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  • Nowhere nice to eat
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    7 Reviews
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      13.10.2008 21:40
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      Don't believe everything you read in the papers

      Welcome to Burnley, home of race riots, BNP and dog pooh. According to Location Location Location, it's the 19th worst place to live in the UK. I wish I could argue against that point but, having lived here fore nearly 3 years, I'd struggle to come up with a watertight argument. For those of you who aren't familiar with Burnley, it's located in East Lancashire and surrounded by some beautiful countryside.

      When I moved to Burnley it had some of the lowest house prices in the country. According to the BBC, the current average price for a terraced property in Burnley is £78,524 which may sound cheap but is still far higher than the £20,000 or so properties were selling for when I moved it. Admittedly, the houses selling for those prices were in the roughest parts of town and I remember enquiring about one only to be told the previous tenant had decided to take the floorboards with them when they vacated the property. The estate agent advised there was just a 6 foot drop as soon as you opened the front door. But you could still buy a solidly built terrace property for an affordable sum of money, something that you'd struggle to do elsewhere in the country.

      So in a bid to get onto the property, my then partner and I upped sticks and moved from a very affluent area of South Manchester to a rather derelict street in Burnley. I won't bore you with the story, but in January we parted company and I began renting a flat on my own, within a stone's throw of the town centre.

      I often ask myself why I chose to stay in Burnley. So far, I've managed to come up with two possible reasons. Firstly, there's the simple fact that I couldn't afford to pay my bills and clear my debts if I was living in a more affluent town. And secondly, when I'm in more of a glass half full kind of a mood, I remind myself of all the close friends I've made here who've supported me through some very difficult times. So in the meantime, I'm riding it out in Burnley whilst I sort myself out financially. And this gives me the perfect opportunity to think of some positive points about the town, before I depress myself even further.

      Firstly, Burnley is ideally located if you're looking to commute to Manchester. You can save a fortune on the cost of living and a return on the X43 will only set you back £5.50, with cheaper options available for weekly and monthly tickets. I'll let you into a little secret, I pay £100 a week rent. Many of my friends think this is extortionate for Burnley but my rent includes all bills, council tax, TV licence, everything! And my flat is spacious, comfortable, has all mod cons and is within staggering distance of the town centre after a night out. So when I say it's cheap, I really do mean it.

      Speaking about nightlife, it's not all that bad round here. The town centre is heaving with pubs and bars and there's something to suit everyone's tastes. Quite a few of the pubs on the outskirts of town have excellent reputations for showcasing live music and although there are some rougher pubs, it's generally quite easy to spot which ones to avoid as soon as you catch sight of the clientele. Speaking of music, Burnley is also home to an annual Blues Festival which of course warrants a review of its own but, suffice to say, it's a worthy event in the Burnley calendar.

      If you like to eat out, then Burnley has a small but varied selection of restaurants offering Indian, Chinese, Lebanese and Italian food amongst others. There's a large Asian population in Burnley so if you're lucky enough to be a fan of curries, you won't have to go far to find a restaurant or takeaway offering an excellent selection of Asian food.

      If you like to shop til you drop, the Trafford Centre and Manchester city centre are a bus ride away. Burnley town centre itself has a decent selection of High Street shops and there's even a rumour that Primark may be coming to town after Debenhams decided to take their business elsewhere.

      And for the more cultured visitors, there's Townley Hall, a large country house on the edge of town which is home to a museum and art collection. Entry is free to Burnley residents (there's another incentive to move here!) and I have visited once and was rather impressed by the artifacts on display. I recall an Egyptian mummy and a very large stuffed bear but there were plenty more exhibits to keep both young and old entertained. Oh, and by stuffed bear, I mean a real bear, not a teddy! There's also the Weavers' Triangle. I have to admit I've had to cheat and see from the website exactly what it is. The website reliably informs me it is 'a well-preserved Victorian industrial townscape.' Actually, it looks quite interesting and is conveniently situated next to the Inn on the Wharf so I may well combine a visit to the Weavers' Triangle followed by a relaxing drink or two by the canal...

      For sports fanatics there's the local football team, Burnley FC who play at Turf Moor. I hear they're doing quite well this season but I won't pretend to be interested in football. Burnley is also home to St Peter's Centre, a newly built, state of the art health and leisure centre. It houses two swimming pools, a large and well equipped gym, fitness suite and spots halls as well as various GPs and medical services for the aftercare when you realize all the stress and strain of exercising was too much!

      Finally, despite not having consumed any alcohol this evening, I feel the need to get a little bit cheesy and nostalgic and comment on the people I've met whilst living here. Burnley is full of characters. You only need to sign up to the Burnley Legends group on Facebook to see how fond people are of the interesting and charismatic locals. I've also been fortunate in meeting people who I know will be friends for life. Despite my family living miles away, I have so many friends who I know I can turn to for help at any time. If this were a radio show, I'd shout out to all of them. But since it isn't, I'll refrain.

