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.

Romeo and Juliet at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Families 1 July–28 August 2022, from £28.00

Romeo and Juliet at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

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.

Music 22–24 July 2022, from £59.75

Bluedot 2022 at Jodrell Bank

Bluedot is a festival of discovery located in the shadow of the world-renowned Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank.

Families at Bluedot
Families 21–24 July 2022, from £59.75

Families at Bluedot Festival 2022

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.

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.

Just So Festival, Rode Hall Cheshire
Families 19–21 August 2022, from £20

Just So Festival 2022

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.

Activity Until 31 August 2022, from £0.00

Tours in Chester

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.

Little Women at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Theatre 8 July–29 August 2022, from £28.00

Little Women at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

The treasured story of the March sisters will be reimagined for the stunning setting of Chester’s open air theatre this summer.

Stig of the Dump at Grosvenor Open Air Theatre
Childrens 22 July–29 August 2022, from £28.00

Stig of the Dump at Grosvenor Open Air Theatre

A revival of Grosvenor Park’s sell-out, critically acclaimed production of the classic tale of a boy’s friendship with a mysterious caveman.

Cheshire District Guides

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Chester Townhouse hotel

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