Bury (pronounced "Berry") is a town and borough in Greater Manchester, in the North West of England, ten miles north of central Manchester. It grew rapidly from the 18th century as a textile town, initially for wool but later chiefly for cotton. Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) was born here to a wealthy textile family, and founded the modern police force and served as British prime minister. The lot of Bury's mill workers was less fortunate, as the 19th C town became overcrowded, squalid and rife with disease. Still they made a living - until the mid 20th C when the cotton industry collapsed, and much of the town became derelict. Historically within Lancashire, in 1974 Bury became part of Greater Manchester, and is nowadays primarily a commuter town. The borough also includes the more affluent suburbs of Prestwich and Whitefield (with long-established Jewish populations), Radcliffe, and (the most scenic) Ramsbottom on the edge of the Pennines.
Bury is indelibly linked to the black pudding, produced and consumed here in industrial quantities, and hurled over record-breaking distances at an annual contest in Ramsbottom.
Bury no longer has mainline trains, but it's a terminus of the Metrolink trams, green and yellow lines. These run downtown via Whitefield and Prestwich to Manchester Victoria station; the yellow line forks south to Piccadilly station, while the green line crosses city centre westwards and out to Old Trafford, Stretford and Altrincham. They run 06:00-00:30, every 12 mins daytime, taking 35 mins.
1 Bury Interchange, off Haymarket Street, is in Fare Zone 4, so a ride to city centre costs £4.60 single. That would actually take you all the way to the airport, 90 mins, but it's recommended you change to the train at Piccadilly.
First Manchester Bus 135 runs between Manchester Piccadilly and Bury every 10 mins or so, taking 50 min. It also operates as a night bus late on Friday and Saturday. Bus 471 bus runs from Bolton, taking 30 min.
Bury lies at the junction of the A56 and A58. From the M60, exit J17 to join the A56 (Manchester Road/Bury New Road). From the M66, exit J2 to join the A58 (Bolton Road).
There is plenty of parking available in and around Bury. Prices vary, according to the type of parking offered (e.g. private, council-run, multi-story, on-street) but they are pretty reasonable compared to city prices. Free parking is available for Metrolink users at most stops, so it may be an idea to leave the car and hop-on a tram for the day instead.
See Manchester#Get_around for ticket deals and passes for the bus & tram network.
Being a small town, most places in Bury are within walking distance (i.e. it will take you less than 20 min to walk from one side of the town to the other). If you are planning on venturing a little further out of the centre, then a bus may be useful.
There are many cycle lanes throughout Bury. For cycling enthusiasts, the TFGM website provides information on a few scenic routes around the more 'rural' outskirts.
Bus services in the Bury area:
- 98 Bury-Manchester via Ainsworth, Radcliffe (FirstManchester) 60 minutes
- 137 Bury-Manchester via Unsworth, Whitefield, Prestwich, Broughton (FirstManchester) 40 minutes
- 466 Bury-Norden via Jericho, Fairfield (Rossendalebus) 68 minutes
- 471 Bury-Bolton via Elton, Breightmet (FirstManchester) 29 minutes
- 471 Bury-Rochdale via Fairfield Hospital, Heywood Sudden (FirstManchester) 33 minutes
- 472 Bury-Ramsbottom via Brandlesholme, Holcombe Brook (FirstManchester) 18 minutes
- 474 Bury-Ramsbottom via Walmersley, Holcolmbe Brook, Brandlesholme (FirstManchester) 32 minutes
- 512 Bury-Bolton via Radcliffe, Kearsley, Farnworth, Moses Gate (Maytree) 50 minutes
- 513 Bury-Bolton via Radcliffe, Whitefield, Kearsley, Farnworth, Moses Gate (Maytree) 50 minutes
Private-hire taxis and black cabs are available within and around Bury. Private hire taxis cannot be hailed, they must be booked either in person from a taxi rank, or over the phone, or else the car's insurance is void. Prices on private hire taxis are quite reasonable and if there is more than one person travelling short distances, they often end up being cheaper than the equivalent bus fares.
