Nestled in the depths of Greater Manchester lies a village that feels worlds away from bustling city life. Marple Bridge, in Stockport, is situated on a picture-perfect spot along its own waterway of the River Goyt.
The little, quaint village is made up of stone buildings that date back to the 18th century, which have been perfectly maintained over the years. During this time, the area became a thriving urban center; a bridging point on the route between Stockport and Derbyshire.
Leafy Marple Bridge is surrounded by trees and woodlands, now making it the ideal place for gorgeous weekend walks. Visitors will be charmed by the scenic bridge crossing the water, and in the summertime, the place is brimming with hanging baskets and resident herons, among other wildlife.
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The village has a collection of traditional pubs, serving British pub grub, and some come with views overlooking the peaceful river. Marple Bridge sits on the outskirts of the town of Marple, which is said to have inspired the character of Miss Marple in mystery writer Agatha Christie’s novels.
In the town, you can find lots more cafes and restaurants and independent shops. It’s also home to the Marple Locks – a spectacular flight of 16 locks, which is one of the steepest flights in Britain.
Marple Bridge borders the Roman Lakes too – a hidden lakeside beauty spot tucked away in the Goyt Valley. The lakes have a rich heritage, and were once used to power the mighty Mellor Mill.
Built by industrialist Samuel Oldknow, it was the largest cotton mill in the world when it was completed in 1793. At its peak, it employed more than 550 people.
The man-made lakes were originally millponds formed by diverting the River Goyt, which runs by their side. After the mill was destroyed by fire in 1892, the Roman Lakes were turned into a pleasure park with rowing boats, a dance hall and amusements that attracted thousands of people from the surrounding towns and villages.
In winter, the water levels would be lowered and the frozen lakes became an ice skating rink. Today, the park is still in use as a visitor attraction, with a children’s play area, picnic tables, a kiosk and vintage-style tearooms that host tea dances.
The lakes are used for fishing and canoeing, while the surrounding valley is crisscrossed with walking and cycling trails and bridleways. The villages in and around Marple can easily be accessed by car from across the region, with it taking just 20 minutes from Stockport town centre.
Despite Marple having its own train station, there is no direct train from Stockport station. Travelers have to head to Manchester Piccadilly, where they can then board a train to arrive in Marple in around 20 minutes.
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