Take a tour, a guide, an inside look into one of South Manchester's most exciting postcodes...
Named the ‘Best Place to Live in the North West of England‘ by The Sunday Times back in April, the last decade has seen Altrincham become a blueprint for the regeneration of towns, a destination described as “suburbia meets utopia“.
The market town saw a massive effort back in 2014 to turn the tide of decline, from a high street with the highest vacancy rate in the UK, to a bustling area filled with exciting independents in just a few years. Many attribute this to the Market, but there are a whole host of things that went right that reversed the decline into prosperity.
The town makes for a great day out, with SO much to do that you’re probably going to have to re-visit a few times afterwards. Here’s what you can get up to in Altrincham…
Altrincham is served by the massive Interchange, where you will arrive if you travel here on bus, tram or the train. Trams run every 12 minutes or so, so they’re usually the quickest and easiest bet if you’re near a tram line.
The centre of Altrincham is relatively small and has mostly been pedestrianised so you can potter about without having to worry about getting splatted onto the windscreen of a BMW. It’s a great place to just walk about and discover all of the various gems and establishments.
The Stamford Quarter
A new vision set out by developer Bruntwood last year saw the Stamford Quarter right in the centre of town transformed into a “mixed-use destination that makes Altrincham an even better place to live, work and play for local families and the wider community.” I’d say that they’ve succeeded thus far, with a complete re-shaping of the high street, blending shops with pop-ups, cafes and outdoor spaces. Well worth a visit to check out Stutter & Twitch too.
Around the Market
The area around the historic Market has seen most of the growth and influx of impressive independents over the years, with the branches of innovation and creativity spreading into the surrounding streets and avenues. It’s always pretty packed around here, because there’s usually so much going on. As well as the bars and restaurants there’s also the markets themselves, where you can pick up fresh fruit, fish, meat and even cheeses, freshly baked bread, vintage clobber, antiques and homewares.
A little area tucked away down the south edge of the town, Goose Green was once a collection of residential cottages for local workers, but it now one of “the most distinctive corners of Altrincham” with pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars that can get pretty busy into the evening and on weekends. Catch some live music, enjoy a bite to eat or just drink a few pints out in the sun, Goose Green has it all.
The Bravest Little Street in England
Although it’s not actually there anymore, you can still visit Chapel Street which was dubbed “the bravest little street in England” by King George V. The street rose to fame during the First World War when 161 men enlisted from just 60 terraced houses, with many of them killed on the battlefield never to return home. Newspapers as far away as Australia reported on the heroism of such a small street in which so many men had enlisted. You can visit the Blue Plaque down the side of Phanthong Thai on Regent Road.
Set outside the town, Dunham Massey is an estate that dates back to the 11th Century and is well worth a visit on a sunny day. There’s a 300-acre deer park, stunning gardens and a lake, the Grade-I listed Georgian Hall and thousands of ancient trees to explore. It’s owned an run by the National Trust, and is easily one of the best places in Manchester for a little walk and a chance to get back to nature (after all of this eating and drinking!)
‘Attention to detail’ may as well have been invented by the guys at Blanchflower. You get the sense that nothing goes unconsidered – take, for example, their sourdough. It’s literally just a loaf of bread that you get a slice of to go with your soup. But at Blanchflower, every individual batch is handmade over the course of 3 whole days (that’s 72 hours. Just for bread alone). I’m not even patient enough to wait 3 mins 30 seconds for a microwave curry, so I can’t help being impressed by this sourdough business. Of course, they don’t just do bread. Their brunch is unrivalled: always Instagram-worthy, but never Instagram-focused. It’s just quality food designed to taste great – they can’t help that it looks so good.
Blanchflower, 12-14 Shaw’s Rd, Altrincham WA14 1QU
Of course, a trip to Alty would not be complete without a visit to their world-famous market, and don’t worry – you don’t need to buy a sausage dog and some Scandi clobber to enjoy it. There’s some fantastic food establishments in here including some amazing pizzas from Honest Crust, some proper mint pies from the Great North Pie Co. and of course – those lovely Tender Cow creations. There’s plenty for you if you’re thirsty too including some of the best wines in Manchester, a few odd little IPAs that have been brewed to a 2000-year-old recipe and enough fizz to sink a Greek catamaran. Everything under one roof. Be careful though – it can get seriously busy – especially on the weekend.
Altrincham Market & Market House, 26 Market St, Altrincham WA14 1PF
The Con Club
Easily one of our most favourite all-day restaurants and bars, The Con Club just oozes FUN – with something going on at all times, and plenty of fantastic food and drinks to accompany you while you do it. They serve up a cracking brunch here, with the BEST Bloody Marys ever, and then there’s the sushi. Oh my, the sushi. On Sunday you can get an amazing Roast Dinner and dance the night away with a DJ and loads of fizz.
The Con Club, 48 Greenwood St, Altrincham WA14 1RZ
A totally unique concept store, one which combines Moroccan homewares with a café – that’s easily one of the most relaxed places to sit and chill in the whole of Altrincham. There’s a great vibe here, whether you’re looking for some handmade glasses, plates, bowls, placemats or furniture from the streets of Marrakech, or looking for a bit of scran, like their amazing Marrakech Breakfast with freshly baked bread alongside Moroccan Beghrir pancakes, raw honey, fresh fruit, yoghurt and preserves. Oh, and make sure you try the Kofte Berber Eggs!
