Towns and villages
The towns and villages in the foothills of the Peak District are ideal bases, with fantastic walking walking country on the doorstep and yet still being handy for Manchester city centre. Disley sits right on the edge of Lyme Park and at the beginning of the Gritstone Trail.
Historic Macclesfield is full of character with its own cinema, arts festivals, brewery, indy shops and pubs, and museums depicitng its silk-weaving heritage.
On the edge of the Tatton Park estate, Knutsford is one of Cheshire's prettiest towns, home and inspiration of Elizabeth Gaskell and packed with indulgent shops and restaurants.
The handsome, stone-built mill town of Bollington, right in the Peak District foothills and with the Macclesfield Canal and Middlewood Way running through its centre, boasts an annual Walking Festival, its own Bollington Brewery, a thriving Arts Centre and great little pubs and galleries. From here it's a pleasant journey along the canal to Poynton, home of the Anson Engine Museum.
Prestbury, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow are probably best known for the number of famous people who live there, attracted by the easy mix of rural scenery, historic architecture and contemporary lifestyle.