The Manchester 'Cosy Winter Pub' Crawl

Manchester is full of the types of pubs that are the perfect haven from the wet and the cold...

By Alex Watson | November 16th '21

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.


Eagle Inn
Let’s begin this crawl in Blackfriars, or Greengate, or to most – Salford. We’re on the other side of the Irwell and we’re kicking things off at the outstanding Eagle Inn, an ancient boozer that’s recently re0invented itself as a bit of an indie music enclave. It’s still super cosy though and does cracking pints. The original features in here are gorgeous too – you can just sit and look at the walls and you’ll be entertained for hours.

Eagle Inn, 18-19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW


The Black Friar
A fully restored, historic old Boddingtons boozer now, and it had been closed for 18 years before opening with a new look and swanky restaurant extension this year. The glass fronted eatery is great, but if you’re looking for a true Winter cosy pub experience, sit in the front bit, with it’s roaring fireplace, ice cold drinks and a cracking menu of pub classics.

The Black Friar, 41-43 Blackfriars Rd, Salford M3 7DB.


The King’s Arms
Pint number three now and we’re still not technically in Manchester, which is fine by us. The King’s Arms just a breezy stroll from The Black Friar and was once named “Britain’s most bohemian back-street boozer” by The Guardian. It’s the epitome of an ‘Old Man’ pub downstairs, with a Snug and plenty of nice quiet crannies, whilst upstairs is a fully functioning theatre and events space. 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


The Oast House
You’re walking through Spinningfields and you’re probably thinking – none of these places are cosy. Well, you’d be incorrect, because just in front of the Crown Courts in The Oast House, which in the winter has these huge Tipi’s outside on their terrace and they’re perfect for a nice warm pint and a natter. You’ll find plenty of heaters, blankets and, if you get hungry, a few hanging kebabs to keep you toasty throughout.

The Oast House, The Avenue Courtyard, Manchester M3 3AY


The Oxnoble
Self-declared as a proper pub and named after a potato, what better place to go on this exploration of all things warm and cosy?! The Oxnoble walks that tightrope between cosy and rowdy, usually depending on which day you go down there. If there’s some football on it’s going to be full of footy lads – but any other time, especially a Sunday afternoon with a Roast Dinner, it’s cosy AF and perfect for these cold, wet times.

The Oxnoble, 71 Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4NQ


The Wharf
A huge monolith of a building on the banks of the Castlefield Basin, The Wharf is a HUGE pub, one that caters for all, whether it’s a big group of you on your work’s Christmas party, or one fella just looking to get warm, have a pint and read the latest copy of Viz. You’ll find a massive selection of drinks in here, including loads of gin, as well as the odd roaring fireplace – perfect if you’ve just been walking the dog and you both need to dry off.

The Wharf, 6 Slate Wharf, Manchester M15 4ST


The Briton’s Protection
Here’s where things could start to go down hill. The Briton’s Protection is famous, neigh infamous, for its colossal whisky selection. It’s a proper boozer with over 300 different types of the stuff, plus a great outdoor courtyard should you want to brace the cold weather. Inside though it’s super-cosy with a proper log fire in one of the rooms which gets all toasty and cosy in the wintertime.

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 defiant location, that actually diverted the location of an entire road. This pub also gives us a time capsule into the past, a bastion of classic design and colour stuck between skyscrapers and crappy 90’s 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’ve had, I guarantee you might fall over as you walk past the long and twisting bar.

127 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester M1 5JQ


The Christmas Markets
What can be cosier than a German-themed pub complete with huge Bratwurst, warm mulled wine and the faint sound of a brass band polishing off a beautiful rendition of Jingle Bells. It enough to bring a tear to your eye (especially if you look at your bank statement the day after). This year the main spot will be in and around Piccadilly Gardens, but there’s also a cosy pub down at Cathedral Gardens also.

More Info


The Unicorn
Full of nooks and crannies and always pretty rammed, The Unicorn in the Northern Quarter is the perfect city centre winter cosy pub. It’s one of those boozers where you could swear that time has stopped, and as you sit there, drinking your drink – you could be back in the 70s – if you ignore the big-screen tellies that is.

The Unicorn, 26 Church St, Manchester M4 1PN
0161 834 8854


Crown & Kettle
Exactly what it says on the tin, there’s no messing around in the Crown and Kettle. First of all, take a moment to look up because there’s a pretty bloody impressive ceiling in this place. Next, grab a drink – because there’s always some cracking craft beers or ciders in here. Finally, head round behind the bar where you’ll find a little cute snug with a proper fire that’s perfect for warming up and drying off.

2 Oldham Road, Manchester M4 5FE


The Rose & Monkey Hotel
Another traditional boozer that’s been re-fit, decked out and brought right into the 21st Century, and become a bit of a hit with local musicians along the way. You’ll find plenty of gigs going on in here, but it’s also a great cosy boozer for a bit of an afternoon drinking while it’s pissing it down outside. The Smithfield Market Tavern is excellent next door too.

The Rose & Monkey Hotel, 31 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JZ


Marble Arch
I promise the walk from The Rose & Monkey 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