Why Leigh is the Place to Be

south-of-lancashire-in-the-borough-of-wigan-leighLocated south of Lancashire in the borough of Wigan, Leigh has a colorful history as a market town and a more modern history as an industrial center. Recent efforts at boasting the tourist appeal of the town have resulted in pedestrianized streets, the restoration of the canal promenade and the renovation of historic buildings, making Leigh a pleasant stopover.

Town Hall Square is the focal point of the town and it has some beautiful old architecture surrounding it. Dominating the square is the magnificent Leigh Parish Church, also known as the Church of St Mary the Virgin, parts of which date back almost 600 years. Opposite the church is Leigh Library, housed in an equally stately old building. Just to the left of the library is an unusual stone plaque, known as the Derby Stone. The plaque recounts the history of the Earl of Derby before his execution in 1651. Also fronting the square is the Town Hall, dating from 1907, as well as some art galleries and the town museum.

From Town Hall Square, you can wander the local heritage trail and discover an old toll collection point; the George and Dragon (Leigh’s oldest pub, dating from the late 17th century); Leigh Dungeon; the house where the famous author James Hilton was born; and the Waterside Inn, situated on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Indeed, the canal is a charming way of reaching the town from Liverpool, Leeds or Manchester. Should you tire of local attractions, Leigh is within easy reach of Wigan, Bolton and Lancaster as well as the famous Lake District.

Leigh is famous for its markets and thousands of people visit the town each week to pick up bargains. Both indoor and outdoor markets are held from Monday to Saturday and offer everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to choice cuts of meat, fashions for all ages, household and electrical goods, and antiques.