Very much in the vein of Doncaster, Sheffield Wednesday and Accrington, Bolton feels like an away game you’re obliged to do. It’s not too far away, we get a sizable allocation and there’s a good chance we might win and then, well, you get there. You realise there’s nothing to do there, it’s a nightmare to get to via public transport and it brings out the very worst of our fanbase.
It’s also one of the depressing places that remind you that once upon a time, these two teams weren’t playing each other in an absolute bottom-feeder of a division. So, now you feel sad. You feel you need something to soften the blow like alcoholic refreshment but, alas, you can’t because the nearest good pub that’ll let you in is ten miles away in Manchester.
Even worse, some YouTube loser and his Dad are going to film the whole experience and try to explain how Sunderland are “proper football fans”. Is that what you’ve really come all this way for? Really? Really?????
Anyway, enjoy your day everyone.
How Do I Get There?
The one plus side of having a football stadium in Horwich is that it’s great for accessing by car. Take the A1(M) and M62 over the Pennines towards Bolton then the M60, leaving at junction 15 for the M61, leave at junction 6 for the stadium. There’s a car park outside the away end or you can find some parking in the surrounding industrial estates.
Sat nav losers: BL6 6JW
If you’re on the train, there’s regular services from Manchester and Bolton to Horwich Parkway and from there it’s a two-minute walk. Have fun trying to get on it afterwards, as that’s forever been a nightmare.
What’s the Ground Like?
I mean, it’s a nice ground. That cannot be denied. Unfortunately, it’s near absolutely nothing that’s worth visiting unless you like large Sports Direct stores or McDonald’s. Sunderland fans are in one of the ends behind the goal and, given the over 5,500 allocation, will probably have both the upper tier and half of the lower tier.
Now we could sit here all day and recommend The Beehive near to the ground, but that would be doing you lovely people a disservice. At Cans & Megabus, we know the pain of arriving at a football ground-adjacent pub only to be told it’s “home fans only” or it’s so packed there’s absolutely zero point of even trying – so we have a nice solution.
Before you hop off at Horwich Parkway, why not visit Bolton first? It may not be the prettiest of Lancashire towns but once you’re drinking a tasty pint and munching on a delicious locally made pasty in the Ye Olde Man & Scythe (on Churchgate) and sampling sumptuous cheap beer in Hogarths (also on Churchgate) – you’ll be thanking us.
There’s plenty of other pubs such as the Elephant & Castle and the Old Three Crowns but I’m sure you’ll find your way. Alternatively, drink in Manchester.
What’s This Place Like?
If you like retail parks in Horwich, then come on down to Bolton!