Embark on a Rail Ale Trail and take a voyage of discovery to explore some of the Irwell Valley’s most beautiful locations and excellent pubs.
Rail Ale Trail Guided Tours provide a structured day out accompanied by a professionally qualified Tour Guide. Listen to stories that have stood the test of time, including that of illegal brewing, rebellious landlords who come back from the grave and a mill empire that would have made Lord Alan Sugar jealous, all whilst sampling local ales at some of the best pubs and bars in the area.
Hear ye, hear ye! Celebrate everything Lancastrian with this Rail Ale Trail. Go on a journey of discovery through some of the finest Lancastrian scenery as you explore local history, popular drinking grounds and hidden gems.
The tours include an unlimited travel ticket for the East Lancashire Railway, a Blue or Green Badge Guided Tour lasting approximately 4 – 5 hours, a bottle of ale or beer sampling and lunch.
Walking grade: 2
Lunch venue: Owens Restaurant
||Amount/Type of Walking
||No walking involved
||Walking 5 – 10 minutes on pavements between pubs. Villages are set in a valley, therefore hilly
||Walking 10 – 20 minutes on pavements between pubs. Villages are set in a valley, therefore hilly
||Strenuous walking 20 – 30 minutes between pubs, walking on pavements uphill, muddy track through woods, good grip boots/shoes required
||Hiking involved, hiking boots required. Steep hills and muddy tracks. 20 minutes – 1 hour walk between pubs
Read more about Rail Ale Trail Guided Tours
The East Lancashire Railway aims to provide a quality experience for all participants by offering a maximum of 25 places per tour. Themed tours are available throughout the year and pre-booking is essential. The tours start and finish at Bury Bolton Street Station with the option to continue the journey on the railway after the tour. All tours require some form of walking, whether that’s the short, level walk from the station to the pub or a more strenuous walk around some of the local scenery. Please read each individual tour description carefully. Due to the varied terrains on which the tours take place visitors with mobility difficulties are asked to contact the railway prior to booking to discuss individual requirements and tailored tour itineraries.
All tours focus on the history and heritage of the local area, its brewing traditions and the people who shaped them over the centuries. Please note that hen and stag parties are prohibited on guided tours. Tours are suitable for visitors aged 18+ only. The East Lancashire Railway reserves the right to refuse entry and travel to any customers who join the tour as part of a stag or hen party, or are too heavily under the influence of alcohol.