Ashton market is one of the oldest and largest markets in the region, attracting visitors from near and far. Ashton Parish Church (St Michael and All Angels) is a magnificent Grade I Listed building mentioned in the Domesday Book. The 15th Century stained glass is unrivalled in the region. Parish registers held at the church date back to 1594 enabling people to trace their family trees. Guided tours by arrangement.
Ashton Market - more photos on the Ashton-under-Lyne website
Bolton's award-winning town centre is much more than spacious covered shopping centres, traditional markets and craft and antique centres - there is the lively Victoria Square, pedestrianised thoroughfares, magnificent Victorian architecture and a mixed range of cafes, pubs and restaurants. Tours of the town centre are available with a Blue Badge Guide (Tel: 01204 334400). The borough of Bolton also includes the town centres of Farnworth, Horwich and Westhoughton, each offering a varied selection of interesting stores, markets and mill shops.
Bury has a bustling market and an attractive range of high street and specialist shops complemented by picturesque parks and a wide range of leisure facilities. Close to the drill hall, where the foundation walls of Bury Castle were discovered in 1846, you can find the Two Tubs public house. Probably Bury's oldest building, it was originally built around 2 giant oak trees (since removed), in the time of Charles II.
A small and attractive village situated next to Douglas Valley along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. Crooke Hall, now demolished, was once the seat of the Catterall family from 1421-1713 and home of the developer of the Douglas Navigation - Robert Holt.
The picturesque village of Delph has changed little since the nineteenth century. Set against the backdrop of the superb scenery of the Pennine Moors, it possesses a unique character founded on the area's role in the industrial revolution.
The pretty village of Holcombe sits 100 metres above Ramsbottom and the Irwell Valley. Dating back to the 14th century it is a village of great character and home to Andertons Restaurant, which survived a Zeppelin attack in 1916.
Manchester city centre is in the heart of Greater Manchester with a lively, exciting, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Unique areas of the city: Castlefield, Chinatown, the Gay and Lesbian Village, Rusholme and the Northern Quarter, each have a life and character of their own. Enjoy a day browsing the museums and galleries, the thrills and spills of Granada Studios, shop till you drop, wine and dine at one of the many cafe bars and restaurants and then dance the night away in Manchester's unrivalled club scene. Along with top attractions, galleries, museums, superb shopping and stunning Victorian architecture, Manchester is everybody's kind of city.
The small Pennine town of Mossley lies just over the hill from Ashton under Lyne. The character of the town is very different, with its steep streets and stone houses. High on the eastern sky-line of Mossley is Buckton Castle, an iron age hill fort. The remains of the defensive ridge and ditch are still to be seen. Below it, and forming a boundary between the steep, moorland and the enclosed fields, an ancient road way runs around the hillside. The Romans made use of this road and paved part of it, using it as a route between the camps of Melandra (Glossop) and Castleshaw (Saddleworth). With the building of the canal and later the railway, along with the mills being constructed along the valley bottom, Mossley spread out to fill the valley.
Oldham celebrated its 150th birthday in 1999. Architectural features include Oldham Parish Church dating from 1830 and the Old Town Hall, both included in Oldham's Town Trail leaflet. The town has a mixture of covered shopping malls, pedestrianised streets and traditional market areas.
Prestwich, due to its proximity to Manchester became home to many of the city's wealthy merchants during the 1800's. The Jewish influence in Prestwich started as early as 1840 and the first synagogue was built in 1935. Prestwich now has the second largest Jewish population in the UK. Located in the area known locally as 'The Village' is St Mary's Church, probably the oldest in the borough, dating from around 1450. Close by is Prestwich Clough with its pleasant woodland walks which now makes up part of Prestwich Forest Park.
The town of Radcliffe was originally a medieval settlement and Radcliffe Tower, the remains of one of the biggest Manorial residences in the kingdom is still visible today. Raddcliffe is now one of the main access points for the Irwell Sculpture Trail and it is here, at Outwood, that one of the world's distinguished sculptors, Ulrich Ruckriem has created his only major work in Britain.
In the North of the borough, nestling in the Irwell valley and overlooked by the West Pennine Moors, the town is a popular destination for visitors to the Irwell Valley and a natural stopping off point for passengers of the East Lancashire Railway. A variety of specialist shops and superb eating establishments are complemented by the surrounding countryside and have helped to maintain Ramsbottom's popularity with visitors to the area. Ramsbottom has a regular programme of special events and is renowned for its traditional Victorian Christmas shopping. The nearby villages of Summerseat, part of which is a conservation area, along with Holcombe, an ancient farming village, built on the edge of Holcomber Moor all retain part of their character from a bygone age. Holcombe Hill is famous for its monument, the Peel Tower, built in homage to Sir Robert Peel and Bury's most noticeable landmark.
The world's widest bridge and one of the finest neo Gothic Town Halls in the country are just two of the features of Rochdale's splendid town centre. St Chads Parish Church, dating from the 12th century, Rochdale Pioneers Museum and the Arts and Heritage Centre are also located within the immediate area. Town Centre trail leaflets are available from the Tourist Information Centre.
The startling contrasts of Stockport's town centre are testimony to its rich and varied past. The floodlit viaduct, Europe's largest brick building, dominates Stockport's skyline, whilst the town centre itself is a maze of small streets and stepped alleys. The town boasts several significant buildings including St Mary's Curch, a 14th century gothic church with rare stained glass, presiding over the historic market place, the Edwardian Town Hall, known affectionately as 'the wedding cake' and the imposing War Memorial Art Gallery. Stockport's most unusual construction must surely be the labyrinth of underground passages cut into the red sandstone underneath the town centre prior to World War II, now open for visitors to explore.
One of the borough's most fascinating stories can be attributed to Tottington. In 1682 Quaker Henry Wood of Tottington left the area to avoid religious persecution. On arriving in America Wood founded a settlement in New Jersey naming it Woodbury after his hometown. Over the years close links have been forged between both towns and in June 2000, a party from Bury retraced Wood's original voyage to America. The town also possesses one of the area' s most unusual buildings. The dungeon in Turton Road, was built during the industrial revolution and was in common use. Just who built it remains a mystery.
Water Lilies at Suimmerseat
The Trafford Centre with its distinctive architecture and 3 miles of shop fronts can offer a new dimension to shopping and leisure. Blending the new with the traditional, Trafford has become an important shopping centre. There are malls, parades and precincts within Altrincham, Sale, Stretford and Urmston, which provide excellent choices for the discerning shopper.
On the northern side of Prestwich Forest Park is Whitefield. Here the Parish Church of All Saints, with its splendid Gothic architure, dominates the landscape. Built with money from the 'Waterloo fund' given for the construction of churches after Napoleons defeat at Waterloo, it is recognised as one of the ' One million churches'.
Wigan conjures up thoughts of coal or cobbles. The reality is that the Wigan of today is surprisingly different. Visitors will discover an exciting blend of attractions, picturesque countryside and hidden villages, award winning shopping centres, popular visitor attractions, heritage and culture. Wigan Town Centre is a modern mix of light, stylish arcades and walks, colourful squares and a centre piece in the shape of the award winning Galleries Shopping Centre. The indoor and outdoor markets are packed with over 250 stalls selling everything from fish to flowers and poultry to pottery. The warmth and character of the place make it a popular destination for visitors.
The picturesque village of Worsley is one of the most important and historic visiting points for the country's canal system. It also contains many interesting old buildings, an historic dry dock and picturesque houses around the unspoilt setting of the Green.