Horwich is a small town, surrounded by the West Pennine Moors to the north, and to the south and west the edge of the lowland plains that stretch as far as the coast.
With a long and varied history once host to the medieval forest of the barons of Manchester, complete with outlaws according to local legend. The town also played and important part in the industrial revolution from the cotton industry to large scale manufacture of locomotives. In the 1990s a former industrial estate on the outskirts of the town was expanded to a large shopping complex together with the stadium of the Bolton Wanderers football team and various other sports facilities.
In spite of the corporate invasion, the old town business district continues to thrive due to the tenacity of the local businesses and the high price of bus fares to the out-of-town shopping complex.