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High Street shopping in Didsbury

PUBLISHED: 00:00 06 May 2013 | UPDATED: 14:18 22 February 2014

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A Manchester suburb with creative credentials.

Words by Polly Berkeley Photography by David Billington

Theres no doubting Didsburys creative credibility. From artists to DJs, pop stars to stylists, this has always been the boho suburb of south Manchester.

There are actually three distinct areas of Didsbury. Didsbury village has an older more established feel with its galleries, bookstore and traditional cheese shop while West Didsbury has a slightly younger vibe and then there is East Didsbury with its railway station.

Arguably the citys answer to Londons Notting Hill with its cool restaurants and bars, independent shopping and the feeling of a close community, Didsbury has come a long way since it was a hamlet, as recorded in the 13th century.

During the 18th century, Didsbury was being described as a township and historians mention that in 1745 Charles Edward Stuart crossed the Mersey at Didsbury in the Jacobite march south from Manchester to Derby, and again in the subsequent retreat.

It was the 19th century when it grew into a desirable place to live, which it is to this day. Those who own one of its handsome Victorian or Edwardian houses can enjoy everything on the doorstep: great shopping, lively bars and restaurants, excellent schools and a strong sense of community.

West Didsbury is where you should head for boutiques stocked with homeware, contemporary fashion, cupcakes, bridal and vintage pieces, while in the village, independent shops and some familiar names sell everything from fresh fish to flowers.

Didsburys showbiz associations extend to its claim to fame as an offshoot of the ABC Weekend television studios way back between 1956 and 1969. Stars like Hughie Green would turn up to transform ordinary talent into TV gold. The site on Parrs Wood Road was also used by Rediffusion and Yorkshire TV and in the 1970s became the Capitol Theatre.

Residents are lucky to have the pretty Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden and Didsbury Park to wander around. By the way, Didsbury Arts Festival will be held this year on June 22nd to 30th.

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