There’s nothing quite like a relaxing meander round a picturesque high street, complete with quirky independents and perhaps a stop for lunch, coffee or cake. Cheshire is home to some of the most idyllic high streets around, with so many spots to find quirky independent gems. We’ve put together a guide to a few of our favourite indie-packed high streets from across the county, so expect the unexpected as you explore Cheshire, the home of indies!

Knutsford

Despite is proximately to the  North West’s big cities of Manchester and Liverpool, Knutsford is no commuter town. It is fiercely independent and the proud home to numerous independent retailers.  A traditional toy shop, bike and bike repair shop, a specialist perfumery, a home interior shop that has called Knutsford its home for 100 years sit alongside a traditional Market Hall and known brands such as Oka, Sofas and Stuff and Overfinch.  The town is full of gorgeous fashion shops too offering a personal shopping experience that is poles apart from online ordering. Once a month the town hosts the largest outdoor artisan market in the North West with 150 stalls selling the best food, drink and products Cheshire has to offer.

Knutsford high street

Macclesfield

Macclesfield boasts a rich industrial history and grew as one of the main silk centres of the country, renowned for the skill of its designers and for its richly patterned woven fabrics. Fashionistas will love discovering the story of Macclesfield’s textile heritage as told at the Silk Museum and the Heritage Centre. The silk industry is woven into the fabric of Macclesfield in so many ways. And with this rich history came a wealth of local pride that can be seen today in the many wonderful and truly unique independents and galleries. The highlight for any independent shopper is the Treacle Market, held on the last Sunday of each month. At the Treacle market expect to find unique crafts, homewares, clothing, florals, soaps, teas and much, much more. Make sure to check the Treacle Market Traders page to see just what’s on offer.

Aerial shot of the Treacle Market Macclesfield

Nantwich

Nantwich has a rich and storied past, with its roots going back to the Roman period. This idyllic town has many stories to tell from its past a major salt industry hub to a key coaching route between Wales and London - this can be seen in its many gorgeous historic buildings. Nowadays Nantwich is home to a whole host of special independents. The Nantwich Bookshop and Coffee Shop is a great way to relax and unwind, assured by the fact  that you are getting your knowledge from a true indie. There’s unique crafts and paper goods courtesy of The Little Paper Shop, quirky jewellery, homewares and fashion from Pickwicks, beautiful home and garden ware from Nettle Home & Garden and some truly unique fashion pieces from the likes of Arabella. And of course the legacy of another of Nantwich’s great industries – Cheese - can be found at The Cheese Shop.

Shot of timbred buildings in Nantwich

Frodsham

Frodsham is a thriving Cheshire Market Town that dates back to the 13th century. Rich in history, many of its buildings stand on the original plots of land laid out in the 13th and 14th centuries. Frodsham was an important port during the Middle Ages exporting salt to Liverpool. Cheese was also stored in a warehouse on the riverbank before being loaded on to boats. Nowadays Frodsham boasts a picturesque high street full of independent charm. You can continue Frodsham’s cheese legacy at Whitmore and White alongside other superb artisanal delicacies, find stunning gifts and interiors from Me & Mr Jones and shop the latest styles at Sarah Hayes Boutique just to name a few. Frodsham also hosts a regular market on Thursdays complete with a whole host of independent traders. Sitting alongside some truly gorgeous Cheshire scenery, Frodsham is a must for those on the lookout for independent gems.

Thatched buildings in Frodsham

Warrington

Warrington is a place that doesn’t stand still and over the last 40 years it has evolved from a town with a population of around 70,000 to one of over 200,000 today. This boom has been matched by a thriving leisure and cultural scene and Warrington is a place with both firm family favourites and best-kept secrets. Nestled between Manchester and Liverpool, Warrington offers a unique alternative for families and groups who want to shop, explore and unwind. Alongside the historic high street, Warrington is home to the award-winning Warrington Market, which houses more than 50 unique and independent traders. There’s everything including jewellery, fabric, handbags, clothes, makeup, perfume, curtains, clothing alterations, comics, musical instruments, fairtrade products, key cutting and shoes repairs – plus there's a great food court where you can eat-in or takeaway!

Inside Warrington Market

Tarporley

Nestled away in leafy west Cheshire, you’ll find the village of Tarporley. Far from being a sleepy hamlet, Tarporley is a picturesque yet vibrant and unique shopping destination. Tarporley is a hub of couture with a whole host of independent boutiques such as Si Belle, Rebel & Rain and Sve. You can find a range of quirky and eclectic fashion, lifestyle products and homewares from stores like Bottega and of course indulge yourself with a superb selection of artisan delicacies from The Cheshire Wine & Cheese Co. Tarporley is a must for an idyllic day out with a truly independent high street.

Tarporley high street

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Knutsford
Cheshire Peak District
Gaskell memorial tower in Knutsford

If you are visiting Cheshire, do not overlook this quaint and quirky market town.  Conveniently situated just off the M6 (its more than its motorway services) it is an ideal town for a day or weekend visit.

Macclesfield
Cheshire Peak District
Barnaby festival 2010 photo competition winner

Macclesfield is perfectly placed to enjoy a weekend break in the Peak District. Within minutes of the town centre you can escape to the Peak District National Park and enjoy spectacular views across Cheshire.

Nantwich
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The vibrant town centre of Nantwich

Nantwich is situated on the banks of the River Weaver with the Shropshire Union Canal running through the town making a junction with the Llangollen Canal.

Frodsham
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Frodsham

Frodsham is a thriving Cheshire Market Town that dates from the 13th century. Rich in history and many of today’s buildings stand on the original plots of land laid out in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Warrington
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Warrington

Warrington has been welcoming visitors for over 2000 years since the Roman Empire marched into the area and established a base at Wilderspool in 100 AD.

Tarporley
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Tarporley high street

Tarporley Parish is located in the local authority area of Cheshire West and Chester in rural Cheshire and the village is considered to be one of the county’s most attractive villages.

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