      Whilst circumstances have kept me in Burnley, I've rarely considered moving back to Manchester or my home county of Shropshire. For me, the good far outweighs the bad. That said, a quarter life crisis combined with reading Zoe_page_1's reviews has given me the desire to move to Mexico but I'll certainly be staying here for the foreseeable future...

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        29.01.2003 01:53
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        • "Nowhere nice to eat"

        I lived in Burnley for about 19 years, before moving to Manchester in 1993 and then more recently to California. On a recent trip back to the UK, with a short stop in Burnley, I was appalled at just how racist the general populous of Burnley has become. I appreciate the irony that to tar everybody in the town with the same brush is equally bigotted, but any open-minded person can see it all around. Take for example some of the reviews on this web site (the prime reason I registered to write this review). And then visit the place and see the spray-painted swastikas on shop shutters (I do not exaggerate). When I worked in Burnley as a legal professional I could not believe the attitude of some of my colleagues - supposedly high-standing members of the community - who would think nothing of referring to their asian clients in the most derogatory manner. Indeed, the term "Paki" is so widely used that it is considered a normal part of the language. The shame of it is that Burnley has a very interesting heritage and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Anybody visiting Towneley Hall, or the Weavers Triangle would agree. The hills around Cliviger and Pendle are superb, and the view over the town from Crown Point is fantastic. Burnley will always be special to me, but the way it was, not the way it is. Yob culture has become so entrenched in the town and the racial separation and distrust is so strong, that I fear there is no hope that the town will now ever prosper. How very unfortunate.

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          07.06.2002 18:16

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          When many people hear 'Burnley' now, the first thing many of them think about is Riots, but more on that later. Burnley itself is a pleasant place to be, depending on where you go. When you come off the M65 into Burnley, you are met with run-down housing, litter in the streets and what looks like a run-down town! However, when you get past 'run down bit' you will see that there are modern, clean parts of the town. There are many businesses in the town too, ranging from Clothe shops to computer shops. There is a Burger King at one end of the Town Centre and a Mc Donalds at the other, with plenty of café's between. The roads are below average, with potholes all over the place, and plenty of Speed Cameras. It makes you wonder where all the speed fine money goes. Burnley has it's own local radio station too - 2BR (99.8fm) which I have written an Op for. Most of the Asian community really let the town down. As well as getting all of their houses done up (drive through Stoneyholme [Asian Area] and then through somewhere like Duke Bar [More of a white area] and you'll see the difference). The council don't like listning to the white community, and we are all racist if we mention the amount of money spent of Asians. Many of which don't even appreciate what has been done for them. That is one of the main reasons why the riots started in the summer of 2001. Asians didn't like it when whites started to get there own way, althogh, as per usual, it is the white community that started it all off. If you are coming to Burnley for a night out, be very careful about the taxi you choose. Many are uninsured and unsafe. In recent spot checks by the police, 70% of all taxi's were unsafe, with serious faults with the brakes, steering and other major systems. If you want a guarenteed safe ride, give Brittons Taxis a ring. The cars are usually less than two years old, (Y-Reg VW Passat, and
          a '51' Reg Citroen Xsara Picasso) and are all clean and well maintained. Although they are slightly more expensive than the other Taxi companies, it is worth paying that little bit extra to be sure you will get a safe ride. Come to Burnley, but watch your back. Make sure you don't go into Thompsons Park either. Which has been deemed an 'Asian Park'. Whcih generally means that if a white person goes into it you end up in Burnley General hospital or your pushing up daisys.

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          07.07.2001 23:14

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          Burnley is in East Lancashire and is surrounded by the romantic harp-shaped hills and the rural beauty of northern England. It is famous for many things which include its world-famous football team, it was once visited by Ghandi and of course the manufacturing of 'prestige' Steel. It is home to around 50,000 people and is a relatively quiet little town which neighbours with Colne and Nelson and is a short way from the yorkshire border. Many ameneties are present such as its huge multi-screened cinema complex, countless restraunts and pubs, excellent shopping area and train station. From Burnley there is easy access north to Cubria and the North York Moors and west to Blackpool, manchester and liverpool. Burnley has a long history dating back to c1750 when during the industrial revolution it was a strategic cotton producing town. The spirit of Burnley is evidently alive within the people of this little town and through it's history. It is ideal for any visitors due to the uniqe qualities it possesses. Well worth a look, Thunderchild

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          18.06.2001 16:12
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          If you live anywhere near Burnley in Lancashire, you should not miss this!! The Swan Inn (44 St. James Street) are having a ladies night on Tuesday nights, you pay three pounds for a ticket and you can DRINK FREE lager, bitter and Strongbow all night (well until last orders anyway!). In addition to this they also sell Vodka, Gin, Whisky, and White Rum at 50p a shot (This offer is open to anyone even men, ticket or no ticket!) They have a DJ playing 80's revival music and then later current chart stuff! The pub is really quite nice, and has two floors, the second based on a church theme and has a Pull-Pit where you can dance, it's a kind of stage. It's normally full of student types, but there is quite a wide variety of age groups. It's a really great night out, especially as it only costs three pounds. Starts at 8.30pm! See you there!

