After the good (Friendship, Victoria, Turnpike), the bad (Sir Joseph Whitworth, Great Central) and the ugly (endearingly so - the Albert and the Orion), we finished our Fallowfield and Withington wander in the Red Lion. This big old Marston's inn has always been popular with locals and students who mix well, and with its extensive outdoor seating and bowling green to the rear, is ideally situated, especially since it's the only remaining Lion around (the White Lion is now a Tesco and the Golden Lion's been demolished).
Red Lion, Wilmslow Road, Withington. (c) Wikipedia under Wikipedia Commons.
However - and this is probably due its owners - it disappointed slightly due to the dull ale selection and the unappealing mish-mash of old fashioned and modern decor. Give me the Victoria and Albert any day. Where the Red Lion does appeal is in its fantastic history. The coaching inn can be traced back to the 17th century and is probably the oldest original building in Withington village, although many additions have been made over the years. The Red Lion remains one of the most distinctive buildings in the area as you drive up Wilmslow Road into town and is nice slice of the countryside in the inner-city.