Blackburn Town Centre Real Ale Pubs Guide
Here is a handy pub guide to Blackburn town centre. It’s aimed at football fans in general and real ale drinkers in particular. Unfortunately Blackburn’s pubs have hit a low water mark. Hopefully things could be about to get better in the near future.
Come out the railway station and to your right, along Railway Road is the Adelphi. At the time of writing, this pub is closed. But activities are afoot by Admiral Taverns to bring a tenant into the pub. For a pub in such a prominent position – right between the railway and bus stations and outside Morrison’s superstore – it has had rather a chequered history. The place should be a goldmine, but lack of investment in the place has led it to become rather shabby. On the bright side, it always had good real ale available. It was always handy too as a meeting point for going to Rovers matches and for days and nights out in Blackburn town centre. Hopefully it will be again in the near future.
In the opposite direction, left along Railway Road and down Jubilee Street, you find Last Orders on the corner of Darwen Street. As its name implies, it owned by the Last Orders group, as is its sister pub Blackburn Times, on Northgate, on the other side of the town centre. Last Orders is usually the first pub football fans come across as it’s on the route to Ewood Park. It sometimes has real ale available, but seems a bit hit and miss with their single cask pump often unavailable. The pub is always busy and a good atmosphere, especially on match days. Home and away fans mix very well together in this pub.
The Postal Order
Just a few doors up Darwen Street from Last Orders and next door to Blackburn Cathedral is the ‘Posty’. This is Blackburn’s Wetherspoon’s pub and the busiest in town. It has the best selection of real ale too and puts on a variety of meals. As expected, this is where most football fans – and nearly everybody else – calls in on a visit to Blackburn town centre. From the railway station you can take a short cut to the Posty by walking up Dandy Walk, to the left side of the cathedral, which is across the square from Blackburn Railway Station.
Across the road, on the right, from the Posty is BBC Radio Lancashire. Round the corner from here is Blackburn’s Barbary Coast and Zy Bar, on the corner of Market Street Lane and Mincing Lane. It used to be called the Dun Horse, but changed its name a few years ago. This pub takes everybody by surprise by what a good place it is. It has real ales available at good prices. Plenty of characters go in here, giving it that rough and ready atmosphere, but pleasant at the same time. Well worth a visit.
Rough and ready is probably the best description of the Sun, being based on Blackburn’s Barbary Coast. Although its staff and customers are friendly enough. It’s just down Mincing Lane from Zy Bar and round the corner on Astley Gate. It was a surprise when they started selling Thwaites Original cask ale. But they knew what they were doing and have never looked back with their real ale experiment. It’s as good a pint of Thwaites as you will get anywhere.
Across the road and under the car park access bridge from the Sun is Northgate. Follow this and it brings you to Blackburn Times. Although part of Last Orders’ group, this pub makes more effort at selling real ale than its sister pub on Darwen Street. Unfortunately it never seems to order enough cask and soon sells out over weekends. But this is probably down to how popular this pub is. With good prices, lots of TV sport and entertainment on at weekends, this place is one of Blackburn town centre’s success stories. Just wish they would order a bit more real ale.
Up the road from Times and round the corner on King William Street is Molloy’s. It started out as an Irish pub, but stopped being a themed bar and is a proper pub now. It always has real ale at decent prices and good food available too. ‘Molly’s’ has a good atmosphere, with its local-like feel. Yet there are plenty of TV screens around the pub for football and other sports. Unlike other town centre pubs, it has a good mix of younger and older customers.
Going back on yourself from Molloy’s, you would have seen the Sir Charles Napier if walking up Northgate from Times Bar. In June 2015 Thwaites decided to close Blackburn’s only rock pub. But its regulars were not prepared to take this lying down. A terrific campaign to re-open the pub followed and light is at the end of the tunnel. It is due to open any time. Real ale is on the agenda and our own phoenix will have risen from the ashes.
STOP PRESS – The Napier has now re-opened! Read about it here Napier
STOP PRESS – The Drummer’s Arms, across from the Town Hall, just down from Molloy’s, has now opened – 5 real ales available! Read about it here Drummer’s Arms
If you are stuck for other pubs to go in, we have a few in the town centre which don’t sell real ale (at the time of writing). These are Bar Ibiza and Ego Dance Emporium on Mincing Lane, Sam’s Bar on Higher Church Street, Jubilee on Blakey Moor and Blakey’s on Northgate.