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Didsbury is described in various media as a fashionable "village" especially in the Manchester property sellers' shops, but is now, sadly, bereft of most institutions which defined an earlier English village "community."
Didsbury was, all too briefly, from late 19c/Edwardian times until post WW2, the preferred residential area of Hallé musicians, writers, journalists, artists and academics.
Withington and Didsbury parishes were small and influenced, as the population grew, by their southern proximity to the growing University of Manchester and feeder schools. House building was governed by need of travel access to employment and opportunity in the growth of business and commerce for the professional classes.
Where the cotton mills flourished others also moved to a centre of trade and industry, manufacturing and "culture".
Manchester became and was the UK national centre of theatre, drama and film outside London until the London BBC failed.
Didsbury with its railway station was the first stop from Manchester Central to London with Pullman coaches and dining.
Producers and Actors lived and socialised here. The "Royal Oak" pub in the 1960s was the place to be seen after their Midland Hotel exposure. Robert Donat was born here!
Big houses were built in former fields with small gardens, employing resident staff, from the mid 19c until WW1. Private avenues bear witness to that affluence.
Wealthy businessmen, industrialists and skilled engineers lived here because they chose to be near their Manchester commercial offices, factories and the vibrant City centre, Stock Exchange and Banking Centre.
It is now merely one of the "hippest 'hoods" of Manchester with the adjacent Fallowfield, Whalley Range, Moss Side and Withington housing council tax deficit and are the most populated districts/suburban areas in Europe during UK student registration and immigration.
Just 20 minutes drive to the retail City centre. City centre car parking is very expensive and inadequate.
Continual service of public transport is by private bus operators. A preferred cheaper option.
Didsbury retains leafy avenues full of imposing Victorian/Edwardian homes.
Ephemeral fashionable restaurants and bars occupy the former premises of those lost life-giving shopkeepers/traders notably essential butchers, bakers and greengrocers.
Cafés/bars and property businesses replace, uselessly, the former essential small businesses for community life; the shops which provide local electrical goods, cycling, toys, fashionable clothing, furniture and so on.
In Didsbury Village, check out The Art of Tea on Barlow Moor Road for lush cakes and light lunches (and teas obviously). The best pubs are the Dog and Partridge (once a sporting man's meeting place), the Royal Oak, once a favourite of Granada TV/Manchester actors and celebs, on Wilmslow Road and the Didsbury further down Wilmslow Road, past some university buildings with a mixed history.
Next to The Didsbury is Fletcher Moss Park named after the local dignitary's bequest passed his estate a century ago for the enjoyment of local citizens.
Fletcher Moss' family home and grounds were re-organized years ago by a more benign City and have a café, tennis courts and Councillor Moss' botanical gardens to enjoy freely.
Didsbury village is a great place for food shopping? Check out The Cheese Hamlet for amazing cheeses and deli items and there are is a great fishmongers next door and a butchers round the corner. Jem&I has a great reputation for food. If you're looking for somewhere with a bit of a buzz to eat, Gusto has a great atmosphere at weekends.
Centred mainly around Palatine Road/Lapwing Lane junction at the old road/railway bridge through to former Withington's Burton Road.
It is about 30 minutes walk from West Didsbury (via Pine Road) to Didsbury village centre.
(at the cross roads junction of Barlow Moor Road/Wilmslow Road (old A34) from Manchester)
"West" Didsbury area was formed around the railway station (now flats) and the road bridge over the former railway from Manchester Central to London.
Current extended area called West Didsbury was formerly part of Withington.
Withington Town Hall was on Lapwing Lane next to the bridge above.
Note "Northern Lawn Tennis Club" which held tournaments for players before Wimbledon.
Please try a pleasant walk from Didsbury from Barlow Moor Road along residential avenues via eg Pine Road. It's quicker to walk along established and pleasant residential streets, avoiding main traffic roads.
There are some great independent clothes shops and check out Moth for gifts. The Metropolitan (formerly Midland Railway public house named after the railway line and station which ran opposite from Manchester Central Station ) is a great pub with decent food and West One is a decent cocktail bar.
