I thought I’d put together this little list of some of my favourite things to do in Stockport, one of the 2 nearest large towns to where I currently live (the other is Macclesfield, which I also recommend). Stockport is often overshadowed by the city of Manchester being so close to it, but it actually has some brilliant places to eat and drink as well as some lovely vintage shops worth seeking out. Unfortunately, it also has a fairly run down shopping area, a generic retail park and a brand new chain restaurant/cinema complex, so this can give a negative first impression. I wasn’t taken with it at all when we first visited. It wasn’t until we ventured to one of the food events on that I found all the little hidden gems round the old town and lovely market area and started to see a different side to Stockport.
So here are a few things to do in Stockport that I take friends to when they come for a visit or that I recommend to people who are in the area…
The Treacle Market, Macclesfield, Cheshire, is something we’ve been meaning to go to for ages. It’s a food/craft/vintage market that runs on the last Sunday of every month.
I don’t know why we’ve taken so long to get round to going – it’s only a few stops away from us on the train. Being on a Sunday, it’s perfect for us because we’re always busy with horses or nights out on Saturdays. So we finally got round to going to the one in August and it was brilliant. I do love a market, but it’s hard to find a good’un. Food ones are a bit boring once you’ve actually eaten and they’re often overrun with screaming children, which I am allergic to. Vintage/craft ones are frequently full of old junk and someone’s hideous homemade Celtic jewellery. You end up wandering round and never actually buying anything. The Treacle Market is the opposite of this situation – we came home with loads of actually nice stuff.
And Macclesfield turned out to be lovely. It’s not somewhere we know very well, even though it’s so close to where we live now. It’s really pretty and has lots of good places to eat and drink, so it’s a good place to wander round when you’ve wrung the market dry too. We’ve already planned to go back to try a Scandinavian restaurant we had our eye on and I want to take my mum to the market. That’s how good it was.
So this is what we got up to…
The town of Shrewsbury in Shropshire is perfect for a winter weekend away or just a day trip around Christmas time. For some reason, people seem to pick Chester or York for a weekend of shopping and eating, overlooking the smaller Shrewsbury, which is exactly the same deal but without the crowds. It has pretty Tudor buildings, a public garden designed by the famous Percy Thrower of Gardener’s World fame, cosy pubs, good restaurants and independent shops. And you can get there easily by train, which means sampling all said cosy pubs is a must.
The Guardian recently featured Shrewsbury in their top 10 UK towns for winter breaks, similar to their top 10 UK towns list that featured our other favourite, Kirkby Lonsdale. There’s obviously a running theme here.
En route home from our day in Kirkby Lonsdale, we stopped off overnight for one day in Lancaster. FYI to Google, that’s the historic city of Lancaster in Lancashire, UK and not another Lancaster somewhere in the USA. That would have been a rather long bus journey. Chris had only ever been to Lancaster briefly before, but it is a city […]
We recently went on a two-night UK mini break – our first one since we started this blog. The pretty northern market town of Kirkby Lonsdale was our first destination, followed by the city of Lancaster (blog on that to follow). We did our trip without a car, which seemed to confuse many people, but it wasn’t difficult. Straight after leaving work in Manchester, we got the direct train to Oxenholme Lake District for a bargain £18 between us. Then an easy 15-minute taxi to Kirkby Lonsdale.
Kirkby Lonsdale is often overlooked for the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, because it is on the edge of both. But it’s absolutely picture-perfect, with lots of things to do/eat/drink. Worth going to in its own right. This ridiculously cute cottage with amazing view behind it says it all…