M6, Junction 28; 13 minutes
Free WiFi for visitors
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal washes through this former weaving village, bringing with it crowds of narrow boats in the summer; from the top of nearby Heapey’s Hill you can see stunning views of the West Pennine Moors and, on a good day, Blackpool Tower. It’s worth stretching your legs and exploring Wheelton’s Hovis-style sloping streets to make room for the much-fêted afternoon tea at the Village Tea Room. It’s served in an individual picnic basket and includes finger sandwiches, fruit scones with cream and paper-wrapped slices of cake. Lighter lunches, such as Welsh rarebit and homemade soup, are also served. And if your eyes are bigger than your stomach you can pop any leftovers in a take-away bag for your onward journey.
The relaxed welcome encourages you to linger. Tables are arranged cosily over three levels, though the best seats in the house are undoubtedly those outside – weather permitting – overlooking the beautiful memorial clock tower. Revel in the tranquility - it’s hard to believe you’re close to the M6 and only a couple of miles from the M61 (junction 8).