Perhaps unsurprisingly for a town perched on the edge of the Peak District, the best activities in Macclesfield largely involve getting out into the great outdoors. You could be looking out over the picturesque Cheshire countryside at Tegg’s Nose, peering into the depths of space at Jodrell Bank, admiring the grandeur of Adlington Hall or exploring Blaze Farm with the kids. Whatever floats your boat, you will be positively buoyant in ‘Macc’.
Activities in Macclesfield
Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre
If you have an interest in science and astronomy, then there's a good chance you have already heard of Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre. A few miles west of the town centre, it’s home to the Lovell telescope – the third largest moveable telescope in the world – as well as three discovery centres where you can learn all about space, planets and stars. You can also enjoy the 35 acres of surrounding green space that belongs to the centre, featuring a galaxy garden, space playground and a tree collection.
Jodrell Bank also hosts a number of events throughout the year, including regular stargazing nights where you can gaze at the constellations looming above the Cheshire sky. As you can probably tell, a trip here is likely to take up a few hours due to the sheer amount there is to do, so you’ll be happy to hear there is also an onsite café serving everything from light drinks and refreshments to hearty meals.
Tegg's Nose Country Park
Macclesfield Silk Museum
While you’re in discovery mode, you may wish to learn more about the town’s rich industrial history. There is nowhere better to do this than the Macclesfield Silk Museum. Located on Park Green near the train station, this museum is home to brilliantly preserved artefacts which tell the story of the families and companies who helped make Macclesfield a major player in the global silk industry.
One particular highlight is the story of Macclesfield residents who emigrated for work to Paterson, New Jersey, leading to the U.S town being nicknamed ‘the Macclesfield of America’. Should you wish to take home a souvenir, the silk shop within the museum stocks a delightful range of clothing and artwork.
As one of England's most beautiful country homes, Adlington Hall is one to tick off for fans of architecture and history. It’s only open to the public on Sundays and bank holiday Mondays between April and September, but if this coincides with your stay – particularly at our nearby Macclesfield North hotel – then you should definitely pay a visit. You can gaze inside rooms such as the Great Hall with all of its period furniture, wander the scenic gardens and enjoy refreshments in the traditional tea room.
Tegg’s Nose Country Park
It would be a shame to go to Macclesfield and not take in some of Cheshire’s finest scenery. You would struggle to find a better view of it than from the top of Tegg’s Nose Country Park, a Green Flag awarded site to the east of the town centre. The 1,246-foot summit is achievable even for beginners and offers excellent views over the plains out as far as Wales and Liverpool.
If you don’t fancy reaching the highest point, you can still enjoy various activities, such as wildlife spotting, fishing, climbing and abseiling, as well as paying a visit to the visitor centre, gallery and tea room. We would love to tell you all about Tegg and his famous nose, but unfortunately, the unusual name is not assigned after a character. Instead, it is believed to derive from the bronze age settlement that once existed here.
Viewable from Tegg’s Nose, Macclesfield Forest is a popular attraction for those who enjoy the great outdoors. The forest is home to four reservoirs, which have walking trails surrounding them and stop off points where you can read up on the history of the land and the local wildlife. The views are beautiful no matter when you visit, and the landscape changes brilliantly with the seasons.
A word to the wise, Bodenham Arboretum is not free, and the price of tickets changes with the seasons of the year but at roughly a few pounds for adults it's worth it for a peaceful afternoon outdoors.
If you are visiting Macclesfield with young family, a great place to take them is Blaze Farm. Located on Wildboarclough, around a 20-minute drive from our Macclesfield South West hotel, it is a working dairy farm and award-winning attraction. During your visit, you can say hello to the animals, walk along their nature trails, paint pottery, and – most importantly – gorge on their famous ‘Hilly Billy’ ice cream.