Bolton Town Hall - © Ben Rowe/Time Out
Bolton has never been content to sit in Manchester's shadow. Its Town Hall, completed in 1873 and dominating the town centre, easily has enough grandeur to rival its Manchester counterpart. The neoclassical design, featuring a grand Corinthian portico and sweeping staircase, reveals how important Bolton was during the 'Cottonopolis' era - it was once one of the most productive centres of cotton spinning in the world.
Today, as then, culture plays a part in daily life, with the curving sweep of Le Mans Crescent at the rear of the building providing a home not only for the Town Hall (and its theatre venue, the Albert Halls) but also for a museum, art gallery, library and aquarium to boot.