The second part of the series "A Day Well Spent in ..." features Manchester's neighbour Stockport. I find it a very exciting and quirky city. Recently, there are a lot of independent businesses popping up, helping Stockport's city centre out of regression. Heritage pubs and affordable eateries make it a great place to visit. So, hop on the bus or the train and head South!
There are two ways to get to Stockport by public transport. The fastest is by getting the train from Picadilly Station, which will take you to Stockport in less than 15 minutes. A slower but maybe more exciting journey offers bus line 192. Departing from a stop just outside Picadilly it will take you through Failsworth and Levenshulme before it drops you off in Stockport’s City Centre. Look out of the window to see how Manchester is changing along the way.
When I interned at a Stockport-based Magazine I used to get Breakfast from Tandem Café. Always. It has a very cozy and friendly atmosphere, offers a great range of sandwiches and homemade soups, and it is – at least compared to Manchester Centre prizes – quite affordable. The interior is inviting and has a lot of references to the café’s name: shelves are beautifully decorated with bike images and magazines.
When lunchtime hits there are numbers of choices. My personal favourite might be a hidden gem, It is a Lebanese takeaway restaurant Tyros. The food is just incredible, there are loads of vegetarian or vegan options and the family that runs the business are the sweetest people in the world.
If you are a fan of street food you should also check out Foodie Friday taking place once a month in front of Stockport’s old Market Hall.
Unexpectedly, Stockport has a number of exquisite independent shops. Quirky, different, brave. Most of them are settled in the old town of the city. Besides from the lovely Plantshop and Rare Mags (featured here and here) you have to visit SK1 Records – a record shop with an integrated café -, as well as the variety of vintage furniture shops like Agapanthus or 20th Century Stores. I also recommend having a nosey around local charity shops to find rare steals.
After your shopping trip go to one of the pubs around Market Place. Baker’s Vault used to be a bank and appeals customers with a well-chosen beer range and outstanding hot dogs. A bit of the track but a true gem is Ye Olde Vic. Enjoy your beer in livingroom atmosphere with local company and some board games.
There is a lot to explore in Stockport’s centre. Just by walking through the old town you will discover the city’s dense history. Pop your head into the beautiful market hall and visit the local traders. Another tip is the Hat Museum based in an old Victorian mill. Its chimney forms a charismatic landmark which can be spotted if you are approaching Stockport by train. It is UK’s only museum for the hatting industry, hats, and headwear.