Stockport is a town in the south east of Greater Manchester, historically in Cheshire, at the point where the rivers Tame and Goyt combine to form the Mersey. It's never been a port, as those rivers are not navigable, and the suffix probably means "market place". What the rivers did provide was power for waterwheels and hence textile mills, so the town became industrial from the 18th century. Whilst the Lancashire towns specialised in cotton, Stockport's trade was silk, especially for hat-making. This continued into the 20th century until the fashion for elaborate hats passed, and Luton captured the remaining trade.
Trains take 35 min because they all go into Piccadilly then come out again, whether you take the hourly direct train heading for Cleethorpes, or take any other train and change in Piccadilly.
1 Stockport railway station is on the Manchester spur of the West Coast Main Line, so many trains from the south and Midlands stop here before continuing to Manchester Piccadilly, another ten min down the line. This means that services between Stockport and Piccadilly run 06:00-00:00 every 5 min or so.
There are three trains per hour from London Euston taking just under two hours and continuing to Piccadilly. Crossing the Midlands these may also call at Milton Keynes, Crewe, Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield and Wilmslow.
Just north of the station, the tracks cross the River Mersey valley on an impressive 27-arch brick viaduct, built in 1840. It often features in the paintings of LS Lowry.
The M60 thunders over Stockport on its viaduct, exit at jcn 1 for west side and jcn 27 for east. (It's not that big a town - the orbital motorway restarts its numbering here.) Stockport is on A6, the historic route from London to Carlisle, but in this area it's congested especially during school run.
National Express Bus NX 540 runs once a day from London Victoria to Stockport, taking 6 hours. Other connections changing at the airport are almost as fast.
Both these buses make other stops across Greater Manchester including city centre and airport, but you can't use them for the short hop to Stockport, take a local bus as in Get around.
Stockport bus station is 200 yards north of the railway station. Watch for the little footpath left as you leave the railway station, which is a shortcut to the bus station.
Stockport is not connected to the Manchester tram network. For city centre take the train or use Stagecoach Bus 197, which runs M-Sa every 20-30 min, hourly Su, taking an hour to Manchester Albert Square.
For Manchester Airport use Skyline Bus 199 which runs every 20-30 min daily between 04:30 and 23:00, taking 15 min. Southbound it runs from the airport via Stockport, Disley (for Lyme Hall), Whaley Bridge and Chapel-en-le-Frith to Buxton.
For Marple take Stagecoach Bus 383, which runs every 15 min.
For Cheadle take Buses 11, 310, 309, 308, 369 and X57 from Stockport bus station. From central Manchester take the train to East Didsbury, Gatley or Cheadle Hulme.
- Consider buying a combi-ticket for the council's four museums (all closed Monday) of Air Raid Shelters, Staircase House, Bramall Hall, and guided tour of Hat Works: adult £13, conc £10. The ticket is good for a single entry to each (but not to special exhibitions) without time limit.
- 1 Hat Works, Wellington Mill, Wellington Rd South SK3 0EU, ☏ . Tu-F 10:00-17:00. Museum about the local hat-making industry, and a display of headwear from across the centuries and around the world. It's partly closed until late 2020 so the machine gallery can't be visited. Free, guided tour adult £5, conc £3.75.
- 2 Air Raid Shelters, 61 Chestergate SK1 1NE, ☏ . Tu-F 13:00-17:00, Sa Su 11:00-17:00. During World War II, a network of tunnels and air-raid shelters was hewn out of the sandstone beneath town centre, big enough to shelter 6500. One section has been opened up as a museum. Adult £5, conc £3.75.
- 3 Staircase House, 31 Market Place SK1 1ES, ☏ . Tu-F 13:00-17:00, Sa Su 11:00-17:00. Entered via an unpromising modern building, but within is a well-restored house dating from the 15th century. Its centrepiece is its unusual Jacobean newel cage staircase. Adult £5, conc £3.75.
- 4 Stockport Town Hall, Edward Street, SK1 3XE, ☏ . Grandiose Edwardian wedding-cake built 1904–08 in white Portland stone - its architect Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas also built Belfast city hall in similar style. It's normally only open for special events, or booked tours for groups of 15+. However you can stroll into the fine Italianate entrance hall. You might also be able to sneak a peek at the Ballroom with its mighty Wurlitzer, a "Publix 1" designed to accompany silent films. Otherwise catch one of the organ concerts, held monthly on a Monday at noon.
- 5 Vernon Park is a mile east of town centre along the banks of the River Goyt, and adjoining the larger Woodbank Park. Opened in 1858, it was created as relief work for unemployed cotton millworkers, and dubbed "Pinch-belly park". (Their industry had slumped with the deterioration in Atlantic trade in the run-up to the US Civil War.) The museum here has closed but the building remains in use as a cafe.
