Destination Bollington - a reason to visit, a reason to stay!
Bollington really is becoming the destination of choice! The Destination
Bollington project is seeking to develop the good reasons for outsiders
to come and visit us here in the Happy Valley – they used to call it tourism;
now it's destination management!
course we have always had lots to see but we've been a bit short on things
to do. People have visited the town for years to look at our mills, our
quaint streets, the flowers in Water Street and,
of course, the canal. But it doesn't have quite the same attraction as
some other small communities around us – and until recent times there
wasn't even somewhere to watch the world go by over a cup of tea! Probably
the most common reason for visiting is to walk in the surrounding hills,
along the canal or the Middlewood Way. We are very well provided with
footpaths, the oldest dating from before Roman times but well used by
Those of us who live here know well what a great place Bollington is.
Even so, many Bollingtonians are regularly surprised when they discover
yet another fascinating historic fact, another beautiful corner to explore
on foot, new people with similar interests, a
great pub they hadn't visited before, an artistic
event they must attend. The town never stands still and very many
people put in a tremendous effort throughout the year to develop their
skills and their interests, and bring the pleasure to others in the town.
But for all those people, we could always do with more - especially from
outside the town. We need to give people from 20 miles around an unquestionable
reason for coming here, just for the day or to stay locally and make a
holiday of it.
Destination Bollington - the project
Destination Bollington sprang out of the 2008 Town Plan and is designed
to encompass many small projects aimed at improving the value of a visit
and overall to create a central pleasure area. The discussion group was
brought together by the Leisure & Tourism Officer for Macclesfield
Borough Council (now Cheshire East Council) and has been taken under the
wing of Visit Chester & Cheshire with the support of Cheshire East
and Bollington Town Councils.
ideas began with the desire to further develop the Recreation
Ground (Rec). This important area has been most successfully managed
since 2007 by the Friends of
the Rec, a group of volunteers with support from the wide range of
users and groups such as Bollington
the Bowling Club, the tennis and football players, as well as other individual
users. Cheshire East Council (and of course the predecessor councils at
Macclesfield and Chester) have given the project much help in many financial
and practical ways, and this important support continues. The collective
achievements have been recognised every year since 2008 with the award
of the Green Flag.
The long term plan is to create a wider recreational area that encompasses
the area from the Middlewood Way, through
the youngsters' play area on Adlington
Road, the Recreation Ground, the woodland, Swinerood
Wood, behind the Rec all the way to the canal, the canal throughout
Bollington, the waterfront at Clarence mill together with the rooms on
the ground floor, and the young children's play area on Palmerston
Street together with the Memorial Garden opposite. The area provides
direct access to the triangle of Water
Street, High Street, and the part
of Palmerston Street containing
most of the shops. This is a big area with lots going on, with a few paths
and our new canal bridge connecting
Clarence mill to the Recreation Ground.
There is clearly a need to improve many aspects of some of the areas
outside the Rec and plans are being developed to do this. For instance,
there are plans being developed to make part of Swinerood
Wood accessible to the public. It is envisaged that there will be
a path from the Rec through the wood up to the canal. A further path is
planned to use the Pleasure Gate access to the canal from Palmerston
Street but with a connection within the Rec so that pedestrians, particularly
children, do not need to go into the road.
Consideration is being given to the requirements for a pavilion. The
present building is generally regarded as unsuitable, and in the wrong
place. We may not be able to move it but much could be done to improve
the facilities and functional value.
There is a major need for improvement to the canal towpath. Some short
lengths have had their wet patches re-stoned but much remains to be done
to bring it up to an accepteble standard suitable for all potential users.
A huge number of people use the towpath every day, and they are not all
dog walkers! The opening of the canal bridge at Clarence in 2009 dramatically
increased traffic especially between the bridge and Hurst
Lane. Discussions with Cheshire East Council officers and British
Waterways (now the charity Canal & River Trust) have drawn their recognition
of the value of the kind of improvements being considered and they have
ideas that would extend the value of the improvements at Bollington over
a wider area.
Action already taken
2007 a number of new finger posts (right) were erected to help guide visitors
around the town to see the things they might well be interested in seeing.
These signs have been added to in 2010, as a continuing part of the 2008
Town Plan project, so providing a comprehensive signage scheme that should
ensure that all visitors can find their way about without difficulty.
in 2010, four new double sided sign boards (left) were placed, two each
on the Middlewood Way and the canal. These provide on one side a plan
of the town showing all the key features including all
the pubs, restaurants and cafes. The other side of each sign is designed
to give a potted description of the history and features around the immediate
location of the board. On the canal these include a simplified map of
the waterway (for the full version see the Macclesfield
Canal web site maps),
and on those at the Middlewood Way there is a map showing the key locations
along the way.
An important part of a visit to any town is the availability of retail
outlets targeted at visitors. Bollington is not well endowed in this department.
However, things are improving.
There has been a noticeable revival of confidence in the town's retailing.
Several closed premises are now refurbished and reopened, others including Oliver
at Bollington Green restaurant and the Printshop refurbished.
The Little Luxuries beauty salon is where Bollington girl Charlene Tildsley
is making a therapeutic start to her business life, the off licence, all
on Palmerston Street. The Lime
Tree restaurant, Oliver at Bollington Green restaurant and The Green cafe
join Holmes~Naden estate agent's in High
Street. And breakfast can be obtained at Waterside
Café at Clarence mill.
West Bollington is not forgotten with Couzens
Hairdressing on the corner of Wellington
Road and Grimshaw Lane. At Bollington
Cross it must be time for some re-building of the rather poor shops
at Crossfield Road. Round the
corner in Ovenhouse Lane we find
the general store.
So that leaves one empty premises, the shop next door to Chadwick's
newagents on Palmerston Street.
How soon shall we see this back in use? Holmes~Naden's old shop on Palmerston
Street is now Papa's Greek themed hot food take-away and cafe. Do you
remember in the 1970s when this shop was a wonderful ice cream emporium?
Wouldn't it be great to see Hilly
Billy ice cream from Blaze Farm being
sold in Bollington!? Cool! Now that really would make Bolly a destination
The Destination Bollington Group has organised a series of Walking Festivals,
an event now firmly established in the Bollington calendar, held
over a one week and two weekends period towards the end of September.
Details are on a dedicated Walking