To celebrate 10 years of Lupine Travel we are organising a tour to our most extreme destination to date - Wigan.
Previously a Roman fort known as Coccium, the town later became known as Wigan, a Norse phrase 'Wig An' meaning 'Land of fights'. The town has kept good to it's name origins throughout the centuries, being the site of one of the 12 Arthurian battles (according to recently uncovered historical evidence), the site of 'the battle of the Bloody Mountains' (the penultimate battle of the English Civil War) and in more recent years, the battles seen down King Street in the town centre every weekend after the pubs and clubs close.
Our itinerary can be seen below. There will be the option of just taking our day tour of Wigan on 16th June or taking a 2 or 3 night package with further tours, visiting the surrounding areas.
Thursday 14th June: Wigan
Arrive in to Wigan and check in to your hotel
Friday 15th June: Rivington, Horwich
At 9:00am we are picked up by our transport and driven to Rivington, a scenic area in the West Pennines on the outskirts of Wigan.
We will visit Rivington Terraced Gardens, a beautiful 45 acre site before walking up to Rivington Pike. The Pike is one of England's ancient beacon defence network, dating back almost a thousand years. The beacon has been fired up on multiple occasions over the centuries, regularly to warn of Scottish raids, but most famously in 1588 when the Spanish Armada was spotted off English shores.
We then take a 60 minute trek up to the top of Winter Hill. The highest peak in the region and home of a giant TV transmitter. The hill is steeped in history - from bronze age burial grounds, infamous brutal murder in 1838 and site of a major plane crash in 1958.
We head back down to Rivington and stop for lunch at the 17th Century Rivington Barn.
Return to our hotel and head out for food later before finishing the evening at the John Bull pub, which is over 500 years old.
Saturday 16th June: Wigan
In the morning we start off our tour at Lupine HQ on King Street in the town centre. From here we take a walking tour around the town; starting off at Gerrard Winstanley Gardens where we can see the 'Face of Wigan' and the Gerrard Winstanley (17th century political activisit and founder of the 'diggers') monument. We then walk up to 'Believe Square' to visit the Wigan Walk of fame which includes a star for Sir Ian McKellan (aka Gandalf and Magneto). We then take a walk down the historic Wiend street, where Thomas Beecham first opened a chemist in 1847 - humble beginnings for what is now the world's sixth largest pharmaceutical company. From here we visit Wigan Parish Church, George Formby statue and a chance to have your photo taken at the mural outside the Uncle Joe's mintball factory. We also visit the Wigan Museum and the site of the Wigan Casino - birthplace of the northern soul music scene in the 1970's and voted number 1 disco in the world by Billboard magazine, ahead of New York's Studio 54. At lunch time we will stop off at a Lupine HQ where we will have a fresh delivery of Wigan's most famous delicacy - the pie barm.
From here we will be picked up by an open top bus to continue our tour. We start with a visit to the George Orwell plaque on Darlington Street. It was here where Orwell lived for several weeks whilst writing his 1937 book, the Road to Wigan Pier.
The next stop is the Tyldesley monument, erected in 1679. It marks the spot where Thomas Tyldesley, England's most feared knight was killed during the Battle of the Bloody Mountains. During the English civil war, the Royalists were marching through Wigan to take part in a battle further South in Worcestershire. It is on this site where they were ambushed by Parliamentarians; hundreds killed and hundreds more taken prisoner. The Royalists forces numbers were weakend, and 1 week later they were defeated at the Battle of Worcester - the Civil War was over.
Just 50 metres away from the monument is where armed anti terrorism police and bomb squad stormed the house of a suspect in the Manchester bombing in 2017. Locals were so unperturbed by the thought of ISIS cells in their midst that they came out to watch with cans of beer whilst the action unfolded, and asked for selfies with the Army's bomb robot.
Our tour finishes off when we get back on the open top bus and head for a tour around various housing estates of Wigan. After the tour we will be dropped off at Mesnes Park, a Victorian park situated next to the town centre. After a stroll through the park, we will return to our hotel.
Later that evening we'll all join together for an Indian meal in the town centre before going on a pub crawl which finishes on the town's infamous King Street.
Sunday 17th June: Wigan
In the morning we take a walk along the Leeds and Liverpool canal to see Wigan Pier and the Pit Brow Lasses statues. We then visit Trencherfield Mill - a former cotton mill built in 1907 which holds the world's largest steam engine. The site is also regularly used as a filming location, most recently seen in the BBC's Peaky Blinders. We then drive up to the Plantation Gates and begin a 2 mile hike through Haigh Woodland estate to reach one of Wigan's most famous sites - Haigh Hall, a historic country house built in 1827. Here we have a couple of hours free time around the estate before being picked up by our transport and back in to the town centre where the tour ends.
Tour price options:
£55 - day tour on 16th June
£85 - day tour 16th June plus 1 night accommodation
£125 - tours on 16th and 17th June and 2 nights accommmodation*
£165 - full package from 14th-17th June including 3 nights accommodation*
*based on 2 sharing. Single supplement is £30 per night.
All proceeds from this tour will be given to two local charities:
-The Brick: offering services to people who are homeless, in poverty or in debt.
-Joseph's Goal: research for the rare genetic disorder Non-Ketotic Hyperglycinemia.
We will also be offering the Wigan day tour as a standalone trip every Saturday! Click here for more details.