Wigan Things to Do

  • view of The Orwell
    view of The Orwell
    by sandysmith
  • exhibits outside the mill
    exhibits outside the mill
    by sandysmith
  • me with the lovely goats!
    me with the lovely goats!
    by nylo

Best Rated Things to Do in Wigan

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    Allsaints Parish Church

    by Balam Written Feb 20, 2008

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    2 more images

    The church in Wigan town center is a fantastic building dating from the 1500's. It has been restored twice, once in about 1630 and again in 1847. Although closed while there is no service on, the architecture on the outside of the buildings, and the grounds round it, are beautiful.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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    The Way we Were

    by sandysmith Updated Jun 26, 2005

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    Wigan Pier

    Today Wigan Pier is a popular tourist attraction housing a museum of the "Way we Were" - a history of Wigan's former industrial life and lifestyle. It features a resident theatre company to act out various scenes and apparently the victorian classroom where you can sit with your slates is quite popular. You think it would be open on a Saturday though wouldn't you...but no, opeing times are Mon - Thurs 10am - 5pm and Sun. 11am -5 pm and Fri - Sat it is closed...so we saved our money for another day....
    Ticket prices seem a bit costly at £5.25 (£4.25 for local residents, nice that they gat a discount) but that also included the entrance fee to the Steam engine exhibit acrosss the canal at Trencherfield Mill - see later tip. If you don't want to see this then admission to just the Way we Were" is £3.95.
    Discounts are also availbale for groups of 4 - just check a ther ticket shop which suits you best.

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    Wigan Pier

    by sandysmith Updated Sep 30, 2005

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    Wigan Pier

    Wigan Pier is not the sort of pier associated with those of a seaside resort. Indeed its inland by the Leeds to Liverpool Canal and was typical of the type of "pier" built alongside rivers and canals in the 18th and 19th centuries. Such piers marked the end of a wagon ways or railway line used to transport coal from the coal mine colleries. "Tipplers" tipped the coal into the canal boats for further transportation to factories and in the Lancashire area and to cities like Liverpool for export to Ireland and America. Wigan Pier was built in 1822 and transported 1,000 tons of coal from here each week. A section of the wagon way was raised on a gantry to cross the river when in use andduring wet weather it s was prone to flooding and hence the pier looked as if it was by the seaside in an industrial town! This coupled with its more illustrious neighbour of Blackpool with its 3 proper piers made it the butt of music hall jokes in those days.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    Trencherfield Mill

    by sandysmith Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    the old mill

    Wigan's history of cotton spinning industry is evident by the acrhicture and museum of Trencherfield Mill. You can see by the date on its exterior that is was built in 1907 for William Woods and son. It closed in 1968 when it was still part of the large Courthaulds chain and then laid neglected for several years. Fortunatelty a heritage grant came to its rescue and since its restoration in September 2004 visitors can now see the huge mill steam engine - the world's largest, original working, mill steam engine - which powered thousands of cotton spinning machines over the five floors of this mill. Its all part of the Wighan Pier Experience attraction. Again this is closed on Fridays and Saturdays and I did notice that there is more to see than just the engine itself. There are audio-visual presentations on its history plus various demonstrations of cotton spinning and rope making as well a actual presentations of the engine in action.
    Really good fun for the kids I imagine and popular with school parties.
    Entrance fee is £3.95 or included with the Wigan Pier Experience Site Ticket.

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    Mantlepiece Memories

    by sandysmith Updated Jun 26, 2005

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    treassures of the decades

    The concept of the art dseign on the Opies Museum of Memories is bases on the mantlepiece - the focal point of a home where traditionally favourite momentos and traeasured possessions are displayed. Each article on this matlepice displays a decade of memories in the twentieth century in this quirky musum of the eccentric collector Robert Opies:

    1900s Toy Gramophone
    1910s George Vth Coronation Mug
    1920s Brownie Camera
    1930s Doll
    1940/50s Toy Soldier
    1960s Robby the Robot - TV series "Lost in Space"
    1970s TV

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    Hazel's Head's

    by sandysmith Updated Jun 26, 2005

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    Hazel's Heads

    It was the three large heads on the exterior facade of the Trencherfield Mill that especially caught my imagination.The art designer Andy Hazel is an expert in such tin automata and large scale public art.. I would have loved to see this in motion as apparently the heads open up like a form of packaging, representing the "unlocking of personal memories" triggered by the collective experience.

