The university town of Bolton in Greater Manchester built its wealth on the cotton industry. Around 277,000 people live in the area. Bolton has excellent rail links to London, Manchester and Liverpool. The town is handy for Manchester airport, the M61 and M60. A free metro-shuttle operates in the town centre.
Bolton boasts a fine Victorian Market Hall, several street markets and a broad range of shops. Middlebrook retail and leisure park provides out-of-town shopping.
Attractions include the Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, three theatres, two multi-screen cinemas, The Albert Halls concert venue, ten-pin bowling and a casino. There's a wide choice of pubs and restaurants. The Old Man & Scythe, dating from 1251, is said-to-be Britain's oldest pub. The Reebok Stadium houses Bolton Wanderers FC and the town offers a diverse range of sporting and fitness facilities, with over 3,000 acres of open green space.