- 1 Church of St Mary the Virgin, The Rock, Bury BL9 0AH. Anglican parish church on a high point just north of town centre. The previous 16th C church was replaced in two stages, so the present spire dates from 1842 and the rest from 1876. Note the hammerbeam and tiebeam roof, mosaics, and stain-glass windows. It's a regimental church of the Lancashire Fusiliers, and in 2013 the military funeral of the murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby was held here.
- 2 Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre, Moss St, Bury BL9 0DR. Tu-F 10:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-16:30. Small but impressive collection of pre-Raphaelite and neoclassical painting, plus new sculpture centre, and various exhibitions. Big names include JMW Turner's Calais Sands, Sir Edwin Landseer's The Random Shot, and John Constable's Hampstead Heath. Free.
- 3 Burrs Country Park. Caravan Club site, canoeing, kayaking, other water activities, climbing, rope-based, adventure playground and obstacle course activities. The site is of industrial heritage significance as it was the site of water and steam powered mills. It also offers a great vantage point to observe the trains of the East Lancashire Railway, which steam past at regular intervals. The River Irwell flows through the park and attracts anglers as well as kayakers. It also provides a very attractive backdrop for walkers and dog-walkers. The oldest remaining building in the grounds has been converted into a pub, "The Brown Cow".
- Radcliffe. Located in the middle of the borough, this town is worth a visit to witness a real-life part of northern England, reflecting the changes with which once prosperous towns and cities of Industrial Britain have had to deal. While parts are run-down, where Radcliffe merges with neighbouring Whitefield it is very prosperous with a large Jewish population. The ancient 'Radcliffe Tower', dating from the 12th century is worth visiting. The town is awaiting regeneration to catch up, commercially and economically, with surrounding towns. The town attracted considerable media attention as the birthplace and home of Slumdog Millionaire film director Danny Boyle.
- (6 mi (9.7 km) north of Bury). A pretty historic village amidst the West Pennine Moors.
- 1 The Met, Market St, ☏ . A small theatre in the town centre hosts many touring acts and local productions and some big names can be seen there for modest ticket prices.
- 2 Peel Tower/Holcombe Hill. Peel Tower is one of the most notable of Bury's monuments, as it resides upon Holcombe Hill, which sits 1,100 ft (340 m) above Ramsbottom. Peel Tower is perfect for fans of walking, and has plenty of footpaths in various locations throughout the Bury district, and since the tower is always in sight on the roads, it makes it an easy place to find. Thankfully, there is a bench on the top of the hill to accompany the tower, for resting. The sights from the hill are astounding, and have to be seen to grasp Bury's natural beauty. From here you can see the urban sprawl around Manchester, the Peak District and beyond. The 39 m (128 ft) tall memorial to Sir Robert Peel, the 19th-century British prime minister and creator of the modern British police force
- 3 East Lancashire Railway, Bolton St, Bury BL9 0EY, ☏ . Oct-Mar Sa Su, Apr-Sept W-Su. Heritage standard-gauge railway which plies between Heywood, Bury, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall, a 12 mile run, often steam-hauled. They also have occasional steam excursions on the UK mainline. Ticket includes admission to Bury Transport Museum. Adult day ticket £16, family (2+3) £42.
- Hiking. Ramsbottom is in the West Pennine Moors, and has excellent views and walking. If you fancy a bit of local history have a walk up to Peel Tower near Holcolmbe.
- Watch football but alas not at Bury FC, you'll have to head to Manchester. In 2019 Bury were promoted to League One, the third tier of English football. But they collapsed financially and were thrown out of the League before a ball had been kicked.
- World Black Pudding Hurling Championships are held on the second Sunday of September outside The Oaks pub on Bridge St, Ramsbottom. The format is like a coconut-shy: a pile of Yorkshire puddings are mounted on a 20-foot plinth, and the aim is to knock over the maximum number in three underarm shots. The next event is on Sun 8 Sept 2019.
- 1 Bury Market. Full markets are held every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with the Market Hall and selected stalls open every day except Sunday. There is a huge variety of stalls. Join the coach trips from all over the UK.
- 2 Mill Gate Shopping Centre. This shopping centre houses many of the brands you would come to expect from a typical shopping centre (WHSmiths, Waterstones, Marks and Spencers), and it has a unique selection of jewellers, among the largest selection in Manchester, if not the largest selection in a shopping centre.
