Roses are red, violets are blue, think Bolton is rubbish? We’ve got a lesson for you… Well, the creators of BBC Three’s new teen horror series, Red Rose, have.

Bolton born and bred twins Paul and Michael Clarkson have dubbed the series, which is made by the same producers as hit series Sex Education, as a ‘love letter to Bolton’. 

Anyone who has grown up north of Birmingham (me included) knows that our poor ickle ‘where’s that?’ towns don’t make it onto the big screen. And that’s exactly why the Clarkson brothers decided to set this Stranger Things meets Sex Education mash up in one.

Michael said: ‘I want Bolton teens to watch this and feel like their lives are cinema-worthy, like they are film-worthy, because they are.’ Bravo. But gushing aside, Bolton isn’t as dire as you southern folk think. In fact, there’s more than one reason to write it a love letter.

From memorable days out to spoily eats and historic streets, don’t be too quick to dismiss this much overlooked UK town.

Let’s take a look at what it has to offer… 

To eat: Tapaz Restaurant and Bar

No, you’re not in Spain. Chomp down on some juicy Mediterranean bites in this authentic tapas restaurant in the heart of Bolton.

If you were in London you’d probably pay an arm, a leg, and half your monthly salary to be full on lots of luxurious little tasty plates, but here the tapas averages at around £6 a pop. So feast your eyes and yourself on all the classics, from steaming patatas bravas to ensalada galore and all the croquetas you can muster. 

So that’s… How many? Probably too many. But you may as well. When in Bolton…

Book here.  

To drink: Northern Monkey Bar

If you want a real taste of the north you’ve got to get out of those gastropubs and into the real world, southerners.

So gulp your craft beers ice cold and gobble your pizzas piping hot (thought you’d just had tapas? Oh well?) in this cool and comfortable Bolton watering hole. 

It’s proudly northern, and no, that doesn’t mean it has to be a local boozer that stinks of beer and piss, thank you very much, but it’s full of character and oozes that good old northern cheeky charm. Oh, and it’s the spot to go for live music too. 

Visit here.

Don’t miss: Bolton Market  

For those lucky few who have more than cotton for brains, you could spend hours (and even a whole day) gaping at these fascinating machines. Or, just nip in for 30 minutes and head to the pub. Either way, it’s pretty cool. 

Open Wednesdays and Sundays. Visit here.

Nearby countryside: Rivington Pike

No town would be worth visiting if you can’t look down at it from afar, would it? Maybe it would, but a huge perk of Bolton is that you have some amazing countryside on your doorstep. 

So why not dust off those walking boots and hike to the top of the beautiful Rivington Pike, only a 20 minute drive away, where you can soak in the North West’s ‘best view’.

On a clear day you will be able to see as far as The Isle of Man and the Lake District. Now that’s a day to remember. 

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