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. 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.

Our top picks

Paradise Mill

Paradise Mill, Park Lane, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 6TJ - Visit now

This restored mill offers a glimpse of Macclesfield’s heyday as a centre for the silk industry, providing visitors with an opportunity to step back in time and experience the hustle and bustle for themselves. Featuring Europe’s largest known collection of Jacquard silk handlooms in their original setting, visitors can experience the weaving process for themselves — from cocoon to finished fabric.

Paradise Mill

Tegg’s Nose Country Park

Tegg’s Nose Country Park, Buxton Old Rd, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 0AP - Visit now

Macclesfield, Tegg’s Nose Country Park is a popular destination for families, walkers and outdoor sports enthusiasts alike. Tegg’s Nose itself — a 380 metre high hill —  is the obvious attraction here, offering views out over Macclesfield Forest and across the Cheshire plain. On a clear day, visitors can see as far as Liverpool and even the Welsh mountains in the distance.

Teggs Nose

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DL - Visit now

Jodrell Bank is home to the iconic Lovell Telescope, the largest the world had ever seen when it was completed in 1957. Not only this, The First Light Pavilion, a huge new addition to Jodrell Bank, is set to turn the already-impressive site into a must-see national heritage destination, fitting for a world leader in the history of astronomy.

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre Copyright Geoff Wynne and licensed for reuse

Macclesfield Treacle Market

Macclesfield Treacle Market, Market Place,, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 1EA - Visit now

On the last Sunday of each month the market takes over the streets and cobbles of the town’s Marketplace, Old Butter Market and St Michael’s churchyard, with over 160 stalls selling local crafts, artisan foodstuffs and vintage treasures. Look out for the Community Treacle area hosting stalls by charities and community groups, or the eclectic calendar of seasonal events

Things to do in Macclesfield: Macclesfield Treacle Market
Treacle Market

Altrincham Market

Altrincham Market, Greenwood Street, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, WA14 1SA - Visit now

Altrincham Market is famous across the North as the home to some of the region’s best street food outlets and produce vendors. It is renowned across the UK as one of the nation’s finest marketplaces, both in looks and the sheer breadth and quality of traders- but it’s not all about food, there’s also a covered area for craft purposes, plus a play area for kids.

Altrincham Market
Image courtesy of Altrincham Market

More Cheshire events

Great Expectations at Quarry Bank
TheatreCheshire
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Open Air Theatre at Grosvenor Park
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Expect another fabulous season of open-air theatre when The Gangs of New York, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Importance of Being Earnest play Grosvenor Park this summer.

from £6.75

Where to go in Cheshire

Cheshire
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Cheshire
Cinema
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Watergate Street Gallery

This contemporary Art Gallery In Chester displays and sells original and affordable works, with regular new exhibitions listed on their website.

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Clarendon Fine Art

Contemporary art on display and for sale in Cheshire. Come and browse their varied collections and converse with knowledgeable staff.

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