- 6 Reddish Vale Country Park is a pleasant country space in the River Tame valley 2 miles north of town centre.
- 7 Marple is a village four miles east of Stockport. Here the Peak Forest Canal climbs a flight of 16 locks from its junction with the Macclesfield Canal, which is part of the "Cheshire Ring". A mile north is the canal aqueduct over the River Goyt, completed in 1800, from where you can return via Brabyn's Park and the riverside, a pleasant loop walk. Or you can stay on the riverside for a longer walk south past the remains of Oldknow's Mill and Roman Lakes Park, to Strines and after four miles to New Mills. Half a mile west of Marple, an old railway track has been converted into Middlewood Way cycle path. The village has a few small hotels, eating places and pubs, eg the Ring O' Bells at the canal junction. Trains run every 30 min from Manchester Piccadilly via Marple, Strines and New Mills towards Sheffield, but from Stockport you have to double back via the city, take Bus 383. Agatha Christie named "Miss Marple" for the village after a railway delay here.
- 8 Bramhall Hall, Hall Rd, Bramhall SK7 3NX, ☏ . Oct-Mar Tu-F 13:00-16:00, Sa Su 12:00-17:00; Apr-Sept Tu-F 12:30-17:00, Sa Su 10:30-17:00. Grand timber-framed mansion house dating from the 14th century, mostly in Tudor style but with Victorian improvements. It's set in extensive parklands which are free to enter. Adult £5, conc £3.75.
- Cheadle is a small village that has merged into Stockport. St Mary's Church is 16th century, in grey sandstone Perpendicular. It's Anglican, and staunchly opposed to the ordination of women. Also here are Abney Park (see below) and 17th-century Moseley Old Hall, which is privately owned.
- 9 Abney Park in Cheadle is a nature reserve with wetlands, nowadays rare in this region. There's also a large duck pond and waterfall. The park is set around Abney Hall, a Victorian mansion designed by Pugin, now used as offices by Stockport council. Agatha Christie often stayed here as her sister married into the owner's family. Here she wrote After the Funeral and The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, and scenes of Hall life often appear in her works. The cafe has disappeared but there's a pub at the southwest corner of the park.
- Just across the border in Cheshire is 10 Lyme Park, Disley SK12 2NR (6 miles southeast of Stockport), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. mid-Feb-May & Oct F-Tu 11:00-16:00, Jun-Sep Th-Tu 11:00-17:00, mid-Nov-mid-Dec F-M 11:00-15:00. A stately mansion and extensive grounds owned by the National Trust. The house dates from the late 16th century but has been extensively remodeled in sort-of-Palladian-going-on-Baroque plus loads of Victoriana. It's often used as a film and TV location. Among its contents are the Lyme Caxton Missal, an original liturgy of the Mass published by Caxton. Off-beat buildings in its parklands are The Cage (a lock-up rebuilt in 1737) and The Lantern belvedere. On Sundays and Bank Holidays there's a free bus from Hazel Grove P&R. Adult £11, child £5.50, NT free.
- The Plaza, Mersey Square SK1 1SP, ☏ (bookings), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This restored 1930s cinema shows films, theatre, panto, tribute acts and other shows. The authentic 1930s tearoom on the first floor has views onto Mersey Square.
- Redrock Stockport is a gym, cinema and leisure complex in town centre, opened in 2018. Building Design magazine awarded it the Carbuncle Cup as the UK's worst new building.
- Garrick Theatre next to the Hat Works has a regular programme of events.
- 1 Stockport County FC, Edgeley Park, Hardcastle Road, SK3 9DD, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. They play in the National League, the fifth tier of football in England. Adult £15, conc £10.
- 2 Bruntwood Park. This park has an eighteen-hole par 3 pitch and putt course (Apr - Oct, £6.90) that makes the most of the landscape and sits alongside the existing mature trees. BMX track (free). It also has a fully accessible child's playground and a refreshment kiosk and a restaurant with a Victorian conservatory which has been converted into a restaurant.
- Last Monsoon, 54 King Street West SK3 ODT (corner of Wood St), ☏ . M-Th 16:30-23:00, F Sa 16:30-00:00, Su 15:00-23:00. Reliable Indian restaurant, good portions and service.
- Rozafa is a good Greek Cypriot restaurant on St Petersgate, open Tu-F 12:00-14:00 and 17:00-22:30, Sa 17:00-23:00, Su 16:00-21:30.
- Stockport's main eating strip is along A6 Wellington Rd South.
