When in Knutsford
When in Knutsford
While we have stores up and down the country, we know that, quite often, you’ll be making a longer trip to come out and see us. So, with that in mind, we like to put together a little guide to each store’s surrounding area. That way, should you be planning a venture out to us, you can turn your visit into a whole day out. This time it’s the turn of Neptune Knutsford – our home just south of Manchester.
(Just to say, please check that each of our suggestions are open before you visit as some may have been affected by the pandemic.)
While the 18th-century mansion at Tatton Park is certainly impressive, it’s dwarfed by the gardens and parkland surrounding it, in which you can quite easily get happily lost for a day. There are 50 acres of landscaped gardens to explore – our highlight being the Japanese Garden (you can view the Japanese garden from the perimeter, or step inside on a guided tour, which we’d really recommend enquiring about). Outside the gardens is a Repton-designed, 1,000 acre deer park, complete with red and fallow deer herds.
Like Tatton Park, it’s Dunham Massey’s gardens that we feel are the real attraction. We love its seven-acre Winter Garden, which features plants chosen for their colour, structure or scent during the winter months – including snowdrops, cyclamen and irises which you might just be able to catch the tail end of. But, at this time of year, it’s the impressive displays of bluebells, tulips and flowering trees such as magnolias and crab apples that we can’t wait to see. There’s also the deer park to discover which is home to an excellent selection of ancient trees (you can even download a walk to explore them all).
At only 40-minutes away from our store, we couldn’t not touch on a trip into Manchester itself. The city has a particularly interesting collection of museums and galleries to explore (and which will hopefully be open again soon): Manchester’s rich history as a setting for political and social change means the People’s History Museum is well worth a visit, as is the Science & Industry Museum, while bibliophiles shouldn’t miss out on Chetham’s Library (the oldest public library in the English-speaking world) or The John Rylands Library (a gothic masterpiece). And, for of the moment culture, we love Home – a contemporary art gallery, theatre and independent cinema.
King Street Kitchen
Knutsford has rather a reputation as a foodie spot, so there are lots of eateries in town to choose from. King Street Kitchen is one we’ll often head to – an all-day café and restaurant with a healthy, Californian-inspired menu (think balanced breakfasts, a selection of really excellent appetisers, and plant-based Sunday roasts).
The Lambing Shed
Literally just up the road from us is The Lambing Shed – a farm shop and café housed in (you guessed it) a former lambing shed. Moseley Hall Farm, on which The Lambing Shed is set, is still a working farm, so as you’d expect the butchery is justly famed, while in the deli you’ll find homemade pies and pastries, and over in the cafe things are similarly local.
The Cheese Yard
Back in Knutsford (and also on King Street), you’ll discover this little gem of a shop. The Cheese Yard specialise in both British and continental cheeses as well as wines, all of which you can pop in to buy should you be planning your own feast back at home, and they also serve curated platters at lunchtime if you’d prefer to eat while you’re out. Keep an eye out for their ‘informal but informative’ cheese and wine evenings as well.
The Makers Market
You’ll find The Makers Market popping up in several towns and cities in the north-west and west midlands, including on the first Sunday of the month in Knutsford. Here, you can discover a whole host of artisan craftspeople and food and drink producers from the area, set to the background of local musicians.
Knutsford Antiques Centre
We do love a proper antiques shop in which to have a good rummage, and this one definitely doesn’t disappoint. There are 12 rooms of antique and vintage furniture, china, glass, paintings, books and textiles to discover behind the pretty, red-bricked, sash-windowed façade, nestled in amongst the other independent shops on Knutsford’s King Street.
Bax Bees is based over in the nearby village of Plumley. Run by a beekeeping family, their shop sells not only their own raw honeys – including jars infused with herbs and spices, and special blends containing propolis (an antibiotic substance made by bees from tree sap) and perga (a mix of pollen, royal jelly and enzymes that’s great for the digestive system) – but also beeswax candles, furniture creams and mead from the Northumberland Honey Co. and the Lancashire Mead Company. You can also take a peek at their honey extraction room and an observation hive when you visit.
Neptune Knutsford is less than 10-minutes’ drive from the town itself – you’ll find everything you need to know, including what to expect inside, here.