Pick of the restaurants are Gurkha Grill and Rhubarb on Burton Road and Greens, for veggie specials, on Lapwing Lane.
Manchester City China Town
Manchester has a Chinese population, and the local China Town is mow one of the largest in the UK .
China Town is in the area just to the south of Piccadilly Gardens and the main hub of the area is George Street which runs parallel to Portland Street. It is home to a number of Chinese restaurants, and various Chinese businesses including grocery shops, travel agents and financial services.
While Chinese businesses still dominate the area there are also several restaurants in the area that serves other type food, e.g. Thai, Italian, etc.
Note the massive Chinese supermarket/restaurant at the bottom of Oldham Road. It supplies most restaurants in the region.
The Village/ Canal Street
The Village is an explosion of bars, shops and restaurants around Manchester’s Canal Street area. These nine canal-side blocks are proudly touted by the city council and are a great attraction for the homosexual population and visitors as well being the centre of attention in the city's August Bank Holiday Manchester Pride celebration (www.manchesterpride.com).
Castlefield, on the western edge of town, is the district where Manchester first sprung to life in 64AD (with fortress ruins still on view). After decades of disuse and decline, the area around the former shipping canals and warehouses of Castlefield are home to slick loft apartments and trendy pubs and eateries, and the city’s central shopping area boasts distinctive new architecture and gleaming retail outlets. The Castlefield Centre at 101 Liverpool Road is an information centre where you can pick up a map to take a stroll along the Canal Basin Trail.
Home to the more outré residents, the Northern Quarter is the place to be right now. With an eclectic mix of pokey shops, bars, nightlife, warehouse raves and more, it's well worth spending some time around here. The Arena is situated in this area, adjoining Victoria rail terminal, providing a world-class stage for some of the more famous names in the entertainment world. Urbis is a new museum charting Manchester's past and plotting its future, located just off the Triangle, it's a good place to pass a couple of hours.
Rusholme / The Curry Mile
Rusholme is located a couple of miles south of the city centre along the route south.
The area is well-known for the many Bangladeshi restaurants on both sides of the southern end of Oxford Road (where it becomes Wilmslow Road).
These eating places have lost much with the growth of factory catering, but in general they are friendly and welcoming. The food is usually good, if pre-prepared industrially and the area is a must if you are looking for a good curry!
Some other mid-eastern eateries, not just sub-continental Asia.
Salford is home to Greater Manchester's newest addition to the entertainment scene, The Lowry at Salford Quays in the old docklands area. The complex houses theatres (the main stage being the second largest in the UK), an art gallery, cafés, an outlet village, and there are many fine apartments and town houses in the vicinity.
The BBC is moving to the new Media City in the Quays, including Children's Entertainment, BBC Radio and Sport .This will also provide a new home for "BBC North West Tonight ", the popular BBC regional news programme. Gordon Burns has left, but he will remain on radio.
The regional BBC studios building on Manchester's Oxford Road (built late 60s/70s) have been sold recently. The original BBC building(closed early 1970s) in Piccadilly overlooking the former Piccadilly Gardens is now a hotel on several floors.
Salford is served by the metro tram system with bus links.
On a fine day it is good to alight at Salford Quays station rather than Harbour City. Walk in direction of travel, crossing road and then, taking the next left, walk along the tree lined waterside path past the rowing club. After a few minutes you have a great view of both The Lowry and The Imperial War Museum North on the other side of the water.
Across the docks and technically in Trafford is the northern outpost of the Imperial War Museum in a signature building designed by award-winning international architect Daniel Libeskind.
Also in Salford you will find The RC Cathedral for the diocese of Salford, which is most of new Greater Manchester, north of the Mersey and Tame, much of old pre-1972 Lancashire and a small part of West Yorkshire. The building is on Chapel Street towards The Crescent, outbound from Bridge Street, where you will also find Salford Art Gallery and Museum. This is all a short and safe walk from Manchester city centre.