High street shopping in Didsbury
PUBLISHED: 09:47 06 March 2015
Time to revisit this affluent suburb, if only to discover what you’re missing
Didsbury High Street
Chalk; Sam Hartley, Colin McKevitt (Head Chef) and Leanne Mutton
Robert G. Walmsley at Didsbury Village Bookshop
Elegant Touch; Ellen Green, Ellie Bold, Christine Crawford and Katy Burr
Elegant Touch; Ellie Bold, Christine Crawford, Katy Burr and Ellen Green
Interior of Elegant Touch
Exterior of Tarling and Tarling
Jim Hollingshead at Tarling and Tarling
Exterior of Didsbury Village Bookshop
Exterior of Chalk
Didsbury is the notoriously posh part of South Manchester, historically where students used to go to grow up and get proper jobs to fund their mortgages and growing families.
This has all been to its advantage because it is an area that continues to thrive as an independent part of the Manchester scene. Didsbury is the place to find neighbourhood restaurants, quirky cafes and high-end delis in spite of the influx of high street chains.
In a way, you have to see this mix as a healthy one, as you can stroll through the town any day of the week and it has a buzz. There’s surprisingly lots to do. Browsing in shops, a drink in a snug little bar and a stroll around the lovely Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens should just about fill a pleasant afternoon.
To the west of the main village are the areas centred around Burton Road and Lapwing Lane, known as West Didsbury, which has a cooler, younger vibe than the main part of the suburb, so head here for vintage finds, handmade chocolates, contemporary clothing and unusual interior buys.
These independent businesses make this an increasingly attractive destination for those who want a more relaxing shopping experience than they’d find in city areas such as the edgier Northern Quarter.
Didsbury has its own interesting dining culture too, which is getting more and more exciting and includes everything from Asian and Nepalese cuisine to cocktail bars and smart restaurants. It is here that TV chef Simon Rimmer launched his vegetarian restaurant Greens in the 1990s and to his credit it’s still here and he continues to have a hands-on role working in the kitchens, devising menus and inspiring new staff.
Then there’s Justin Crawford and Luke Cowdrey, DJs known as The Unabombers, creators of the long-running Manchester underground clubnights Electric Chair who have just scooped an award for their new Volta concept bar restaurant. Nicer still - everywhere is just a stroll away.
It’s this proximity that gives West Didsbury a charming village feel, but banish doubts of olde worlde-ness. This is an affluent, contemporary and fresh location. And that makes it well worth revisiting, if only to find out what you’re missing.
Where is Didsbury?
Didsbury lies on the north bank of the River Mersey about 4.5 miles away from Manchester city centre. The number of buses running along the Wilmslow Road corridor serving the student population and the addition of the Metrolink mean it is easily accessed by public transport
The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon Dyddi’s burg, probably referring to a man known as Dyddi whose stronghold or township it was.