Walking around the streets of Macclesfield you cannot help but notice its industrial heritage. Sat at the edge of the Peak District National Park, the town’s history as a centre for silk manufacture and processing looms large, with many of the former mills, workers residences and even the philanthropic enterprises of its leading industrialists, still standing today.
Visitors curious to explore this heritage can visit Paradise Mill, where the handlooms still operate, or look over the archives at The Silk Museum. But if this sense of former industry still hangs over the place – it is literally inscribed into the rocks at Tegg’s Nose Country Park – then it doesn’t entirely define modern Macclesfield.
Indeed, there are plenty of businesses and attractions firmly rooted in the 21st century. Science and music collide at Jodrell Bank’s Bluedot Festival – previous headliners include Kraftwerk, New Order and Hot Chip. While the recently reinvented Barnaby Festival reimagines a 13th century midsummer fair as a celebration of contemporary arts and culture. Nearby Gawsworth Hall sees summer performance take place on the front lawn of the Elizabethan pleasure garden. Macclesfield Treacle Market is a fresh, modern affair too, with an eye on community and ethical consumption – as is the recently formed Scoop and Scales cooperative.
A real independent food and drink scene is also emerging in the town, as pop-up street food vendors at the Treacle Market lead the way for traders such as artisan sourdough specialists Flour Water Salt and the intimate Amy’s Courtyard. Fiveclouds Tap & Bottle brings the latest in craft brewing to the town, while one of the biggest launches in recent years has been Picturedrome, a seven-kitchen food hall from the folk behind Altrincham Market and Manchester’s Mackie Mayor.
As mentioned, Macclesfield lies at the edge of the Peaks, and for many, the nearby hills and spectacular landscapes of places such as Macc Forest, Lyme Park or Tegg’s Nose will be the primary draw. Combined with new cultural and gastronomic ventures and this former silk town – just a short train journey from Manchester – is only increasing its pull.
The former cotton mill of Quarry Bank is currently home to ‘Gathering Downstream’, an exhibition exploring the site’s legacy of the industrial revolution alongside environmental change and disruption.
A brand new musical adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s international best-seller is set to receive its world premiere at Storyhouse before moving to the West End.
Don’t miss one of the greatest love stories ever told when it comes to Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre this summer. Theatre and fresh air. Perfect.
Bluedot is a festival of discovery located in the shadow of the world-renowned Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank.
Space-loving families are invited to the Bluedot Festival 2022, returning on 21-24 July for its fifth year of awe-inspiring, inter-planetary fun.
Try your hand at candle making with the experts at Cheshire Workshops, this fun and creative skill is suitable for all ages.
Just So, the best family festival in the UK, returns in August. Expect woodland adventures, magical storytelling and outdoor arts and creative activities for families.
Roman Soldiers, blue badge holders and Medieval Longbowman walk the streets of Chester sharing their passion for history with a wide selection of tours in Chester.
The treasured story of the March sisters will be reimagined for the stunning setting of Chester’s open air theatre this summer.