The Bolton Steam Museum is the UK's largest collection of working steam engines, and the Bolton Museum and Archive includes a public aquarium and outstanding collections of British 19th and 20th century oil paintings featuring work by Millais and Moran. Contemporary work by Walter Sickert, Barbara Hepworth, Augustus John and many more are also on show. This regional art gallery gem also has a Turner watercolour amongst its collection!
Take a tour of The Fred Dinah Heritage Centre housed in the famous Boltonian's former home and yard or sample award-winning beers on a brewery tour of Bank Top Brewery. Don't miss a visit to the magnificent half-timbered 16th century hall, Hall i'th' Wood, today a museum and formerly a rich merchant's house and the home of Samuel Crompton, famous Bolton inventor of the Spinning Mule which totally revolutionised the cotton industry.
In and around Bolton you'll find ample opportunity for walking, cycling and activities, with particularly popular walks including the great Rivington Pike. A legacy of Victorian industrialists, Bolton is a town of parks. Queens Park features beautiful open spaces and a peaceful lake, whilst Moss Bank Park includes a miniature railway, a large play area, walled gardens, a tropical butterfly house and Animal World with reptiles and insects, domestic and farm animals. Kids will love Smithills Open Farm with a wide range of animals to meet and greet, and with rides and attractions and an on-site cafe.
The Albert Halls host a wide range of comedy, music and drama performances, including shows for kids. Theatre gems are numerous in Bolton, including the long-standing Octagon Theatre, widely regarded as one of the best regional theatres in the UK and regularly acclaimed in the National Press. The Octagon is famed for both its classic and cutting edge new drama. See more fantastic new drama plays at the Bolton Little Theatre.