Travel: Didsbury – a charming village findBy Sarah Dave
May 24, 2011
I’m not going to pretend we had a burning desire to visit Didsbury – or even knew where it was.
We wanted to explore and stay in central Manchester, but two pesky football teams were having some sort of crucial clash and city centre hotels were all booked up.
But boy am I glad we went further afield to Didsbury!
The village is about 15 minutes’ drive from Manchester.
Direct trains from Reading call at Manchester and nearby Stockport. We travelled with Crosscountry – a comfortable journey and friendly staff.
From Stockport, a 10-minute taxi trip to Didsbury costs between £7 and £10.
Didsbury is a charming, historic part of Greater Manchester with fine Victorian villas lining its leafy streets and lush parks.
The European café culture of Wilmslow Road is a boon with buzzing restaurants, shops, wine bars and pubs – Gusto restaurant is one I particularly recommend.
Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens and Didsbury Park are lovely to stroll through and St James’ Church is a peaceful spot, overlooking a meadow.
Sitting grandly further up Wilmslow Road is Didsbury Park Hotel, an impressive Victorian villa with a touch of the Tardis from Doctor Who – its winding, seemingly never ending upstairs corridors, appeared to house myriad bedrooms. In fact it had a modest three, plus four suites.
Its style is very chic and mildly eccentric. Half a dozen round-faced clocks are grouped on the wall in one of the sitting rooms and feather-covered orbs nestle on a side-table.
We were lucky enough to be given a duplex room with a walk-in monsoon shower on the balcony overlooking the bed and a roll top bath in the main room next to a bookshelf hosting an intriguing mix of novels.
Breakfast was suitably varied – which I was pleasantly surprised about as it’s not always possible in smaller boutique hotels.
If you can tear yourself away from swanky Didsbury, which also has a cinema, bowling alley and laser quest within walking distance of the hotel, Manchester city centre has some top attractions. Apart from the sizzling nightlife, top things to do include:
- Hang out in the indie-cool Northern Quarter www.northernqtr.co.uk. Start by conquering the multi-floored Afflecks Palace in Church Street with its little cubby holes filled with traders.
- Go shopping at Manchester Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and the Arndale and Trafford centres.
- Take in some performing or visual arts at The Lowry theatre and exhibition space www.thelowry.com
Sarah stayed at Didsbury House Hotel, Didsbury Park, Didsbury Village, Manchester, M20 5LJ.
She travelled with Crosscountry trains direct from Reading to Stockport. For timetable information and fares, visit www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk