There are just so many cool things to do in Macclesfield: from hidden walkways to a buzzing food and cultural scene, plus oodles of dramatic scenery – all waiting to be discovered. Often overshadowed by its larger neighbours, this former silk-manufacturing town or ‘Treacle Town’ as its more commonly known, is simple packed with great places to discover:

1. Picturedome

Standing on Chestergate, in what was Macclesfield’s oldest cinema, is a funky food hall created by the team behind the highly successful Altrincham Market and Manchester’s Mackie Mayor. Now one of the town’s most popular foodie hangouts, The Picturedome is a must for mix and match dining – welcoming the opportunity to sample dishes from some incredible independent eateries including Tender Cow. It is also child and dog friendly.

2. Forest Gin Distillery & Tours (Macc Forest/Cat & Fiddle)

Forest Gin DistilleryThe family-run Forest Gin Distillery originated in a 17th century stone barn nestled in the Macclesfield Forest and has now grown to include the Cat & Fiddle Whiskey Distillery, and The Little Shop & Gin Garden in the Buxton Pavilion Gardens.  Gin and whiskey distillery tours can be booked, as well as tastings and events. The latest addition to the portfolio, in the famous Cat & Fiddle pub, is considered the highest whiskey distillery in Britain at 1689 feet.

3. Silk Museum & Paradise Mill

Macclesfield Silk Museum & Paradise MillDiscover the history and importance of silk to the town with a visit to the Silk Museum located in the former Macclesfield School of Art on Old Park Lane. There are always family-friendly events and interactive exhibitions happening at the museum, including the Summer of Art festival running 24th July – 4th September 2022. Adjacent to the museum is Paradise Mill, the heart of silk manufacturing in Macclesfield and now a living museum with guided tours of the restored looms, offices, and workspaces.

4. The Ian Curtis Mural

Paying tribute to one of Macclesfield’s finest musicians – the Ian Curtis mural on Mill Street pays homage to the lead singer of Joy Division. Recreated from an original photograph taken by Kevin Cummings in 1979, this eye-catching mural by street artist Akse is a fitting tribute to Curtis who passed away aged just 23 in 1980.

5. Treacle Market

Macclesfield is known as Treacle Town, due to a centuries old story of a wagon overturning onto cobbles in the town, spilling its cargo of treacle. Nowadays, the Treacle Market is one of the most popular things to do in Macclesfield - showcasing local artisans and producers on the last Sunday of every month. With stalls dotted along Mill Street, Churchside and Chestergate – the Macclesfield community comes together every month to celebrate incredible food, produce, and music.

6. The Barnaby Festival

This biennial event, taking places between 17-19th June 2022, first began as the traditional Barnaby Fair in the 13th Century, when Macclesfield was granted the Borough Charter. Over the years, the celebration has changed from a fair to parades and circuses and even mill shut-downs. From 2009, the event began to morph into a music, arts, and culture weekend festival. The Barnaby Festival, now takes place every two years with a full programme of arts and events.

8. 108 Steps

These cobbled steps, all 108 of them, are simply known by locals as ‘The Steps’. Located behind St. Michael’s Church, leading down to Macclesfield Train Station – these Instagrammable steps have become quite a tourist attraction. It is believed they date back to pre-1696 and these days provide a picture-postcard backdrop for those that have the stamina to climb up and down them.

8. Tegg’s Nose Country Park

Tegg's Nose Country ParkMacclesfield is blessed with open, green spaces both within the town at Riverside Park and West Park, as well as on its fringes. Tegg’s Nose Country Park is just a five-minute drive from the centre of town and offers visitors endless walking, cycling, and hiking trails that stretch to the western edge of the Peak District National Park. Views from the summit of Tegg’s Nose, at 380m, include much of Macclesfield Forest and Shutlingsloe, Sutton Common, and the vast Cheshire Plain.

9. Blaze Farm

Situated in Wildboarclough, Blaze Farm is an award-winning ice cream farm and tea rooms set in rolling countryside on the edge of the Peak District. Visitors can enjoy access to child-friendly nature trails with spectacular views, together with the opportunity of seeing plenty of farm animals along the way, including lambs in the Spring. Hilly Billy ice cream draws in visitors from miles around with cones and takeaway tubs available plus delicious homemade food at the adjacent tearoom.

10. Macclesfield Forest

Macclesfield ForestA few miles outside of town, Macclesfield Forest together with its four reservoirs including Trentabank and Ridgegate offer visitors a network of picturesque walks to enjoy. With the opportunity to spot the elusive Red Deer and countless water birds, including the largest heronry in the Peak District, the walking and cycling trails are a popular spot. Many of these routes can also be combined with walks into the Goyt Valley, Tegg’s Nose Country Park, and the Gritstone Trail to challenge seasoned walkers looking to explore deeper into the surrounding countryside.

11 Gawsworth Hall

Gawsworth HallLocated in the pretty hamlet of Gawsworth, 10-minutes south of Macclesfield - Gawsworth Hall is a popular wedding and events venue with a full calendar of happenings throughout the year. This delightful half-timbered family home opens its doors to visitors from the 25th of June - 7th August 2022 for hall and garden tours, alongside a schedule of garden theatre shows taking place in the Tudor pleasure garden and a packed summer events schedule. 

ENJOYED READING?

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Forest Distillery
Distillery
Forest Distillery

The Forest Distillery is a unique 17th century barn, nestled 1,200ft above sea level within the beautiful Macclesfield Forest in the Peak District National Park.

Paradise Mill and Silk Museum
Museum
Paradise Mill Looms, Macclesfield

Paradise Mill and Silk Museum tell the story of silk’s journey from cocoon to loom. Paradise Mill remains untouched since the final day it operated. Our expert guides look at all aspects of Mill life and silk production, and the beauty of the textiles to the global phenomenon of silk.

Teggs Nose Country Park
Country / Royal Park
teggs nose country park

At Tegg’s Nose Country Park rock dominates the landscape. Dry stone walls and sturdy barns add to the dramatic character of the steeply sided valleys while many of the hill tops are pitted with old quarries.

Macclesfield Forest
Nature Trail
Macclesfield Forest

Today Macclesfield Forest is managed by United Utilities as part of the water catchment area around the reseroirs. There are four reservoirs in the vicinity with Ridgegate and Trentabank reservoirs providing Macclesfield town with drinking water.

Blaze Farm & The Potty Sheep
Farm
hilly billy

Blaze Farm is set in beautiful countryside with panoramic views. We are a traditional working farm, having dairy cows, sheep, turkeys and hens.

Gawsworth Hall
Historic House / Palace
Gawsworth Manor

This 15th century, traditionally built half-timbered house is said to have been the home of Mary Fitton, the supposed ‘Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s sonnets. It is also possible that the great poet himself, visited Gawsworth as he travelled North.

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