Things to do in Macclesfield: Macclesfield Treacle Market

Things to do in Macclesfield

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

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.

Discover our top picks

Exhibitions Until 25 November 2022, FREE

Gathering Downstream at Quarry Bank

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.

The Time Traveller's Wife
Theatre 30 September–15 October 2022, from £22.50

The Time Traveller’s Wife: a new musical at Storyhouse

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.

Families 11 November–23 December 2022, from £5

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo

Adventure around nine new magical, illuminated worlds after dark including an Ice Kingdom and meet Father Christmas.

The BFG in Pictures
Families Until 2 October 2022, FREE

The BFG in Pictures at Grosvenor Museum

The BFG in Pictures is a new, free exhibition based at Chester’s Grosvenor Museum, opening from 23 July – 2 October.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Try your hand at candle making with the experts at Cheshire Workshops, this fun and creative skill is suitable for all ages.

Lumen Festival of Lights
Visual Arts 25 November–10 December 2022, FREE

Lumen Festival of Lights

The colourful light-art trail of Lumen will visit the town centre and Crew and give audiences the chance to be immersed in art, light and sound.

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