A legendary tour of the town's greatest and best boozing establishments.
In fact, the Didsbury Dozen starts off in and around Didsbury Village – the unemployed, but moderately cooler brother of West – the one who goes to a wedding, starts getting mouthy about bread rolls and ends up taking one of the bridesmaids back to his Ford Fiesta in the car park.
The ‘Dozen’ is perfect for an all-dayer – so here’s where to go…
1 – The Didsbury
So we’re going to start this legendary bar/pub crawl in the imaginatively named Didsbury. Perhaps the first thing you will notice about this boozer is the huge beer garden out front which is the perfect place to watch people drive past. You’ll also get loads of dog walkers stopping here – so if you hate those furry little buggers – stay inside and sup up fast. When it’s sunny it can take an absolute age to get served at the bar – so get practising your slightly audible tutting noise ready for when the time comes.
The Didsbury, 852 Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 2SG
2 – Ye Olde Cock Inn
This monolithic pub, situated right next to The Didsbury and overlooking the same huge beer garden is a fantastic place to have a few pints and some great, homely food. The slogan is ‘Best of British’ so you can expect plenty of real ales, English breakfasts, scotch eggs and conversations about the weather and how shit it is. To be fair there’s not much else to say about the place – it’s the dictionary definition of a Gastropub – the kind of place that sells little pots of pistachios instead of Quavers. So as well as the British liquids and solids you can also typically expect the standard wooden fixtures, 30 somethings with a toddler throwing their toys all over the place and lashings of blackboard paint on every surface.
Ye Olde Cock Inn, 848 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 2RN
3 – The Famous Crown
Dubious paint jobs aside – the Famous Crown is a great little boozer located conveniently next to a Subway and a bookies – perfect for any Saturday afternoon session. Strangely enough however, if you decided to give Subway a wide-berth you would be rewarded with a menu consisting primarily of Thai dishes – which considering your surroundings, is certainly a lovely surprise. On top of this you’ve got your usual selection of ales, lagers and spirits – which are really rather cheap; very helpful considering you are about to spend about 3 grand on drinks and snacks today.
The Famous Crown, 770 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 2DR
4 – The Royal Oak
Each time I’ve been in the Royal Oak I’ve had a jolly good time and thus I guarantee that you will too. Once you step foot in the place, you can enjoy a great traditional boozer that not only has all the drinks you’d expect but also has some of the best bar snacks available to man. They have a fridge full of excellent cheeses, pates and breads which make the usual soggy ham roll or Pepperami look exactly as they are – crap.
The Royal Oak, 729 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, Didsbury, M20 6WF
5 – Fletcher Moss
The Fletcher Moss is a fantastic boozer located just down the road off the main strip on William Street. Walk in and you are usually confronted by a packed bar, stacked to the rafters with enough booze to satisfy even the fussiest of drinkers. Grab some Quavers too and then head out to their brilliant beer garden out back, which provides a welcome escape from the usual kale eating riff-raff you’d find elsewhere in Didsbury.
Fletcher Moss, 1 William Street, Manchester Didsbury M20 6RQ
6 – Dog & Partridge
I once spent a full afternoon sat here in the Dog and Partridge, playing Scrabble, drinking cider and eating a Dumbo-sized portion of free monkey nuts scooped out of the massive barrel on the back wall. I don’t think they do the nuts any more but there’s still an excellent selection of cheese, pate and pies in which to nosh on. Like most of the pubs on this list – the Dog and Partridge is an old-school boozer, a little bit rough round the edges, constantly showing football and with more gambling machines than Las Vegas airport but it’s a great place to enjoy some traditional British banter and beers.
Dog & Partridge, 665-667 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 6RA
7 – The Stokers Arms
A seemingly standard pub who’s owners must have found some grey paint for cheap in the B&Q sale – but once you’ve been in here for a couple of minutes – you’ll begin to notice a few subtleties that you might enjoy. Perhaps they have decided to pull out their N64 and you can all have a game of Mario Kart – although at this point in the day, after so many beers, your thumbs will probably be as useful as Stevie Wonder playing ping pong.
The Stokers Arms, 655-657 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 6RA
8 – Head of Steam
Your on your 8th pint at this point. If you can still see, you will be delighted by Head of Steams lovely interior and their vast selection of beers on tap. This places really scratches the specialist-beer itch, with over 20 taps at a time. Plus, they make a mean Italian meat feast pizza, which makes for perfect mid-pub-crawl snacking. Keep those bellies lined, troops.
Head of Steam, 653 Wilmslow Rd, Didsbury, Manchester M20 6QZ
9 – Wine & Wallop
Kind of fancy, kind of chill. Wine & Wallop is so quintessential Didsbury – but it’s so bloody good. The staff are always a really friendly bunch of dudes wearing Dickies or Carhartt, usually. The alcohol department doesn’t let the team down, either. You want it? They got it. The amount of booze they have backing them is always a plus – and the location makes for the perfect buffer in the transition from Didsbury Village to West Didsbury.
Wine & Wallop, 97 Lapwing Ln, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 6UR
10 – The Greenfinch
Another mammoth pub (with a beer garden that’s just as big). You can’t miss The Greenfinch, poking out on a corner onto Palatine Road – though you might not remember it in the morning. Fundamentally, a family pub, with all the good adult bits (alcohol). They really hit the nail on the head with this ‘pub’ thing though – good, spacious settings; not too modern or pretentious, but also doesn’t look like Grandma’s laundry.
The Greenfinch, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 3ZA
11 – The Railway
Vaguely more reasonably priced than its fellow neighbours, The Railway is a legendary little spot on Burton Road. Its the cosy cousin to the Metropolitan across the road, and doesn’t bother with frills or gimmicks. You go in, get a pint (that’s not £6), have a sit, a bag of crisps if you fancy, and have a laugh. A proper solid boozer that can do no wrong. 10/10.
The Railway, 3 Lapwing Ln, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 2NT
12 – The Metropolitan
The Met (as it has affectionately been nicknamed) used to be an infamous druggie den – a proper rough-and-tumble in which my mother claims she used to party with the drummer from Oasis (may need to be fact-checked – unreliable source). In recent years, it could not be further from that. Now a spacious Victorian gaff with a restaurant area and outside pizza oven, the only famous face I’ve seen was Holliday Grainger. I’m not sure what that says about the place, but its a really lovely pub to end your crawl. If you’ve made it this far.
The Metropolitan, 2 Lapwing Ln, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 2WS