The city centre of Manchester is surprisingly full of those types of pub that still smell of smoke, ale, wet dog and a little whiff of steak pie.
They’re the type of boozer that if you sit in one for long enough it will linger on your clothes until next Christmas. I call them Granddad pubs. And they are simply delightful.
There’s something about them that just oozes happiness. Maybe it’s because they’re reminiscent of a Boxing Day Walk or those days when you stumble across a good pub when you and your city folk friends attempt a day in the countryside but end up just in a pub all day. Delish either way.
Now seems like the perfect time of year to focus on these very special red carpeted, green tiled and stained glass window haunts that will definitely have a bald fat guy at the bar. Ah wintery bliss.
Kicking off in the King’s Arms just a breezy stroll from the city centre to get you started. Ease your way in with the pub that has safely planted itself in the Good Beer Guide for 10 years. And rightly so. This boozer is the epitome of granddad pubs, there’s a Snug and a Vaulted Room complete with regular band nights and quizzes. There’s also a fully working jukebox, exactly what a pub should be filled with.
The King’s Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford, M3 6AN
Self-declared as a proper pub and named after a potato, what better place to go for the second stop? Definitely expect live music and a good crowd of football laaadddsss when there’s footie on. Also, this is a cracking opportunity to line your stomach with some good grub, even a roast if you’re attempting to do this on a Sunday.
The Oxnoble, 71 Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4NQ
The White Lion
You might be greeted with two massive white lions outside but inside you’re guaranteed that smell I was telling you about, some good beer and a bit of Manchester United decor. There’s also a cracking outside area you can spill out onto when it’s too busy inside. Absolutely recommend going down on a Thursday to enjoy open mic night where you honestly don’t know what you’re gonna get from acoustic to comedy or just a wee little story.
The White Lion, 43 Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4NQ
The Briton’s Protection
Here’s where things could start to go down hill, The Briton’s Protection is famous, neigh infamous, for its whiskey selection. It’s a proper boozer with over 300 different types of whiskey. There’s a cracking outdoor courtyard if you can brave the cold weather, if not there’s definitely some roaring fires inside instead.
50 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester M1 5LE
Peveril of the Peak
This legendary boozer is celebrated over and over again not least for it’s just defiant location, that actually diverted the location of a road. This pub also gives us a time capsule to the past in between loads of skyscrapers and crappy 90’s looking flats. Ran by Manchester’s longest serving landlady, this surviving institution is the perfect stop on this crawl. With unusually shaped rooms after the amount of pints you’re in, I guarantee you might fall over as you walk past the long and twisting bar. Get involved with the antique football table machine, darts of pool table. It’ll refresh your mind for the rest of the day.
127 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester M1 5JQ
The Vine Inn / City Arms
A good refreshing walk to the next pub or pubs. Choice is yours here, there’s two healthy boozers to choose from The Vine Inn or The City Arms. They feel incredibly similar, a bit like conjoined twins. It’s pretty much sacrilege to just go in one though, so get a swift pint in each.
42-44, Kennedy Street, Manchester M2 4BQ
Again, another walk now but see it as you’re going on an adventure. Stop off in as many pubs as you want along the way, you’ll be going past The Unicorn and The Millstone if you think you can handle either of those. Anyway, like most people I’ve spent many a night in The Castle, including seeing many gigs. There’s a pretty intimate outside area that once fill, the body heat will make you feel like you’re inside.
66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE
You’ll be pleased to know the next one is just a stone’s throw away. Head out the door of The Castle and keep walking straight until you end up in Gullivers. Always filled with an Indie band or two, this pretty iconic music venue and pub. It’s dead lively and writing this I’m having some flashbacks to nights I thought (and wish) I’d forgotten so I’m gonna stop here.
Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LW
Crown and Kettle
Exactly what it says on the tin, there’s no messing around in the Crown and Kettle but by now I imagine it won’t take a lot to impress you. Perfect for chatting bubbles with your mates. Maybe even come up with the next big idea over you 100th pint of the day. Also take a moment to look up because there’s a pretty bloody impressive ceiling in this place.
2 Oldham Road, Manchester M4 5FE
The Marble Arch
I promise the walk from Crown and Kettle is worth it for the next and final stop. The original home of the Marble beer Brewery and home to some incredibly good food is The Marble Arch. Pull up a pew and sit here for the rest of the evening, it’s the perfect hideaway and you could very easily fall asleep nestled away in the corner.
73 Rochdale Road, Manchester M4 4HY