Explore Wigan: A Guide to the Historic Town of Greater Manchester

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Wigan, the town of Greater Manchester in Northwest England is a hidden gem that many people don’t know about. From its rich history to its vibrant culture and economy, Wigan has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a place to live or visit on holiday, this small but mighty town offers plenty of exciting opportunities! Come explore what makes Wigan such an attractive destination with us as we take you through its fascinating past and present-day attractions – from scenic views to thriving businesses! Get ready to discover why so many people love living in Wigan and why it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular places in all of Britain!


History of Wigan

  1. Pre-Industrial Revolution: Wigan has a long and varied history, stretching back to the pre-industrial revolution era. Evidence of early human activity in the area dates back to at least the Iron Age, with archaeological finds from this period being discovered around Wigan’s modern-day boundaries. During the Middle Ages, Wigan was an important centre for trade and commerce due to its location on the River Douglas. The town was also home to several religious orders during this time, including Benedictine monks who established a priory in 1220 AD.
  2. Industrial Revolution and Beyond: The industrial revolution saw huge changes come to Wigan as it became one of Lancashire’s major coal mining towns during this period. In addition to coal mining, other industries such as cotton spinning and weaving were also prominent in the area throughout much of 19th century England until they began their decline after World War II when many factories closed down or moved away from Wigan altogether.

Today, despite its declining population since 2001 (which is now estimated at just under 80 thousand), Wigan remains an important regional centre for business and culture within Greater Manchester. This is largely due to its excellent transport links both locally and nationally via rail services into Manchester city centre itself. Over recent decades, the shift towards more service based industries such as retailing and tourism have become increasingly important sources of employment for local people.

The history of Wigan is a rich and fascinating one, from its pre-industrial revolution roots to its modern day success. Now let’s take a look at the geography of this bustling town in the north west of England.


Geography of Wigan

Wigan is a town located in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on the River Douglas and has a population of around 80,000 people. The climate in Wigan is generally mild with cool summers and cold winters.

Location and Climate: Wigan is situated about 30 miles northwest of Manchester city centre and about 20 miles east of Liverpool. The average temperature during summer months ranges from 12°C to 17°C while winter temperatures range from 0°C to 5°C. Rainfall averages at around 700mm per year with snowfall occurring mainly between December and February.

Landscape and Topography: Much of the land surrounding Wigan consists of flat plains which are interspersed by small hills such as Billinge Hill, Parbold Hill, Rivington Pike, Winter Hill and Ashurst Beacon. These areas provide excellent views over the town itself as well as out towards the Irish Sea coastlines nearby. There are also several woodlands within easy reach including Haigh Hall Country Park which covers an area of over 400 acres providing plenty for visitors to explore including its ancient woodland walks, lakeside trails and landscaped gardens.

In addition to this, there are two canals running through the town: the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, which passes through both towns, and the Bridgewater Canal which links Runcorn with Leigh via Manchester Ship Canal. This makes it possible for boats to travel right across North West England without having to navigate any open seas or oceans.

The geography of Wigan is an interesting mix of urban and rural, with a diverse landscape, rivers, canals and climate. Next we will explore the culture of Wigan to gain further insight into this vibrant city.


Key Takeaway: Wigan is a town in Greater Manchester, England with a population of around 80,000. It has mild temperatures and an average rainfall of 700mm per year. The landscape surrounding Wigan consists of flat plains interspersed by small hills providing excellent views over the town as well as out towards nearby coastlines. There are also two canals running through the town making it possible for boats to travel right across North West England without having to navigate any open seas or oceans.


Culture of Wigan

The music and arts scene in Wigan is vibrant and diverse. From classical orchestras to punk rock bands, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The town has a rich history of musical talent, with many notable acts having come from the area. In addition to live performances, there are also several galleries and art spaces showcasing local work.

Sports teams and venues in Wigan have been around since the late 19th century when rugby league was first introduced to the town. Today, Wigan Warriors are one of the most successful clubs in Super League Rugby, while football fans can cheer on their beloved Latics at DW Stadium or watch them play away games across Europe. Other popular sports include cricket, golf and athletics – all of which have strong followings in the region.

The annual May Fair is a highlight for many families who flock here each springtime. Other popular events include Music on The Square, a free outdoor concert series, and food festivals such as Taste Of Wigan which showcase some of the best local produce available in Greater Manchester. These festivals and events bring together locals as well as visitors from far-flung places who come to experience what this unique corner of England has to offer.

