Knutsford's Hidden Gems
An eclectic selection of independent shops and eateries draws many visitors to the two main streets of Knutsford town centre. Explore a little further, and you'll discover an array of hidden gems concealed behind the rows of historic buildings.
If you know just where to find them, you can uncover some of the best secret spots in Knutsford. Here are some top picks to look out for:
Knutsford Heritage Centre
Despite its town centre location, Knutsford Heritage Centre is notoriously well hidden. Yet, it's definitely worth seeking out.
The setting can be accessed via Heritage Way (where Tatton Street meets Princess Street), or through the narrow archway next to Age UK on King Street.
There's a shop in the 17th century timber framed building of an old forge, 2 tranquil courtyard gardens to enjoy, plus a number of fascinating historical artefacts.
Exhibits are displayed in the Tapestry Gallery, alongside the famous Knutsford Millennium Tapestry. This amazing piece of work took 3000 people 4 years to complete. It's absolutely spectacular!
Plus, there's now a brand new addition to the garden - a stunning sculpture of King Canute carved by local Wood Sculptor, Andy Burgess.
Knutsford Heritage Centre is run by a group of volunteers who have a huge knowledge of the local area and its history. They offer guided walking tours, virtual walks & talks about Mrs Gaskell's Cranford, or People & Places, as well as tapestry talks.
For more information, or to check opening hours (currently Thurs-Sat 11am-4pm), visit the Knutsford Heritage Centre website.
The Courtyard Coffee House
A wander down Heritage Way reveals another of Knutsford's hidden gems: The Courtyard Coffee House. Again the grounds can also be accessed via an alleyway off King Street. This time head between Paris Boutique and the distinctive black & white frontage of The Hidden Barn.
Whichever direction you arrive from, both walkways lead to the courtyard and quaint building of a popular eaterie. Here guests are welcome to dine in the traditional setting of the cosy cafe or adjoining conservatory.
The Courtyard Coffee House offers a range of breakfast, brunch, and lunch items, as well as a selection of cakes and beverages.
Their Courtyard Breakfast is available all day and provides a tasty plate to fuel you up. For lunch, try one of their freshly prepared and generously filled sandwiches. They also have a variety of hot meals and salads.
If you are looking for something sweet, check out the mouthwatering displays of The Courtyard Coffee House cakes. Perfect with a tea or coffee.
Morgan Edwards Wine Lounge & Terrace
From the road, you might think Morgan Edwards is simply a quirky looking wine shop. However, there's more to this historic building at 88 King Street than meets the eye, as the establishment has two hidden areas where customers are welcome to sit and enjoy their wine.
Head upstairs to discover a cosy lounge with a collection of charming mismatched furniture, an old fireplace, and a sideboard groaning with bottles. This is a fabulous place to relax over a glass of wine, with candles and background music creating the perfect ambience.
And now there's a gorgeous new outdoor wine terrace too. Here, wooden decking, cast iron tables, and foliage help provide the perfect spot to sip your drinks alfresco.
The upstairs lounge is reached from inside the shop. Alternatively, head down the small ginnel to the left of the building which opens up to the outdoor wine terrace.
Both areas open daily, with late closing (10pm) on a Friday & Saturday evening. And you can even order a selection of nibbles or a delicious cheeseboard which make the perfect accompaniments to your wine.
Morgan Edwards also hold fun and informative wine tasting evenings in the upstairs lounge, as well as offering a wine subscription club, home delivery service, valuations and private tastings.
Pop in to the shop or check out the Morgan Edwards website for all the details.
Marble Arch is one of the most Instagrammed places in Knutsford, thanks to its beautiful setting adorned with an abundance of plants and flowers. It is definitely one of Knutsford's hidden gems, however, its history is equally impressive.
When referring to Marble Arch, many people think of the picturesque cobbled street discovered under the archway leading off King Street. Yet, it actually encompasses the whole building in which the arch sits.
It's believed a timber framed building once stood where the Grade 2* listed 18th century structure stands today. Previously used as an inn, thought to be called The Mermaid Inn, it subsequently became The Angel before moving location to premises on the opposite side of the road.
Although the building has now been converted in to offices, it's easy to imagine weary travellers arriving along the cobbles and under the archway seeking a place to rest.
The mounting block, on the righthand side of the archway, plus some of the outbuildings which would have been used for storage and stabling, still remain today as a reminder of Marble Arch's fascinating history.
To admire this lovely spot in Knutsford, wander down King Street towards Tatton Park, and look for the Marble Arch sign or blue plaque on the wall of the building adjacent to Giovanni's Italian Restaurant.
The Ruskin Rooms
Walk a little further along King Street, in the direction of Tatton Park, to discover The Ruskin Rooms. Another of Knutsford's slightly hidden Grade II listed buildings.
Designed by Richard Harding Watt in his typical Italianate style, this distinctive building was designed for recreation and reading at the turn of the 20th century.
Originally used by the workers of a nearby laundry works, it later served as a fire station and British Legion HQ. Now it houses a number of businesses.
As you wander around the town, look out for more of Richard Harding Watts designs. As well as the laundry rooms and cottages on Drury Lane, he was also responsible for one of Knutsford's most recognisable landmarks: Gaskell Memorial Tower at 60 King Street.
A trip to Legh Road, just outside Knutsford town centre, will enable you to see some of his early work, including the house where he once lived.
Some of Knutsford's hidden gems aren't as concealed as others, but they're still worth noting.
Discover this lovely little spot near The Ruskin Rooms, on the corner of King Street and Tatton Street. Wild flowers provide glorious pops of colour during Spring. There's a short walking path, a couple of benches for use, and even a bug hotel.
One of Knutsford's largest open spaces is situated behind the King Street shops. Here you'll find a children's play area, picnic benches, plus the tip of Tatton Mere which is home to a variety of wildlife.
Tatton Perk & The Real Fruit Creamery
If you head to The Moor via Malt Street (down the walkway opposite Boots), you'll come across two wonderful independently owned business which are perfect for picking up sweet treats on the way.
The Real Fruit Creamery offer a mouthwatering selection of gelato. Made on the premises and served from the hatch overlooking the walkway.
A little further down, Tatton Perk provide visitors with delicious drinks and snacks, including the top rated coffee in Cheshire!