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Goostrey is an 'olde worlde' village with a thoroughly modern outlook

PUBLISHED: 09:39 10 January 2012 | UPDATED: 15:31 21 September 2017

Goostrey is an 'olde worlde' village with a thoroughly modern outlook

Goostrey is an 'olde worlde' village with a thoroughly modern outlook

Goostrey is an 'olde worlde' village with a thoroughly modern outlook, as Polly Berkeley reports

Goostrey demonstrates that village life is far from dead. That is the message from those who are lucky enough to have a home here. Could there be a more active village? Certainly Goostrey is hard to beat for its range of activities and local involvement.

Of course, is it a pretty location with two churches, a thriving primary school and a number of shops and pubs, including the lovely Red Lion, but it also has a tight-knit community which isn’t afraid to embrace modern life.

One claim to fame is that it was, in 1975, the location for one of the first fly-on-the-wall documentary series which focused on the Women’s Institute and their involvement in village life and it’s still reckoned to be pretty cutting edge.

Independent shops and excellent community-owned sports facilities are shining examples of how communities can thrive and in spite of its old world half-timbered buildings and beautifully weathered Cheshire brick houses, it hasn’t stuck in the dark ages. In fact, Goostrey was one of the first villages in the UK to have a profile on the social networking site My Space.

Its origins as a small farming community are embodied in its architecture, parish church and delightful location, not far from Jodrell Bank Observatory.

Another delight is the local tradition of gooseberry throwing and an annual gooseberry show and in 2007 Goosfest was launched, an arts festival which continues to have a packed programme including stand-up comedy, classical, folk and contemporary music, pottery photography and art, taking place in the Red Lion, the village hall, the Crown Inn and St Luke’s Church.

For visitors who want to explore Goostrey and the surrounding area, the community has produced More Goostrey Walks and Strolls, detailing with maps and images nine walks around the village.

One place to explore is the wooded valley of Red Lion Brook on the northern side of the village, known as The Bongs and which features in Alan Garner’s play, Holly From the Bongs, which the children of the village performed in the 1960s for the BBC. Alan Garner still lives in the village in a late 16th century house known as Toad Hall.

Where it is

Goostrey is an old farming village in the unitary authority of East Cheshire located off junction 18 of the M6 Motorway near Jodrell Bank observatory.

Where to park

Free parking is available at Goostrey Station.

Where to eat

Soaking up the atmosphere in the local pub is a great way to enjoy Goostrey. The Red Lion’s Grouchos restaurant has full restaurant facilities and caters for everything from a light lunch to a buffet function. The Crown Inn also has a good reputation for food and good ale.

The print version of this article appeared in the January 2012  issue of Cheshire Life 

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