Things to do in Bolton for students | 8 Activities to get involved with

Are you studying at the University of Bolton? Then check out the best things to do within the town centre from local favourite attractions to modern spots to explore – we will help you on your Bolton journey! Whether you’re currently living in Bolton or planning to head there come September you’ll be clued up on all the best things to do for students in the Greater Manchester town.

Bolton Town

1. Bolton Market

The Bolton Market is a great place to go for students with over 300 stalls across an indoor and outdoor location. There are tons of things on offer from fruit and veg, meats and cheeses, deli’s, breads and savoury snacks. Within the market there is also the indoor Homeware and Lifestyle Hall which has local traders offering clothes, books, crafts, and jewellery to name a few.

Inside the lifestyle hall you’ll also find a seating area with tons of options to choose from such as salads, coffees, sandwiches, paninis, cakes and ice cream. There’s a pub inside if you want to grab a drink with your pals. Why not take a walk around and see all the stalls? It was even voted ‘Best Food Market’ at the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards in 2011, so it’s not just us that think Bolton Market is a fab place to visit.


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Address: Ashburner St, Bolton BL1 1TJ 

2. Bolton Museum and Art Gallery

The Bolton Museum and Art Gallery is situated in the town centre and is a great place for students to explore the history and culture of Bolton. With exhibitions, craft activities, an aquarium, library and the art gallery to explore, it makes for a great few hours to go with your pals. It’s definitely a good option to go on a rainy day when you have some free time and don’t want to spend your student loan – its free!

If you’re a book lover than the Bolton Central Library has tons of various genres of books to sit and read. Explore Greater Manchester’s only public aquarium whilst you’re there too and see all the specifies of fish. Due to its location, you can head out and do some shopping or grab a bite to eat in town after!

Address: Le Mans Cres, Bolton BL1 1SE

3. The University of Bolton Stadium

The University of Bolton Stadium is the home ground of Bolton Wanderers F.C. in Horwich. Whilst studying at the University of Bolton you just have to go and experience a match game here with your new friends – regardless of being a football fan or not it’s a great experience! It’s a great venue which also has an exciting events calendar with music concerts and sports events, last year it hosted the quarter-final of the Rugby League World Cup.

There are tons of eating and drinking facilities on the Middle Brook Retail Park located next to the stadium. So, you can go for some pre-match scran with options like Nando’s, Wagamama, Bella Italia and Chiquito to choose from.

Address: Burnden Way, Horwich, Bolton BL6 6JW

4. Octagon Theatre

The Octagon Theatre is an iconic cultural venue in Bolton with showcases a wide variety of productions across the year. Such shows in this year’s calendar are A Christmas Carol, Brief Encounter and Buddy Holly & The Cricketers to name few. The theatre is located in the centre of town, opposite the Library and Museum so its super easy to get to.

The venue is modern with a restaurant and bar inside so you can grab some pre-theatre drinks and food. Why not experience a night at the theatre with your friends or family when they come to visit?

Address: Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft S, Bolton BL1 1SB

5. Moses Gate Country Park

If you enjoy walking and exploring green spaces then Moses Gate Country Park is the place to go in Bolton, it’s the largest nature reserve in the town. Despite only being 3 miles south of Bolton town centre it is a bit of a long walk to get there, but there’s plenty of bus and train routes that stop close by, which only take 15-minutes.

The park has mill lodges and woodland as well as plenty of heritage and wildlife to see. If you’re bringing your bike with you to uni, the park makes for a great cycle route! Bring a picnic when the weathers nice and get some fresh air with your mates. You can also grab a coffee or ice cream from the ice cream van which parks there – a cute day out, right?!


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Address: Hall Ln, Farnworth, Bolton BL4 7QS

6. Market Place Shopping Centre

Market Place is the place to go to shop till you drop whilst living in Bolton. There’s a range of UK favourite retailers spread across four floors such as Zara and H&M, as well as independent stores so you can get an outfit sorted for a night out in no time.

After you’ve bought all, you need, head to The Vault located in the basement area to explore the bustling social scene of Bolton. Dine in the selection of restaurants or bars to choose from including Prezzo, Nando’s and Bar 4. There’s also a Light Cinema within the Market Place so you can take a break from uni work and have a film night with friends!

Address: Knowsley St, Bolton BL1 2AL

7. Northern Monkey Bar

Located on the infamous Nelson Square is Northern Monkey Bar, which offers craft ales, and stone-baked pizza – mmm! Northern Monkey has been dubbed by locals as one of the best bars in the town centre and we’re not surprised, there’s a great vibe to this place with their stylish decor!

Have a few casual drinks before going out on a night out and explore the selection of bevvies available. You can even enjoy some live music or take part in their karaoke nights on the weekends too!

Address: The Pack Horse, Nelson Square, Bolton BL1 1AQ

8. Ye Olde Man and Scythe

If you’re like us and love a trip to the pub, then you just have to go the historic Ye Olde Man and Scythe. It’s not only the oldest pub in Bolton dating back to 1251, but also one of the oldest in the UK. Did someone say pub crawl?!

Despite being an oldy world pub, it has a great atmosphere with live music and a selection of drinks to choose from. Hangout with your flatmates or course mates in this quirky environment – after all, Bolton has more pubs per person than any other place in the UK, so it would be rude not to!

Address: 6-8 Churchgate, Bolton BL1 1HL

That’s its folks, the end of our guide of things to do in Bolton for students – let us know if you go to any of these recommendations! We hope you have an amazing university experience whilst living in Bolton, it’s a great town and there’s tons to do and see.

If you enjoyed this blog, then check out our post on the Top 6 Rated Takeaways For Students in Bolton here.

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