- In nearby Cheadle are Bellinni's, Aamchi Mumbai, Imperial Chinese, Rio Brazil, Cheshire Line Tavern, TGI Friday's, Ashlea, La Cueva, Istanbul Grill, Red Lion and Pizza Express.
- 1 Robinsons Brewery are a major supplier to the area's pubs. Tours run three times Tu-Sa and twice on Sunday, £10. They're on Apsley St just south of town centre.
- [dead link] Arden Arms, 23 Millgate SK1 2LX. Daily 12:00-00:00. Run by Robinsons Brewery, traditional pub with good food, beer and wines.
- [dead link] Beefeater Bamford Arms, Buxton Road, Heaviley SK2 6NB, ☏ . Daily 12:00-23:00. A chain pub and restaurant next to Premier Inn Stockport South.
- Ye Olde Vic, 1 Chatham Street SK3 9ED. Daily 17:00-23:00. Close to the rear entrance of Stockport Station, this decrepit-looking pub is one of the most successful free houses in the area, offering a minimum of 5 beers from small independent breweries around the UK. The owner, an ex-policeman, operates a no swearing and bad behaviour policy and offers a warm welcome to all in his eclectic and quirky pub.
- 2 The Park Inn, 264 Newbridge Lane SK1 2PG, ☏ . M–F 13:00-23:00, Sa 12:30-00:00, Su 12:30-22:00. A friendly local pub with entertainment, food served lunchtimes and evenings, and a jukebox with music that spans seven decades which is free.
- 3 [formerly dead link] The Railway, 1 Avenue Street SK1 2BZ (just east of town centre), ☏ . Daily 12:00-23:00. This pub is often threatened by demolition but keeps going. Traditional no nonsense pub, good beer and cider, cash only.
- 4 Crown Inn, 154 Heaton Lane SK4 1AR, ☏ . Daily 12:00-00:00. Nestling beneath the viaduct, this characterful little boozer has long attracted beer enthusiasts thanks to its wide range of ales, cosy interior and location.
- 5 The Magnet, 51 Wellington Road North SK4 1HJ, ☏ . M-Th 16:00-23:00, F-Su 12:00-23:00. Built in 1840 as a coaching inn and restored in 2009, the pub offers a wide range of cask ales and bottled beer from around the world. Friday is pizza night.
- Holiday Inn Express is next to the railway station.
- Travelodge is central on A6 just south of the bridge over M60.
- 1 Alma Lodge, Buxton Road SK2 6EL, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Clean friendly place with good restaurant. B&B double £80.
- 2 Premier Inn Stockport Central, Churchgate, SK1 1YG, ☏ . Reliable budget chain hotel. Double room £70, breakfast £10 pp.
- 3 Premier Inn Stockport South, 73 Buxton Road, Heaviley, SK2 6NB (A6 one mile south of centre), ☏ . Well-run budget hotel. Double room £70, breakfast £10 pp.
- 4 Britannia Hotel, Dialstone Lane, Offerton SK2 6AG (Between Offerton Lane A626 and Wellington Rd South A6), ☏ . Basic hotel, tired fittings need an overhaul, but reasonable value for money. B&B double £60.
- 5 Bredbury Hall Hotel, Osborne Street, Bredbury SK6 2DH (2 miles east of town off B6104), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Functional mid-range hotel with gym, steakhouse and Indian restaurant. B&B double £65.
- 6 Village The Hotel Club Cheadle, Cheadle Rd, Cheadle Hulme, SK8 1HW. Mid-range hotel with 117 rooms. Extra charge for gym and pool use in standard rooms, but included in club rooms. Onsite pub and restaurant.
- 7 Premier Inn Manchester Cheadle, Royal Cres, Cheadle SK8 3FS (off A34). Well-run budget chain, great value for what you pay. It's under the airport flight path but aircraft noise is seldom noticed. B&B double £70.
- 8 Cheadle House, Royal Cres, Cheadle SK8 3FS (off A34), ☏ . 52 room DeVere hotel in Victorian mansion. Basically good value but some areas tatty, Room 21 right above reception is noisy, and room / water temperatures are erratic. B&B double £110.
- Manchester is a great city in every sense and deserves a few days to explore.
- Cheshire has attractive small towns such as Knutsford, but the highlight is the walled city of Chester.
- The Pennines east of town are frankly bleak, but further south is the karst scenery of the Peak District.
|Routes through Stockport|
|Warrington ← Manchester Airport ←||W E||→ merges with|
|Oldham/Sheffield ← Hyde ←||anticlockwise clockwise||→ Sale → Liverpool|
|Central Manchester ← South Manchester ←||NW SE||→ New Mills → Buxton|
|Central Manchester ← South Manchester ←||N S||→ Wilmslow → Stoke-on-Trent|