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A Night In Rawtenstall

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“It's a long way to Rosendale It's a long way to go”

Some folk may indeed think it is a long way to go, but the trip up to the valley that time forgot isn't actually that far. You only have to witness the raiding parties of East Lancs shoppers pouring into Bury on market days to realise that. So it seemed only fair to send a few missionaries the other way. The spur was the opening of a nano-bar on Rawtenstall market. Without the restrictive stranglehold of two Wetherspoons that afflicts Bury; Rawtenstall has seen a remarkable growth in small, independent beer outlets. And after 6pm a 1 Day Go Rosendale bus saver ticket is only £3. So after a few warm up libations in Bury, we were valley bound

First stop for many is the Buffer Stops adjacent to the ELR station. This is the sister pub of the Trackside and whilst it has been good in the past, like the TS it has been more patchy in recent times. So we pushed onto the Cabin. This is the self-described nano-bar on the market and …

Halifax

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The Calder Valley Ale Trail is an alternative to the now rather toxic TransPennine Real Ale Trail. This one takes in the Manchester-Halifax line and in many ways offers a superior experience. Some stops can easily be combined into a mini-crawl: Sowerby and Hebden Bridge, for example. But to do the mighty Halifax justice as well really requires a separate visit. That is if you take your drinking seriously, of course.

Halifax is an ideal crawl really. Plenty of pubs offering plenty of variety and it's compact. Meaning even decrepit CAMRA types can manage it. A good starting off point is the Three Pigeons, just outside of the town centre. This a striking 1930's Art Deco affair which could be quite rightly labelled a “proper boozer”. Multi-roomed; it combines many of the fine features a public house should have. And there is a fine selection of Ossett beers in case you are thirsty as well.
Next up was the Lantern on Alexandra Street. This is a modern, quirky (check out the bike on t…