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    Climb the local Hill

    by nylo Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Winter Hill is a landmark visible from many towns in Lancashire. There are 3 distinctive features of the hill: transmitter Mast, Rivington Pike and the Pigeon Tower.
    Its a beautiful walk, but can be very steep in parts. Make sure you wear appropriate footwear and take warm clothing for when you get towards the top.

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    • Mountain Climbing
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    Museum Of Memories

    by sandysmith Updated Jun 26, 2005

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    outside the mill

    The art designer for the exterior of the Museum of Memories here is Andy Hazell. Just have a good look at the outside space by the mill. The floor mosaics represent a hearth rug and over to the left are dominoes - an old traditional game, still played in Wigan. Centre stage is the mantlepiece and the three large heads above. Sections of Willow plate also protrude from the building - very strange!

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    Haigh Hall

    by nylo Written Dec 3, 2008

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    Haigh Hall is situated in 250 acres of park and woodland. The hall itself is now for use of buisness & leisure activites, unlike many of the usual heritage halls & houses around the UK.
    But you will find it nice to take the family, there is minigolf, a miniture train, playground & giftshop.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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    Camelot

    by nylo Written Dec 3, 2008

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    me with the lovely goats!

    A theme park for people of ALL ages! My partner and I went on a cold rainy day (which turned hail/snow). The rides werent the most frightning Iv been on, and there were plenty of great rides for kids (which we enjoyed more than the "scarey" rides). And the animal farm was probably my favourite part! The goats were gorgeous, such tiny little goats bleeting and trying to eat my coat! and the rest of the animals, sheep, donkey etc!
    The jousting was great too! Best ive seen. Everyone seemed to get into the spirit of the show, the atmosphere was great!
    You can try get 2 for 1 vouchers on ebay. Makes your day out cheaper!

    Related to:
    • School Holidays
    • Family Travel
    • Theme Park Trips

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    More to do than you'd think!

    by mex79 Written May 28, 2008

    Visit the JJB stadium to watch Wigan Athletic or Wigan Warriors. Walk through the Plantations up to Haigh Hall Country Park. Visit one of the Flashes to see the birdlife - Scotsmans Flash in Poolstock and Pennington Flash in Leigh. Wigan Pier isn't worth visiting anymore since the Council closed most of it down to so called build a cultural quarter that proved to just be loads of flats.

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    Pier Warehouses

    by sandysmith Updated Jun 26, 2005
    view towards No.1 Wigan Pier

    Various warehouses were built by the Pier - seen here is the Terminal warehouse - the first one to be built in 1770 - easily identifiable by the lettering Wigan Pier No. 1 on it and seen when crossing the bridge over the canal.. Here grain could be stored and boats could unload their cargo undercover and in shelter from that rain!

    The second warehouse built (1790) now houses the Heritage and Interpretation Centre. The canopies were added later - again protection from rain as goods were hoisted up from the boats. The wooden walkways were a late addition of the 1980's.

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    Orwell Connection

    by sandysmith Updated Jun 26, 2005
    view of The Orwell

    Another Warehouse,was built in the 1860's by the railway comapnies who leased the canal back then. It now houses the pub Orwells - we enjoyed a coffee stop here btw.
    The pub is named after George Orwell who wrote "The Road to Wigan Pier" in the 1930's. This warehouse was much bigger - more storage being needed with expansion of the service provided.
    The brick warehouse which houses the Way We Were museum (see next tip) was built in the 1980's by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Company.

    The pier was one of the last in operation - being demolished in 1929 for scrap metal - £34 pounds worth :-S

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    • Architecture

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    Engine Displays

    by sandysmith Updated Jun 26, 2005
    exhibits outside the mill

    Ok so we couldn't get in to see this famous steam engine but there are some other exhibits outside - a shearing and punching machine and a stone breaker are on display along with information on how they worked. Various other machinery are on display in the grounds behind which lead to the canal towpath.
    Also outside the mill is an interesting public art exhibit for the Robert Opies Museum of Memories that is also housed in the Mill Unfortunately the museum is currently closed whilst regeneration of this whole area is in progres for the next couple of years - planned to be finished in 2007.

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    More Heads

    by sandysmith Updated Jun 26, 2005
    head collage - my arty shots ;-0

    The heads and angles you can create through the machinery outside the mil meant plenty of photo opportunities - I think I got a bit carried away with them but they did fascinate me!
    You may have seen Andy Hazell's work in other places - other of his exhibits include:
    Planet Brussels - part of Brussels city of culture celebrations
    Feather wall for the Yorkshire Dance Centre
    Medical Gallery of the Science Museum
    I shall certainly be on the look out for more of his work now on my travels.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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Wigan Things to Do

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