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            26.10.2000 20:05
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            Burnley isnt all flat caps and old men talking about "t'good old days" as you would expect from this sedate (haha) little Lancashire MArket town. Take it from me - I used to Live there! Underneath its grim dark exterior there live some of the nicest and friendliest people on the face of the Planet! I used to work in what used to be Burnleys Biggest Night Club (Genesis) and its when you do a job like that you get to learn about the real Burnley. They are (almost) all very loyal to there Football team (now in Div 1) and they all like a good night down the town, usually starting in the bigest pub in the town (Sidewalk 53) and moving down through Yates, The Red Lion, Smacks Cocktail Bar (Really Called Smackwater Jacks - but try saying that when youve had a few!) and finnaly ending up in Genesis/Meancats or Millenium (the other main club in the town). The Town itself is good if you love being near to a cash point - its probably the only thing I dislike about the town - TOO MANY BANKS! And its even worse when you have spent all your money! Theres other entertainment aswell with the Sparrow Hawk Hotel frequently hosting Beer festivals for CAMRA (the Campiagn for Real Ale!) and the local theatre (Burnley Mechanics) is right in the town center! Then there is the other aspect of Burnley - amazing heritage - with all the mills around you'll never be at a loose end!

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            23.10.2000 00:41
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            Burnley [Background: Mills, Cloth Caps, Whippets, Pigeons, Pies. If you asked a representative sample of 100 people in the street for something that they associated with Burnley, then these these five answers would undoubtedly be high up the list - but the town really does have a lot more to offer - honest!]. Burnley is my home town. I was born there, at Burnley General Hospital in March 1972, and then lived about ten miles away in a small town called Barnoldswick until the time I was eighteen. I subsequently left for University for three years, before moving to Liverpool for my first job. I stayed on Merseyside for a further six years, but last year I moved back to the area to a medium-sized village called Barrowford, about a five mile drive from the town of my birth. I feel reasonably qualified to write an opinion on this great Northern town, and as no-one else has yet put their thoughts down in this category, I thought that it was about time that I did. Burnley is a medium to large town with a population of around 90,000 in the entire Burnley district, with about 50,000 of these in the town itself. It is located just off the M65 motorway between the town of Blackburn, which is currently seeking city status, and the market town of Skipton, which is the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. Burnley has a compact shopping centre with many shops, including Marks & Spencer, TJ Hughes, Woolworths, Boots Topshop/Topman, JJB Sports, Halfords and many more. Although the shops in the town are adequte for most, the town is not renowned for its shopping facilities. As an alternative it is possible to travel to Manchester City Centre and the Trafford Centre, which are both about 40 minutes drive away. Burnley has two main supermarkets in the shape of an Asda on the outskirts of the town and a Sainsbury's in the centre. Burnleys nightlife is buzzing and can provide an entertaining night out for most tastes.
            As well as several pubs and bars, there are a number of nightclubs in the town. Although no longer there, Burnley used to be able to boast the famous 'Angels' nightclub that pulled in clubbers from miles around in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In its absence, you could now try The Arena, Panama Joe's, or VIP's. For those who prefer a more sedate night out, Burnley also has a Megabowl Bowling Alley and an Apollo Cinema Complex at Hollywood Park, just half a mile from the town centre. Those of a sporting nature could try the Thompson Centre, which has a swimming pool as well as facilities for most other indoor sporting activities. Burnley also boasts a well supported First Division football team who were once great, particularly in the 1960s. The 'Clarets', as they are affectionately known (as they play in Claret & Blue colours), are now seeing a resurgence after several years in the lower divisions of the football league. Other attractions in or close to the town are Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museum, Queen Street Mill, and the National Trust owned Gawthorpe Hall. If you want to find out more about Burnley and its environs, then why not check out these links: www.eastlancashireonline.co.uk (general site for Burnley & Pendle) www.burnleyfootballclub.com (for Burnley F.C.) If anyone is interested, and would like any further information on Burnley, then please leave a note in the comments section for this opinion and I will do my best to help out. {An opinion by Blackjane - 2000}

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