Celebrating its 750th Charter Year in 2022, the magnificent east Cheshire town of Congleton is steeped in both history and tradition. From its official Ale Taster, ‘Benedict Goodale’, to the gruesome stories of bearbaiting that gave Congleton its nickname, ‘Beartown’, this vibrant market town on the banks of the River Dane gives visitors so many reasons to visit.

Here I share 12 of the best things to do in Congleton:

  1. Congleton Park and Paddling Pool

Located a short walk from the centre, the Green Flag awarded Congleton Park is a Victorian masterpiece that has been restored to its former glory thanks to a 1.5 million Heritage Lottery Grant. Playing host to an array of events and activities throughout the year, Congleton Park features ornamental gardens, a children’s play area, and the Pavilion Bar and Grill. The nearby Congleton Paddling Pool is a popular spot during the warmer summer months, open Wednesday – Sunday from the end of May with tickets available to book through the town council website.

  1. Little Moreton Hall

The wonderfully wonky Little Moreton Hall is a small National Trust property located a 10-minute drive from the centre of Congleton. Its half-timbered, uneven appearance offers visitors a rare opportunity to explore a Tudor manor house and its pretty formal gardens. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm. 

  1. Astbury Mere Country Park

Astbury Mere Country Park is a 40-acre public park suitable for the whole family to enjoy - with miles of accessible waterside and woodland walks. There is also the chance to hire water sports equipment and the opportunity to enjoy coffee and ice cream from GGs Coffee Hub.

  1. Glebe Farm

A short two-minute drive from Astbury Mere brings you to Glebe Farm, a hidden gem of an attraction. Open daily, offering visitors a café and farm shop, together with a children’s play area, tractor rides (weekends and school holidays) and, farm animals - all free to access.

  1. Castaway Play

The impressive indoor and outdoor covered play centre at Castaway Play is so much more than your average soft play. With themed rooms, a vast array of play equipment including an indoor waterfall, various sandpits, elevated jungle walkways and, a huge pirate ship – there is something to suit children of all ages, from babies to 8 years of age. The centre also runs SEN sessions, allowing access to the sensory room, themed character events and regular toddler sessions.

  1. Congleton Museum

Situated behind the imposing Town Hall and opposite the Police Station, Congleton Museum offers visitors a fascinating step back in time. Open Tuesday to Sunday the museum tells the story of Congleton and its people through the ages, as well as offers guided heritage walks around the town starting at the museum at 2 pm.

  1. Capital Walk

Foodies rejoice, the newly opened Capital Walk offers visitors the opportunity to sample food from around the world without leaving Congleton! Each individually themed unit serves a different cuisine - from French, Jamaican, Italian, Thai, Pan-Asian and Mexican – diners can use a handy app to mix and match their dishes while sitting anywhere along the avenue. As well as eateries, there is also an Irish and Cocktail bar, providing the beverages.

  1. Jazz & Blues Festival

This free annual event takes place across 21 venues in Congleton over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The Congleton Jazz and Blues Festival is a hugely popular event, aiming to introduce all types of Jazz and Blues to those attending over 70 gigs spread across the weekend. From Country Blues to more modern interpretations of Blues Rock, there is a musical style to suit all lovers of the genre.

  1. Congleton Market

Congleton Market was granted its charter in 1272 and has been operating in the town ever since. Open Tuesday and Saturday, the covered indoor market situated at the Bridestones centre on Princess Street, sells everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, deli products, clothing, pet goods, fabrics, and crafts. There is also an onsite café and a monthly Maker’s Market on the last Saturday of the month.

  1. Congleton Community Garden

The peaceful and beautifully maintained Congleton Community Garden can be found opposite the Town Hall. Lovingly looked after by the Congleton in Bloom volunteers - their green-fingered work can be seen across the town as they do an excellent job in maintaining the flower beds, planters, and hanging floral displays the town.

  1. Daneside Theatre

This 300-seater independent theatre is run as a charity by a team of volunteers allowing locals to access a variety of films and productions suitable for all ages. Producing a full calendar of events throughout the year, Daneside Theatre is home to several societies that include a youth theatre, amateur theatre, operatic, musical theatre, and pantomime group.

  1. Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy statue

Unveiled on International Women’s Day 2022, the petite, life-size statue of Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy marks the birthplace of the Suffragette and lifelong women’s emancipation campaigner born in Congleton. The bronze cast designed by Hazel Reeves, an award-winning sculptor, represents the extraordinary work of Wolstenholme Elmy and the role she played in the suffrage movement that campaigned for equal rights.


Head to the Girl About Cheshire webpage for tons more inspiration about places to visit in Cheshire. Or give Jenny a follow on Instagram.


Congleton Paddling Pool
Leisure / Swimming Pool
Congleton Paddling Pool - A free way to spend the day.

The pool has been a firm favourite with young children since the 1930s!

Little Moreton Hall (NT)
Historic House / Palace
Little Moreton Hall, A charming Tudor House. c. National Trust.

Seeing the tumbling architecture of Little Moreton Hall for the first time, engineers in 1990 could not believe their eyes either.

Astbury Mere Country Park
Nature Reserve
Astbury Mere Country Park

Enjoy a stroll through the wildflower meadows at Astbury Mere Country Park, or simply sit and enjoy the views over the Mere towards Congleton Edge and Mow Cop. Events are held throughout the year, pick up a leaflet at the Centre.

Congleton Museum
Congleton Museum

Touch screens and talking heads help to tell the story of Congleton from prehistoric times, through the English civil War and the heyday of the textile industry to the Second World War. Admission is FREE.

Congleton Market
Congleton Market

Congleton Indoor Market - Bridestones Centre - Tuesday 9am - 4pm & Saturday 9am - 4pm.

Daneside Theatre
Daneside Theatre

Independent community theatre



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