- 3 The Rock. A largely developing shopping district in the town centre, which already contains a wide variety of places to eat, shop and drink.
- Leckenbys (formerly Chocoholics), 27 Minden Parade, Mill Gate Shopping Centre, ☏ . M-F 09:30-16:30, Sa 09:30-17:30, Su 11:00-16:00. Cafe/tea room. Service is excellent and the salads, sandwiches and cakes are superb. The whole place is spotless.
- 1 Yates's, 20 Market St Bury BL9 0AJ. M-W 10:00-23:00, Th-Sa 10:00-02:00, Su 12:00-23:00. A large bar directly behind the 'Robert Peel' statue. Features a fair selection of food and drinks at a good price.
- TGI Fridays, Valley Park Rd, Prestwich M25 3TG (next to Premier Inn at Junction 17 of M60). M-Sa 11:30-23:00, Su 11:30-22:30. Chain diner.
- 2 Peppe's Pizzeria, 264 Bury New Rd, Whitefield M45 8GS, ☏ . Tu-Th & Su 17:00-21:30, F Sa 17:00-22:30. A tiny, family run Italian restaurant. Good pizza & pasta, cash only.
- 3 Forts of India, 7-11 Radcliffe New Rd, Whitefield M45 7QX, ☏ . Gets very mixed reviews for quality of food and price. M-Sa 17:00-23:00, Su 13:00-22:00.
- 4 Roma, 268 Bury New Rd, Whitefield M45 8QS, ☏ . M-Th & Sa 09:00-18:00, F 09:00-20:00. Good during the day for coffee and lunch.
- 5 Slattery's, 197 Bury New Road, Whitefield M45 6GE, ☏ . M-F 09:00-17:30, Sa 09:00-17:00. Cake shop & bakery with big cafe on the first floor, good for lunch and afternoon teas. Ample parking.
- 6 Owens, 10 Railway Street, Ramsbottom BL0 9AL, ☏ . serving Su-Th 09:00-20:30, F Sa 09:00-21:00. Good restaurant serving English fare.
- The restaurant at The Village Hotel offers good food and friendly service to residents and non residents alike.
- The Rock incorporates apartments, a cinema, a 25-lane bowling complex and many high street stores, bars, cafes and restaurants.
- The restaurant/cafe bar at the Bury Met Theatre is good and also popular, as a bar, in the evenings.
- 1 The Duckworth Arms, 416 Whalley Road, Ramsbottom BL0 0EG, ☏ . Daily 12:00-23:00. Good country pub with decent eats.
- 2 Shoulder of Mutton, Lumb Carr Road, Ramsbottom BL8 4LZ, ☏ . Daily 12:00-23:00. Good trad pub with food, dog friendly, at the foot of the walk to the Peel Tower.
- 3 Irwell Works Brewery, Irwell St, Ramsbottom BL0 9YQ, ☏ . Tu-Th & Su 12:00-23:00, F 12:00-00:00, Sa 11:00-00:00. In the former 'Steam, Tin, Iron and Copper' works, opposite the Ramsbottom Morrisons. The brewery brews all of its beers on site, examples of which are 'Copper Plate', 'Steam Plate' and 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen'. Friendly, but it's a small bar and the place gets very full, difficult to get served.
- 1 Village Hotel, Waterford Business Park, Rochdale Rd, Bury BL9 7BQ (just off Junction 2 of M66), ☏ . Hotel with decent facilities, pool & gym. No a/c against hot weather. On riverside so some rooms bosky with nice views, but most just get to look at the M66 traffic. B&B double £125.
- 2 Old Mill Hotel & Leisure Club (Best Western), Springwood St, Ramsbottom BL0 9DT, ☏ . Decent franchise hotel with spa. Lacks a/c, a problem in hot summers, and no lift. B&B double £55.
- There are two Premier Inns. The Manchester Bury Premier Inn is 200 yards south of Bury town centre, off Duke St by the junction of A58 ring road and A56.
- The Manchester Prestwich Premier Inn is on Bury New Road A56 just south of Junction 17 of M60, midway between Prestwich and Whitefield and next to TGI Fridays.