What’s going for it? Last time I popped into Glossop, five years ago, it was coming of age as a Nu Mill Town, following in the wake of Todmorden, Ramsbottom and, of course, Hebden Bridge, the kind of place increasingly inhabited by those Manchester commuters partial to BBC 6 Music, craft beer and luxuriant beards, who are not quite ready to purchase beard oil, that being the stuff of the devil (or at least, parts of east London). A recent fly past confirmed the trend. A damn good night can be had at the Crystal Ballroom. There is a plant-based deli. I found no beard oil. The community is fierce (in a good way) and friendly, instigators of quirky nightspots, theatres, a club-for-every-proclivity, fine markets and microbreweries; and you could never be bored with the Peak District and its rambling treats at the edge of town. It is a strong and independent spot, not much given to pretension, just as it was when the town first formed in the industrial revolution 250 years ago. The melancholic (in a good way) milltown landscape, love it or hate it, is still there, dripping under the sou’westerlies – all stone-built nonconformist chapels, mills, workers’ cottages and the like, only filled not with calico these days, but cocktails.
The case against Rain, rain, go away, go away. Please. Just occasionally. Traffic can be a big problem. A touch on the dour side: embrace the drizzle, adore the grey.
Well connected? Trains: half hourly and thrice hourly in rush hour to Manchester Piccadilly (35 mins). Driving: 15 mins to the M67, 40 mins to central Manchester with the wind behind you or to Manchester Airport, just a few minutes into the heart of the Peak District.
Schools Primaries: St Luke’s CofE, Dinting CofE, Simmondley, All Saints Catholic, St Margaret’s Catholic and Charlesworth are all “good”, says Ofsted. Secondaries: the town’s St Philip Howard Catholic “requires improvement”; “the school is improving”, however.
Hang out at… The place has flooded with interesting bars, pubs and cultural venues lately. Hyssop is a fine spot, which has opened after a series of pop-ups.
Where to buy The town formed by squishing together several villages and building a Victorian centre between them, a structure that remains. Old Glossop, for instance, might be alone in the middle of the Peak District, a pretty village of stone cottages cuddling the old parish church. Around Howard Park are some excellent Victorians; also Whitfield Cross and around Primrose Lane. Derbyshire Level is the poshest. Villages just outside, like Simmondley and Charlesworth, are worth a gander. Large detacheds and townhouses, £400,000-£850,000. Detacheds and smaller townhouses, £200,000-£400,000. Semis, £145,000-£400,000. Terraces and cottages, £110,000-£300,000. Flats, £90,000-£250,000. Rentals: a one-bedroom flat, £450-£700pcm; a three-bed house, £700-£1,100pcm.
Bargain of the week Two-bedroom Victorian semi close to the centre and Old Glossop; could do with a spruce-up; £175,000, with space4living.com.
From the streets
Bryn Adams “It’s come a long way in the last few years and has shed its Royston Vasey reputation. Grains’ bakery with its famous sourdough. It also supply Panaderia, a fantastic cafe. Howard Town Brewery, in an unassuming warehouse on the edge of Old Glossop, catering for everyone from hillwalkers to hipsters.”
Brian Robinson “Decanter by Dowds - a gin bar from the people at Panderia. Drive out to Snake Pass and the Snake woodland.”
Andrew F “The Dinting Lane allotments in Glossop: 100 plots with outstanding views across the High Peak. A real sense of community has flourished there since they opened three years ago.”
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