggle to find a boozer here at the best of times. Usually on this route I’d say head to the rather excellent Moss Trooper, a fantastic JW Lees pub – but it’s not open until May 17th. So – skip this one – stay on the tram and have two in the next place…
Moss Trooper, Moss Ln, Timperley, Altrincham WA15 6JU
Arriving in Brooklands and you’ve got yourself the choice of two ‘Brook’ themed pubs. There’s The Brook right next to the station, and the Brooklands Tap just a short walk away across the main road. When we did this, we went to the Brooklands – it’s a decent pub and the prices are good. The Brook though is much closer to the tram stop (you could probably drink a pint whilst actually on the tram) and is an altogether classy little boozer. They usually have a top selection of local ales here, and you’ll pretty much always find a group of locals enjoying themselves in the little beer garden out front. Join them and sink a pint before the next tram arrives.
The Brook, Brooklands Rd, Sale M33 3SQ
0161 973 7773
The King’s Ransom
You’re a little spoilt for choice in Sale as the whole town’s bars and restaurants seem to hug the tram stop like a child holding on to its teddy during an alien invasion. Right on top of the tram stop is the King’s Ransom, there’s the Slug & Lettuce and even a Wetherspoons – should you be so inclined. The King’s Ransom is pretty decent, with an excellent outside bit that leads right onto the canal. Make sure you give a wave to the people on the canal boats as they go past – and try to resist the urge to put 2 fingers up at ’em. It’s not very nice.
King’s Ransom, Britannia Rd, Sale, M33 2AA
The Bridge Pub & Dining
The Bridge is famed throughout the land for it’s frankly massive terrace out front, a favourite oasis for dog walkers, canal runners and general fitness bods who find themselves thirsty as they traverse the canal. It’s perfect for catching some rays, and when paired with a nice frosty pint and a couple of packets of crisps to soak up the booze – there’s no better place to be.
The Bridge Inn, Dane Rd, Sale M33 7QH
Stretford Food Hall
Down my neck of the woods now and there are a couple of options here for you. You’ll need to walk down the hill towards the Mall where you’ll find the excellent Food Hall and The Hive – both of which are perfect for a bit of al fresco suppage. The Food Hall has essentially become the unofficial centre of Stretford recently – and there’s always a decent selection of beers and ales on offer, as well as cocktails and a rotating line-up of street food options. The Hive also have a long list of cocktails and bevvies – as well as a great menu of small plates and pub classics. Either one will sort you right out.
Stretford Mall, Chester Rd, Stretford, Manchester M32 9BD
Old Trafford, home of Man Utd and Lancashire Cricket Club. Loads of boozers around here right? Wrong. With the tram stop so close to the cricket ground that you can smell Freddie Flintoff’s jock strap, but no beer. I’d usually recommend The Quadrant, which is actually a bit of a walk away from the tram stop, but this place won’t be opening until May 17th – so skip this stop and head to the next one…
The Toll Gate
You’re much closer to United’s ground now so as you’d expect The Toll Gate is a proper full on red bar. It’s redder than Simply Red eating a tomato while stood in an old phone box on Comic Relief Day while listening to Chris De Burgh. If you’re not a United fan, keeping your mouth shut would be my advice. The Toll Gate looks proper weird from the outside – more like a Matalan on a 90’s retail park than a pub but there’s a decent terrace outside right opposite where you come off the tram. Grab a seat and get supping.
The Toll Gate, Seymour Grove, Stretford, Manchester M16 0TG
0161 312 2308
One of the biggest hubs of the Metrolink, this station is going to feature in so many of these guides that I’m going to be sick and tired of talking about it. Probably by the end of this paragraph. The main problem here is that it’s in the middle of nowhere so there are no boozers even in the vicinity – not even rubbish ones. So, the next piece of advice may shock you – you should walk from this stop to the next and hit up a pub on the way. There’s a couple of decent ones on the way mainly at Castlefield Basin where you can check out The Wharf, Dukes 92 or Barca – all excellent options with massive outdoor terraces.
From here, it’s just a short 3 minute walk to the next stop. Ah – the pleasures of being in the city centre.
By now you’re probably pretty bloated by the amount of fizzy lager you’ve been drinking – well now it’s time to cleanse that pallet and get something different inside you. luckily, Atlas Bar right underneath Deansgate station has the biggest selection of gins in the city centre with over 300 bottles of the stuff in here, and with such a vast amount to choose from; it can sometimes be difficult to make a decision. Don’t be annoying – choose one, sit down in their brilliant terrace out back and relax.
Atlas Bar, 376 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LY
St Peters Square
The Temple of Convenience
Now that we’re in the city centre there’s loads of options for drinking at every stop. I’m not going to go around listing them all for you – just use Google Maps if you have half a brain in your head. What I will do though is recommend my favourite place in the area and if it sounds alright then go. Just a short walk from St Peter’s Square tram stop is The Temple of Convenience – a legendary Manchester pub which is located within an old public toilet. Seeing as we’re not allowed down there, the council have let them open up a brilliant terrace out on the street, which manages to seat more people than they would normally get indoors.
The Temple, 100 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5JW
0161 278 1610
The Northern Quarter
You’ve arrived at your final stop – well done. By now you should be nice and merry and hopefully not sunburnt or anything. With you in the middle of the city centre, you’re basically spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor terraces to head to. There’s the plethora of options down on Thomas Street, Stevenson Square, Edge Street or you could even head off in a completely opposite direction and end up on Deansgate. Personally, I’d head on over to The Bay Horse Tavern on Thomas Street and order a nice frosty pint and toast myself to a brilliant day out.
The Bay Horse Tavern, 35-37 Thomas St, M4 1NA
There you go – that does it. Well done. Next stop will be Line 1 Part 2 – Bury to Market Street.