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Rail Ale Trail
Rail Ale Trail

Embark on a Rail Ale Trail and take a voyage of discovery to explore some the Irwell Valley’s most beautiful locations and excellent pubs.

Rail Ale Trail Guided Tours provide a structured day out accompanied by a professional Blue Badge 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!

What's included?

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.

Dates, Times & Prices

Rail Ale Trail Guided Tours run on selected dates throughout the year and are a full day experience priced from £33.50 - £35.50 per person.

GradeAmount/Type of Walking
1 Walking on pavements in local villages
2 Walking 10 – 20 minutes between pubs, walking on pavements and hills in local villages
3 Hiking involved, steep hills, 20 minutes – 1 hour walk
DateName of TourGradePriceBook
23 April A Toast to St George 1 £35.50 SOLD OUT
7 May Summerseat & Ramsbottom 2 £33.50 SOLD OUT
21 May Pies & Pints 2 £35.50 Buy Tickets
29 May Spivs. Skirmishes and Spitfire Ale 1 £35.50 Buy Tickets
11 June Hike for Your Hops 3 £33.50 Buy Tickets
18 June Cheers to Dad Father's Day Special 1 £34.50 Buy Tickets
19 June Cheers to Dad Father's Day Special 1 £34.50 Buy Tickets
2 July Full Line Beer Special 2 £33.50 Buy Tickets
16 July Summerseat & Ramsbottom 2 £33.50 SOLD OUT
30 July A Journey East to Heywood & Rochdale 1 £33.50 Buy Tickets
13 August Follow the Malt Trail 2 £34.50 Available soon
20 August Summerseat & Ramsbottom 2 £33.50 Buy Tickets
3 September Hike for Your Hops 3 £33.50 Buy Tickets
10 September Summerseat & Ramsbottom 2 £33.50 Buy Tickets
17 September Pies & Pints 2 £35.50 Buy Tickets
8 October Summerseat & Ramsbottom 2 £33.50 Buy Tickets
19 November Lancashire Day Ales & Tales 2 £33.50 Buy Tickets

Important Information

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 the guided tours. Tours are suitable for visitors aged 18 years + 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.

Our visitors say…

  • Went on the Rail Ale Trail this weekend. Superb trip the guide was fantastic and we were actually treated to a Steam Trail experience. The beer was excellent in the various locations visited. The trip was everything I expected and more. The food was good at the pub we stopped at for dinner, as was the beer on offer. Would recommend this to anyone.

Notices and promotions

  • Photo: Free bottle of local ale!
    Rail Ale Trail

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© The East Lancashire Railway 2014 - 2016. All rights reserved.
The East Lancashire Light Railway Company Limited registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Bolton Street Station, Bolton Street, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 0EY Registered number: 02023981