Macclesfield found fame and wealth as a silk manufacturing town - and you can trace the threads of its rich industrial heritage at the Silk Museum and Heritage Centre.
These days the busy Cheshire market town, situated on the western fringe of the Peak District National Park, is more famous as a popular centre for shopping, eating out and special events throughout the year.
Visitors flock to its regular Treacle Market on the last Sunday of each month to snap up the finest local produce, contemporary art and crafts, vintage clothing and much more, while on the High Street you'll find everything from high fashion to fine furniture.
When it comes to eating and drinking, Macclesfield boasts more than 60 restaurants serving everything from Indian and Italian to Spanish and Scandinavian food, as well as cafés, bistros and a bevy of real ale, traditional and country pubs.
Regular festivals include Bluedot - an intergalactic exploration of music, science, space and the arts - in the shadow of the iconic Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank in July and Rewind North - a line-up of live music and headline acts - at Capesthorne Hall in August.
Macclesfield Beer Festival's blend of real ales, cider and perry plus live entertainment attracts visitors from all over the UK each May, while a flourishing new feature of the events calendar is Macclesfield Garden Festival, featuring RHS Gold medal winning designers, also in May.
For a breath of fresh air, head for Tegg's Nose Country Park, a former quarry now popular with dog walkers and families for its industrial history and fabulous views of the Cheshire Plain as far as the Welsh mountains, or Macclesfield Forest, with its winding woodland walks and reservoirs, including Trentabank, home to a large heronry.
Near by villages:
Prestbury dates to Anglo Saxon times. Its original name was Preosta burgh meaning the borough or dwelling of the priests. At the time of the Norman conquests, Prestbury Parish was the centre of 35 townships stretching 20 miles from north to south and 10 miles wide and it still has the remains of a Normal Chapel built in the 12th century in the grounds of the Parish Church.
Rainow - originally a farming community, the settlement was established round the turnpike road that was built in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The came another transformation - water-powered, cotton spinning mills sprang up along the banks of the River Dane and its tributaries.
The settlement of Rainow is not listed in the Domesday Book, but in 1290 its name was recorded as 'Ravenouh' - derived from 'raven hill'. The first Saturday in June is Rainow fete day! - where a procession winds through the village, carrying the newly-appointed 'Mayor' of the fete field
Wildboarclough claims to be where the last wild boar in England was killed. The village is now a quiet backwater, popular with visitors at weekends. Walkers come to ascend Shutlingsloe, the 'Matterhorn of Cheshire' - which rises 506 metres steeply to the west of the village.
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Map & Directions
Macclesfield is located in the east of Cheshire, on the River Bollin. It is close to the county borders of Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east and Staffordshire to the south. It is near the towns of Stockport to the north, Buxton to the east, and Congleton to the south. To the west of the town lies the Cheshire Plain and to the east lie the hills of the Peak District.
Public Transport Directions
Macclesfield station is 0 miles away.