Hey there, adventurous families! 🌟 If you’re based in or around Stockport or Manchester and hunting for a day out that’s just a stone’s throw away, let me introduce you to a gem: Marple Bridge near Stockport, Nestled on the edge of Stockport and the stunning rolling hills of Peak District. My little explorers, Mila and Sam, absolutely love both the village, parkland and restaurants and pubs and I’m sure you and yours will too!
1. Why Choose Marple Bridge? 🌳
Nestled in lush woodlands alongside the winding River Goyt, Marple Bridge isn’t just a place—it’s an experience. Only 20 minutes from Stockport, it feels worlds apart from the city’s hustle and bustle, offering a tranquil countryside escape.
What’s more? There’s a plethora of activities that promise fun-filled family moments. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or just seeking some quality family time in a playground followed by a lunch in one of the many country pubs like the Midland Inn, perched on top of the River Goyt, Marple Bridge has got you covered!
2. Brabyn’s Park: A Walk to Remember 🚶♂️
Starting off on our adventure, we headed out into Brabyn’s Park from where we’d parked the car – Marple Bridge Car Park. The parking there is free, at all times and each day, however there’s a ‘short stay section’ which is marked out in red and where cars can only be left for four hours and then the rest of the car park where you can leave the car for longer.
Brabyn’s Park is all that’s left of Brabyn Hall and forms part of the Marple Conservation Area. We quickly found a small play ground which the kids were delighted with. We then started off on a circular walk that hugs the Rivers Goyt and Etherow, it’s an absolute treat. We seemed to have struck lucky and were surrounded by lots of butterflies and dragonflies – perhaps they were catching the last rays of summer. Mila and Sam particularly loved spotting all the different butterflies and other insect life!
3. Unlock the Mystery: Marple Locks 🔒
We didn’t head up to the locks today, but if you fancy some interactive history, Marple Locks is your go-to. These locks are not just feats of engineering but also narrate tales from the past. It’s incredible tracking back on the maps to see where the canals originated from and where they’re headed. And although none of these locks head that far, it brings back memories of our recent stay away at Hebden Bridge where the Rochdale Canal passes through.
Pro-tip: Carry some breadcrumbs. The ducks love them!
4. Cobbled Streets: Marple Bridge is Like Stepping Back in Time ⏳
One thing that we love about Marple Bridge is exploring the cobbled side roads, although you’re hundreds of miles away, you really do feel like you’re on Gold Hill in Shaftesbury in a Hovis Advert. The kids really do love running around these roads, especially when we take their bikes as they get to go bump bump bump. However, do take care – although the roads are very quiet, they aren’t pedestrianised, so you do need to take care with cars.
5. Planning Your Trip 🚗
Getting to Marple Bridge is pretty easy and the village is well served if you’re taking the car, but equally by public transport by train and bus. Marple Bridge is just a few miles out of Stockport centre and is best accessed from the A6 if driving from Manchester.
6. And What About Food? 🍔
If you’re looking to eat in Marple Bridge you won’t be disappointed. Most recently, we ate in the Midland Hotel which overlooks the River Goyt. Aside from having stunning views of both the village and the river, you won’t be disappointed by the food, if you’ve been following our travels for a while, you’ll probably have already guessed that both Mila and Sam went for fish and chips. Noemi went for a Beef Brisket and Ale Pie which came served with mashed potatoes and tenderstem broccoli, whilst I opted for a chipotle chicken with halloumi fries. However, this wasn’t a dish and was a combination of a starter and side! We were all in agreement that the food was delicious.
The pub was brilliant for families, immediately upon arrival we were given some colouring and crayons which kept both of them well occupied. The pub is set up with a restaurant with table service, or you could opt to sit in the bar. The menus were exactly the same, the main difference being that you had to go to the bar to order, if sat in the bar, and the tables were set up more formally in the restaurant.
We sat in the restaurant and had a great experience, but if you don’t feel so comfortable, you can easily hide yourself away in the bar area. I don’t drink alcohol, but they had a great choice of beers and likewise a good wine menu!
If you’re after something less formal, then there are a number of cafes and alternative pubs on the other side of the river including Libby’s Bread and Wine or the Bull’s Heads from local Stockport brewery Robinson’s.
In Conclusion 🌅
If you’re looking for somewhere close to Manchester that feels completely different to the city skyscrapers of the city or the industrial heritage of some of the nearby national trust properties then be sure to head to Marple Bridge which is easy to get to and has plenty of options on offer for both adults and younger people alike!