Sale is a small town in Greater Manchester, five miles southwest of city centre. It was a market town in Cheshire which became industrial in the 18th century, and in 1974 became part of the Borough of Trafford, along with nearby Altrincham and Stretford. It's nowadays a commuter town for Manchester.
From Manchester Airport you can take any train to Piccadilly then change, though it's a big station with a long walk between some platforms. But two trains an hour (for Blackpool and for Liverpool) run via Manchester Deansgate on the tram route: the fare is the same but it might save 20 min. You could even take the tram all the way from the airport, a slow journey for not much cheaper.
Metrolink trams (green and purple lines) take 25 min from central Manchester via St Peters Square, Deansgate, Old Trafford and Stretford to Sale, continuing via Timperley to Altrincham. Sale is in Fare Zone 3 so a single journey from city centre is £3.80; trams run every 10-15 min 06:00-00:00. The purple line starts from Piccadilly, and the green line starts from Bury and runs via Prestwich and Victoria then through city centre. Change in city centre for the other lines to Sale Water Park, Wythenshawe and the airport, to Imperial War Museum and Trafford Centre (this line opened in March 2020), through Piccadilly to Ashton-under-Lyne, through Victoria to Oldham and Rochdale, and to Salford Quays and Eccles. See TGM website for fare deals, service updates and travel planner; you must buy your ticket before boarding.
Sale stretches along A56, which connects Altrincham to Manchester. From M60 take jcn 6 for the water park and eastern parts such as Barlow Moor, jcn 7 for main drag along A56, and jcn 8 for western parts such as Ashton-upon-Mersey.
Arriva Northwest Bus 263 runs every 15 min from Manchester Piccadilly via Old Trafford and Stretford to Sale (35 min), continuing to Altrincham.
The town straggles along A56, often busy with traffic. It's a pleasanter walk along the towpath, west bank of the canal. The tram line runs along the east bank, with stops (coming south from city centre) at Dane Road, 1 Sale and Brooklands, then continuing to Altrincham.
The water park is one mile east of Dane Road tram stop. It has its own stop but on a different line, to Wythenshawe and the airport, so from Sale you'd have to backtrack via city centre.
- 1 Worthington Park is a pleasant green space half a mile east of the centre, with a skate ramp. There's a statue to James Joule (1818-1889), the physicist, mathematician and brewer. Running the family brewery in Salford, he was looking for the most efficient way of raising heat to drive processes, and this led him into fundamental insights into the very nature of heat, energy such as electricity, and their equivalent in work. The SI derived unit the joule is named for him. He's buried in nearby Brooklands cemetery. Joule's Brewery transferred to the Midlands and went out of business in the 1970s, but has re-started as a micro-brewery in Market Drayton, Shropshire.
- In 2 Walkden Gardens the dovecote is a remnant of Sale Old Hall, built in 1603 but demolished in 1920. The other remnant is the lodge, now occupied by the golf club. The gardens are open daily from 09:00, to 16:30 in winter and 19:00 in summer.
- Eyebrow Cottage on Cross St is Sale's oldest building, a farmhouse built around 1670. It's named for the decorative brick pattern above the window. It's privately owned and you can't look inside.
- 1 Sale Water Park is a mile northeast of town centre, between M60 and the River Mersey. It was created in the 1970s when gravel was scooped out for the motorway embankment, and the pit became a lake. It's good for strolling, bird-watching, angling and water activities such as kayaking, jet skis and windsurfing. The park is open dawn till dusk and has free parking, plus a couple of pub restaurants close by. It's on the navy blue tram line from Manchester city centre to Wythenshawe and the airport, but this doesn't run through Sale centre.
- Walk, cycle or boat along the Bridgewater Canal, which runs through town east of and parallel to A56, with multiple access points. It's navigable throughout, though the towpath is in variable condition. It forms part of the Cheshire Ring, a 97-mile canal circuit that takes a week to putter round. Though the Bridgewater is broad, the Ring canals edging the Pennines to the east have only 7 foot beam maximum, so you need a narrowboat and a sharp intake of breath to squeeze through these.
- 2 Walton Park by the canal southside of town has playing fields, bowling greens and pleasant open space. A miniature railway offers rides on Sundays.
- Watch rugby - both versions - but for the top games you have to go four miles north. Sale Sharks play rugby union (15-a-side) in the Premiership, England's top tier, but they nowadays play at AJ Bell Stadium in Eccles, Salford. They share it with rugby league (13-a-side) team Salford Red Devils.
- Sale FC Rugby Club still play in town, at Heywood Road, Brooklands. They play in National League 1, the third tier of rugby union in England.
- Watch football: Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium is only four miles northeast, three stops on the tram route towards city centre.
The main shopping centre has Tesco and the usual High St stores.
- Town centre places include Canadian Charcoal Pit, Bean & Brush Cafe, Jitrada Thai, plus the usual chains, and pub food as listed in "Drink".
- There's another strip east along Northenden Rd B5166, including Vida, Massala Lounge, Sokrates Taverna, and M33 Deli.
- Boathouse (formerly Deckers on the Water), Sale Water Park, Rifle Road M33 2LX (by tram stop, Jcn 6 of M60), ☏ . M Sa 11:30-23:00, Su 11:30-21:30. Good service and food, but don't be in a hurry.
- Jackson's Boat, Rifle Road, Sale M33 2LX (100 yards east of tram stop, Jcn 6 of M60), ☏ . Su-F 11:00-00:00, Sa 12:00-00:00. Good riverside pub with food, dog-friendly.
The pubs are clustered around the three tram stops.
- By Sale stop are Kings Ransom, Slug and Lettuce, JP Joule (Wetherspoon), Waterside, and The Bulls Head.
- By Brooklands stop are The Brook, The Little B, and The Belmore at Sale.
- By Dane Road stop is The Bridge.
- 1 Travelodge, Cross St, M33 7JR (A56 at jcn 7 of M60), ☏ . Reliable budget hotel, handy for motorway, great value. B&B double £45.
- 2 Premier Inn, Carrington Lane, Sale M33 5BL (Foot of A6144(M) spur from M60 jcn 8), ☏ . Good efficient budget hotel, handy for motorway and airport. Normally good value but you might pay double around big city events and peak get-away times. B&B double £80.
- 3 Normanhurst Hotel, 195 Brooklands Rd, Sale M33 3PJ, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Decent budget place, gets uneven reviews for quality of room and breakfast. Double (room only) £45.
- 4 Lennox Lea, Charlton Drive, Sale M33 2BJ (off Irlam Rd), ☏ . No longer a hotel, now self-catering studios and apartments, short stay available. Room only £120.
- Manchester for big city attractions.
- Altrincham has the Georgian mansion of Dunham Massey. A little further south across the boundary into Cheshire is Tatton Park.
- Head for one of Sale's many namesakes across the world. Many towns and share a name, but few can offer such contrasts as the cattle-drove Sale in Victoria Australia, ancient Sale in Grecian Thrace, the Berber centre and sometime pirate republic of Salé in Morocco, cold uninhabited Sale off Baffin Island in Canada, the safari area of Sale in Ngorongoro Tanzania, Sale or Shali east of Kazan in Russia's Tartarstan, and the Buddhist monastic centre of Sale in Myanmar.
|Routes through Sale|
|Stockport ← Cheadle ←||anticlockwise clockwise||→ Salford → Liverpool|
|Warrington ← Altrincham ←||SW NE||→ Stretford → Central Manchester|