Why you should move to Bollington
PUBLISHED: 20:56 09 November 2010 | UPDATED: 13:42 20 December 2014
Welcome to Cheshire's Happy Valley. Former mill manager Samuel Greg must have known Bollington's potential would only grow.
Welcome to Cheshire’s Happy Valley. Former mill manager Samuel Greg must have known Bollington’s potential would only grow. In the 1800s, he dubbed it Goldenthal - the German translation for happy valley - and today the pretty rural town lives up to its name.
People living here have the best of both worlds. They are located in some of Cheshire’s most beautiful countryside, within striking distance of places like Macclesfield Forest and the Cheshire boundary of the Peak District National Park. It’s a place where you can feel miles from anywhere. But, unlike some rural idylls that require a 20 minute drive for a pint of milk, there is a surprisingly busy community providing much that you would need. You are also on Macclesfield’s doorstep for any more extensive requirements you may have.
It is an active place too. The community has a plentiful stock of local groups, organisations and clubs including musical ones like Bollington Brass Band and Bollington Light Opera Group - whose latest production Showtime 2010 will be staged this month. There is an active local civic society who look after the Discovery Centre at Clarence Mill, a former cotton mill now also home to shops and houses.
There are also popular village events to get involved with including the Bollington Festival, held every four or five years. It is hoped the next one will be in 2014, marking the festival’s 50th anniversary. Last month also saw the town’s first major walking festival, a 17-day event which included more than 30 guided walks and lots of social events. Bollington is also home to the Bollington Carbon Revolution Group who have tasked themselves with finding many energy saving projects and schemes to reduce its carbon footprint.
The town, which sprawls along a two mile stretch of road, grew out of a collection of farms and small patches of housing. The boom of the cotton industry made Bollington grow - there were once more than ten mills in the town. Only a few of these mills are now still in operation but some of them have been converted into homes or business space as well as shops.
Bollington’s most famous landmark, however, is White Nancy. The bright white structure, which sits on top of Kerridge Hill and was voted the most loved local landmark in a local council survey, has fantastic views of the town below and has also been adopted as Bollington’s logo. It was originally built as a summerhouse the Gaskell family, who lived at nearby Ingersley Hall.
While its commuter links are not as ideal as other places, there is still easy access to places like Macclesfield, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge. But do expect a bit more of a drive to your nearest motorways, the M56 and M60.
When it comes to properties there is plenty to choose from. Detached homes don’t come cheap though. They attract an average of £527,000, pitched way above the national picture. But expect to pay significantly more than that for a large, five bedroom plus property. There are some on the market approaching the £3 million mark with several priced hundreds of thousands of pounds above the average cost. The price drops quite significantly for semis, terraces and flats though. Many of the homes are pre-owned with a chance to buy everything from your own country pile to one of the many character stone-built terraces that line several of the town’s streets. If a brand new house is what you are looking for then there a few areas to look at and there are also a decent number of recently built homes and flats to choose from.
Bollington has many plus points and would be a lovely place to set up home. But take a visit there and see for yourself.
Ups: Lovely area, surrounded by vast and beautiful countryside, lots of things to do and plenty to see and friendly people.
Downs: It's a fair hike to your nearest motorway which could make it difficult for commuters travelling further afield.
Schools: Bollington Cross C of E Primary School, 01625 572138; St Gregory's Catholic Primary School, 01625 572037; Dean Valley Primary School, 01625 572767; St John's C of E Aided Primary School, 01625 572025
Transport: A frequent bus service operates between Macclesfield and Bollington seven days a week. Your nearest train station is at Prestbury, around two miles away, where services run from Macclesfield, Stockport and Manchester. Manchester International Airport is also nearby, less than ten miles away.
Commuting: Busy A and B roads provide access to nearby places including Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Prestbury, Alderley Edge, many surrounding villages and Stockport a little further away. However, expect a decent drive out to your nearest motorway if you a travelling longer distances. The closest motorways are the M56 and M60.
Shops: There are some great shops in Bollington. Here you can buy anything from many of the essentials you might need day-to-day as well a piece of art from a local gallery.
Restaurants/bars: Again, a good choice of places to eat and drink. It has a particularly good reputation for the number and quality and pubs that it has. They offer good food along with the restaurants that serve up cuisine from around the world. You can also get a good meal on the narrow boat, White Nancy, which cruises up and down the Macclesfield Canal.
Weekend fun: Plenty to do in the town from take a stroll along the canal or in some of the nearby countryside - the old railway line is now a walk called the Middlewood Way. This route, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, is suitable for walkers, cyclists or horse riders. Visit the Discovery Centre in Clarence Mill to find out more about Bollington and its surrounds, enjoy a pint of locally brewed ale at one of the many local pubs or get involved with one of the many local groups or events. There is no excuse for not getting involved.