A day in Altrincham & Hale
PUBLISHED: 08:46 28 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:37 28 October 2020
Where to eat, have fun and shop in Altrincham and Hale
Jenny Schippers visits the two prestigious postcodes
Having spent so much time in Hale and Altrincham over the years, I find it hard to pick fault with either of these power postcodes. They simply appear to have everything going for them. Not only are these affluent South Manchester commuter towns strategically placed to offer excellent transport links across the North West and further afield, but they also have the distinct advantage of sitting so close to some incredible Cheshire countryside. With a revitalised independent high street and food scene, Hale and Altrincham offer both residents and visitors alike the spoils of chic suburban living with authentic rural values and a true sense of community at their very core. All this considered, therefore, it is easy to see how Altrincham won The Sunday Times Best Place to Live in the UK 2020 award.
In the Morning
It is easy to please the whole family on any visit to Altrincham and Hale and you could spend a whole day doing just that. Begin with a stop at the impressive Altrincham Library, adjacent to the popular market hall; here they have an excellent children’s reading area to keep any little ones entertained while you peruse the titles in relative peace. For anyone with younger children (under five years), be sure to book a timed session at the magical Little World of Scholars on Stamford Road. This innovative play centre focuses on nurturing young minds with creative role-play areas including veterinary surgery, construction site, and supermarket.
For older children, consider booking an Into the Wild Bushcraft party located in private woodland adjacent to the River Bollin. Here the qualified staff will teach den building and fire-lighting skills, as well as foraging and nature talks, all finished up with marshmallows toasted on the campfire. Just in time for the winter months, there is now a heated yurt on site serving hot drinks – check social media for opening times. From here drive the short distance to the Roebuck Inn at Mobberley where you can settle in next to the open fire and warm up while enjoying a tasty pub lunch. This Grade II listed building, and the oldest inn in Mobberley dating back to 1708, has been lovingly restored over a three-year period to create a now award-winning ‘petit hotel and bistro’ that prides itself on offering impeccable home-cooked food in cosy surroundings.
In the Afternoon
After a busy morning exploring, you could choose to slow the pace in the afternoon with a visit to the exclusive Hale Country Club and Spa. Considered to be one of Cheshire’s premier spas featuring a brand-new thermal suite, state-of-the-art gym and infinity pool set in stunning grounds, it would be completely impossible not to relax and unwind. The bespoke spa packages on offer give a true sense of individuality to your treatment plan and by combining with lunch at the onsite Fuzen restaurant, it allows for a completely luxurious experience. One that could easily last an afternoon, or even a full day, childcare permitting.
Finally, in the run-up to Christmas, it is essential to time any day trip to Altrincham and Hale with a visit to the incredibly popular Christmas Light Show at Dunham Massey Hall and Gardens. Returning to the National Trust property for its fourth consecutive year, it will no doubt be another sell-out. This festive outdoor light show is a true kaleidoscope of colour that fills the gardens and offers a safe socially distanced activity suitable for the whole family. Tickets are now on sale for this event, which begins on 20th November and runs through until 30th December 2020.
Day on a Plate
Between both Hale and Altrincham, you will be spoilt for choice when considering places to dine. It would be hard not to mention the phenomenally successful Altrincham Market as the heart and soul of this buzzing hospitality scene and the important role it has played in the overall regeneration of the restaurant trade in Altrincham.
Over the past couple of years there has been an explosion of exciting and contemporary eateries around the town centre, notably, Common Ground and Gran T’s for excellent coffee and brunches in relaxed and informal surroundings, as well as Market House Coffee where you can sit, soak up the atmosphere and watch as the artisan food stalls prepare and serve their food from open kitchens around you.
For all-day dining options the exquisite Blanchflower on Shaw’s Road and the super stylish Con Club just around the corner, pride themselves on using regional produce to create their enticing dishes with the latter offering a fantastic children’s menu and an on-site microbrewery appealing to real ale fans.
Tre Ciccio on Moss Lane is the perfect choice for authentic, mouth-watering Neapolitan pizza served with passion in family-friendly surroundings and a further five minutes down the road in Hale you will find the equally popular Victors Restaurant. From the classic Hamptons inspired interiors and modern American cuisine served under the prettiest of floral displays, it is easy to see why residents and visitors alike have taken this romantic eatery to their hearts.
What the residents say
Adam Taylor (Into the Wild Bushcraft) – Headshot includes Winnie the Bushcraft dog
Originally from Clitheroe, I was a little worried about the move because I love the countryside. After being here for four years I have settled and now have a family and a business. Hale is a great place to live, with its combination of beautiful countryside on your doorstep and the buzz of Hale and Altrincham.
I love Altrincham particularly because of the range of independent shops, rather than chain stores. When doing my shopping, I am proud to support local businesses, many of which are owned by familiar faces who are always happy to have a chat, it has such a community feel.
As a young mum with two under-5s, there is an abundance of parks and child-friendly cafés and restaurants. One of my favourites is Stamford Park where we go to feed the ducks, and my eldest daughter is learning to play tennis. There are also really lovely walks along the River Bollin, St George’s Pond and Dunham Massey.