The culture of Wigan is a vibrant mix of music, arts, sports and events that make it a great place to live and work. Moving on to the Economy of Wigan, let’s take a look at the major industries in the area, employment opportunities and businesses in the town centre.


Economy of Wigan

The economy of Wigan is largely based on its industrial heritage. Major industries in the area include manufacturing, engineering, and textiles. The town has a long history of producing coal, iron, steel and other products for export around the world. In recent years, there has been an increase in service-based businesses such as retail outlets and restaurants that have helped to diversify the local economy.

Major Industries in the Area: Manufacturing and engineering are two of the main industries that drive Wigan’s economy today. Many companies produce goods for both domestic and international markets from their factories located within or near to Wigan borough boundaries. Textile production is also still significant with many well-known brands being produced locally including clothing labels such as Barbour International and Joules Clothing Company who both have premises in nearby Leigh.

Employment Opportunities in the Region: With a range of different industries operating within Wigan borough there are plenty of employment opportunities available across all sectors from manual labour roles through to managerial positions at larger companies like Tata Steel which employs over 1,000 people locally at its plant just outside Hindley Green village. There are also numerous smaller independent businesses offering jobs throughout various parts of town ranging from shops selling local produce to cafes serving up traditional English dishes with a modern twist.

The economy of Wigan is thriving, with a range of industries and businesses providing employment opportunities for the local population. Tourism in the area has also been growing in recent years, making it an ideal destination for visitors to explore.


Key Takeaway: Wigan has a long history of industry and is now home to a diverse range of businesses, from manufacturing and engineering to retail outlets and restaurants. This provides plenty of employment opportunities across all sectors including manual labour roles, managerial positions at larger companies such as Tata Steel, and independent businesses offering jobs in shops, cafes and more.


Tourism in Wigan

Wigan is a vibrant town located in the North West of England, and it has plenty to offer visitors. From its historic landmarks to its modern attractions, there’s something for everyone here.

Attractions for Visitors to Enjoy: Wigan offers a variety of attractions that are sure to please all types of visitors. For those interested in history, there are several museums and galleries such as The Museum of Wigan Life which showcases the area’s rich industrial heritage or Haigh Hall Country Park with its beautiful gardens and grounds. Other popular attractions include Wayfarers Arcade – an indoor shopping centre full of independent stores – as well as DW Stadium where you can catch a rugby match or two!

Accommodation Options: When visiting Wigan, accommodation options range from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Popular choices include Premier Inn Wigan South which offers comfortable rooms at affordable prices or The Old Courts – an arts venue with unique guestrooms set within a Grade II listed building. There are also several Airbnb’s available if you prefer self-catering accommodation during your stay in the area.

Getting around Wigan is easy due to its excellent transport links. By car, major roads such as the M6 and M61 provide direct access into the city centre. Public transport includes regular bus services operated by Arriva North West & Yorkshire, as well as trains running on Northern Rail lines from Manchester Piccadilly station directly into Wigan Wallgate station every half hour throughout the day (with some late night services).


FAQs in Relation to Wigan

Is Wigan in Lancashire or Greater Manchester?

It is bordered by Lancashire to the north and west, Cheshire to the south and Merseyside to the east. Wigan has been part of Greater Manchester since 1974 when it was incorporated into the newly created metropolitan county. The town centre lies on both sides of the River Douglas which marks its boundary with Lancashire.


What was Wigan famous for?

Wigan is a town in Greater Manchester, England that has been known for its coal mining industry since the Industrial Revolution. It was once one of the most important centres of cotton spinning and weaving in Britain. The Wigan Pier area became famous as a symbol of industrial decline during the 1970s, when it was depicted in popular culture as an archetypal example of working-class life. In recent years, Wigan has become better known for its sporting achievements with two major football teams – Wigan Athletic F.C and Wigan Warriors R.L.F.C – having achieved success at both national and international levels over the past decade or so. Additionally, it is home to several well-known music venues such as Robin Park Arena and The Old Courts which have hosted some big names from across the world including David Bowie and Oasis among others.


Is Wigan a good place to live?