So Marrakech, 25 Market St, Altrincham, Manchester WA14 1QT
The ‘Sushi Masters of Altrincham’ – no visit to the town is complete without a trip to this retro Airstream trailer and some of the best sushi you’ll ever eat in your entire life. You taste their sublime craft in every bite of their nigiri, sashimi, hosomaki and uramaki. Go for all of it with one of their stunning platters.
Unagi Street Food & Sushi, Central Way, Altrincham WA14 1QU
Sugo Pasta Kitchen
It seems that everyone is going crazy for Italian food down in Altrincham and many would say that Sugo is mostly to blame for its popularity. Tucked away opposite the market, Sugo do Italian food like it should be done with fresh ingredients, freshly made pasta and gallons of olive oil so good that you could guzzle it like wine. They’ve recently opened in Ancoats too so they must be doing something right and a visit is a must if you’re in Altrincham, even if you’re not hungry.
Sugo Pasta Kitchen, 22 Shaw’s Rd, Altrincham WA14 1QU
Porta Tapas Bar
I don’t think there is any other food in the world that I’d rather eat than a lovely bit of Spanish Tapas and if you feel the same – a trip to Porta should definitely be on the list. When I was there last I went well too far and ate way too much. Everything was perfect though – especially their Ox Cheek with nuts and those amazing little Padron Peppers that everyone loves. They’ve also got a great selection of Spanish wines to tuck into, most of which are perfect for making a frosty Calimocho to go with your mound of Patatas Bravas.
Porta Tapas Bar, 50 Greenwood St, Altrincham WA14 1RZ
Mort Subite & Belgian Bar
I find it pretty unusual that there are two speciality Belgian beer bars within such a small place in such a small town but if I’m being honest with you – I’m definitely not complaining. There’s nothing better than cracking open an ice-cold bottle of Delirium on a dark Autumn day and getting absolutely ratted by only drinking half a glass. There is the brilliant Mort Subite and the imaginatively named Belgian Bar, both offering a massive range of Belgian lagers, ales and the odd bit of Lambic, which is a beer but it’s just a little bit weirder.
Altrincham’s very own shipping container village, set right next to the Everyman Cinema. There’s a constantly changing selection of food and drink offerings here, as well as a few staples that aren’t going anywhere. There’s hot drinks and booze from Tatton Perk, tacos and tequila from Choza, cakes and sweet treats from The Biscuit Tin and loaded toasties and fries from Melt – basically everything you could ever desire – all in one place.
One Central, Charis House, 1 Central Way, Altrincham WA14 1SB
This Chinese restaurant came up on our radar around a month or so ago when they decided to launch their very own Bottomless Chinese Food & Drink offering, where you can get bottomless dishes, plus bottomless food starting from just £23! So for 1.5 hours you can completely engorge yourself on dim sum and Prosecco – and have literally the greatest time of your life. Well worth a visit!
WowYauChow, 59 Stamford New Rd, Altrincham WA14 1DS
Bernie’s Grocery Store
A new addition to the town, Bernie’s Grocery Store started life during lockdown in Heaton Moor, an endeavour by Will France and his partner Bethan Roberts that went SO well that they have now opened up in Altrincham too. You should expect a range of organic fruit and vegetables, sandwiches, cheese, wine and a selection of bakes, all from local artisan suppliers. They also serve up Patel’s Pies here – little pastry pockets of Indian delights.
Bernie’s Grocery Store, 30 Central Way, Altrincham WA14 1SB
Stutter & Twitch
Not just a record shop but also a cafe and restaurant, Stutter & Twitch are located right in the centre of the brand-new Stamford Quarter regeneration, and they benefit from a cracking outside terrace that’s perfect for long summer evenings and snuggling under a blanket in the winter (with a mulled wine in your hands). The selection of vinyl is always on point, with both new and old stuff to get to grips with.
Stutter & Twitch, 11 George St, Altrincham WA14 1RE
Slap-bang in the centre of town is the Everyman Cinema, as far removed from the usual Odeon Cinema that you’re used to going to. The ethos behind Everyman is to bring an innovate lifestyle approach to their venues, so you can enjoy great food, cocktails and wine, all whilst watching great cinema. The seats are dead comfy too!
Everyman, 74-78 George St, Altrincham WA14 1RF
The Bowdon Rooms
A relatively new addition to the theatre and arts scene in Altrincham, The Bowdon Rooms were originally built as a gift for the parish of Bowden, and has recently been transformed into a wedding and events venue. They host a ton of events, performances and exhibitions here, from live music, theatre, comedy, cinema screenings, supper clubs and loads more.
The Bowdon Rooms, The Firs, Bowdon, Altrincham WA14 2TQ
The Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
The Altrincham Garrick Playhouse is a thriving home of amateur drama productions and has been so for the last 100 years or so. You’ll find an eclectic mix of touring shows, live music, concerts and local drama productions in here – all at the fraction of the cost of the larger shows and musicals you’d find in the city centre of Manchester. There’s loads coming up over the next few months, including The Little Mermaid, A Streetcar Named Desire and Calendar Girls.
The Altrincham Garrick Playhouse, Barrington Rd, Altrincham WA14 1HZ