A Manchester Evening News article from 2003 reckons the Railway was once the smallest pub in the country , althought oweners Joey Holt's themselves reckon it laid a claim to be the smallest in Manchester . It's easy to believe this when you consider that the left half of the pub as you look at it used to be a cobblers shop until about a decade ago. Before then, the pub was a small single-roomed affair with outdoor toilets at the rear. Now the lounge has been extended into the old shop, and the back room has replaced the al fresco latrines.
Railway, Lapwing Lane, West Didsbury. (c) Manchester After Dark.
Don't be fooled by it's café bar style exterior, the Railway is a proper boozer, and one of a diminishing number in the Didsbury area. In stark contrast to the prim, proper and slightly poncey atmosphere of across the road, bare boards, bench seating and Holt's ales offered such respite on our wander that we stopped for a couple. The Holt's bitter was on fine form and the pub was rammed full of locals watching the match. The Railway, named of course due to its proximity to the old Withington & West Didsbury Station, is one of the quirkiest pubs in the Holt's estate and definitely one of the finest.