Wigan is a great place to live! It offers a range of amenities and activities, as well as excellent transport links to other cities in the UK. The town centre has plenty of shops, restaurants and bars for entertainment, while there are also many parks and green spaces nearby. Wigan also boasts good schools, low crime rates and affordable housing options – making it an attractive option for families or professionals looking to settle down. With its vibrant culture and close proximity to Manchester city centre, Wigan provides something for everyone!


Is Wigan a town or city?

It is the largest settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan and has an estimated population of 103,608 people as of 2022. Historically part of Lancashire, Wigan was incorporated as a borough in 1246 and became a county borough with its own court of quarter sessions in 1872. In 1974 it joined Greater Manchester and today serves as an important economic hub for the region.



In conclusion, Wigan is a vibrant town in Greater Manchester with a rich history, culture and economy. It has something to offer for everyone from its unique geography to its bustling tourism industry. Whether you’re looking for an exciting day out or just want to explore the area, Wigan is definitely worth visiting! With all these great attractions and activities available, it’s no wonder that Wigan continues to be one of the most popular destinations in the UK.

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6 Responses

  1. Timothy Perez says:

    As someone who has lived in Wigan and has a deep understanding of its history, I must say that this blog post does a great job of highlighting the town’s unique charm and appeal. Wigan truly is a hidden gem in Greater Manchester, and it’s a shame that more people aren’t aware of its rich past and vibrant present.

    I especially appreciate the mention of Wigan’s pre-industrial revolution era, as it showcases the town’s long-standing significance and importance. The fact that evidence of early human activity has been found in the area is a testament to Wigan’s enduring legacy.

    I also agree that Wigan’s location on the River Douglas played a crucial role in its development as a centre for trade and commerce. It’s fascinating to learn about the religious orders that were present in Wigan during the Middle Ages, and how they contributed to the town’s growth and prosperity.

    Overall, this blog post is a great guide for anyone looking to explore Wigan and discover all that it has to offer. I highly recommend visiting this historic town and experiencing its unique blend of culture, economy, and scenic views. Thank you for shedding light on Wigan’s fascinating past and present-day attractions.

    1. Kevin Martin says:

      Thank you for your comment! As someone new to the search marketing industry, I am curious about the potential for promoting Wigan as a tourist destination. With its rich history and unique charm, do you think there is a market for promoting Wigan as a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and travelers looking for a unique experience?

    2. Lisa Baker says:

      Thank you for your kind words about Wigan and its history. As someone new to the search marketing industry, I am curious to know how Wigan’s rich past and vibrant present can be leveraged to attract more visitors and promote the town’s unique charm and appeal? Are there any specific strategies or techniques that have been successful in promoting lesser-known destinations like Wigan?

    3. Robert Johnson says:

      Well, aren’t you just a fountain of knowledge? As someone who has also lived in Wigan, let me tell you that your comment comes off as a bit patronizing. We get it, you know Wigan’s history. But just because you’ve lived here doesn’t mean you know everything about it. And let’s be real, not everyone is interested in Wigan’s past. Some people just want to enjoy the present.

      And while I appreciate your enthusiasm for Wigan’s pre-industrial revolution era, let’s not forget that it’s 2019 now. Wigan has evolved and changed since then, and that’s what makes it so great. It’s not just about its past, it’s about its present and future too.

      So instead of acting like the ultimate authority on Wigan, maybe try being a bit more open-minded and accepting of others’ perspectives. After all, that’s what makes Wigan such a diverse and welcoming town. Cheers.

      1. Joshua Sanchez says:

        Ha! You think you know Wigan better than I do? That’s cute. But let me tell you, I’ve been around these parts for a long time and I’ve seen it all. And I can assure you, Wigan’s history is not something to be brushed aside. It’s what makes this town unique and special.

        But hey, if you want to ignore the past and only focus on the present, that’s your prerogative. Just don’t go around acting like you know everything about Wigan when you clearly don’t. And don’t try to belittle those of us who appreciate the town’s rich history.

        So go ahead, enjoy your modern Wigan. But don’t forget to pay homage to the generations before us who built this town into what it is today. Because without them, you wouldn’t even have a present to enjoy. Cheers.

      2. Margaret Hall says:

        Hi there, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I apologize if my comment came off as patronizing, that was not my intention at all. I am always open to learning more about Wigan’s present and future, as well as its past. Can you tell me more about what makes Wigan great in the present? I would love to hear your perspective.

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