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Stockport is a pleasant town just south of Manchester’s M60 orbital motorway, sandwiched between the pristine landscapes of the Peak District and the bucolic plains of Cheshire. The attractions of Stockport are plentiful and include the Tudor Bramall Hall, the preserved WWII tunnels and air-raid shelters, the UK’s only millinery museum and the Robinson's Brewery. Due to its ideal position on the regional road system, Stockport is also the ideal base for excursions to Liverpool and the Irish Sea coastline, the Peak District and the historic city of Chester.
Who to Book With
Practical, Enterprise and Sixt are three of the six global car hire firms with offices in Stockport. Local firms offering services include Cheshire Vehicle Rental and Cooke Bros Car Hire. Booking online lets tourists compare the different prices between the local and international suppliers. Customers can then choose what suits their particular requirements.
Best Time to go
Due to its proximity to Manchester, Stockport fills up with visitors during the summer months. Exploring abundant rural attractions in the region is comfortable any time from May until late September. In July and August, rates for hotels and car hire increase and there are more cars on the road.
Need to Know Essentials
When picking up rental vehicles, tourists need to show the following items:
- The hirer’s UK driving license or an international driving license
- Some form of secondary identification
- The credit card the reservation was made with
- The voucher confirming the booking and its reference number
Driving around Stockport does not offer any major challenges. Traffic builds up in the morning and evening rush hours, but with a little searching it is usually still possible to find on-street parking. The town council also runs car parks close to the centre with 6,700 spaces in total. Short-stay parking costs around £0.60 for 30 minutes, while long-stay rates begin at around £0.90 per hour.
Central Stockport is small enough to walk around and take in most of the sights. Attractions beyond the centre, even Bramall Hall, are too far to walk to, however, so driving is the most convenient option. There are buses from the centre to residential areas of Stockport as well as to other parts of Greater Manchester. Several taxi firms are also based in Stockport.
Virgin Trains runs Stockport railway station. The station is one of the main rail hubs in the region and is a stop for mainline services operating between London Euston, Birmingham and Manchester Piccadilly. It also supports cross-country train services to towns and cities such as Sheffield, Nottingham, Norwich, Chester and Buxton. The station is a short walk from the town centre and has a taxi rank.
More than 10 taxi and private-hire firms operate in Stockport. Journeys are mostly metered, but when booking by telephone, firms such as Kingsway Taxis will quote a fixed price for specific trips if asked. Metro Taxis boasts a fleet of 400 vehicles and is the largest taxi company serving Stockport and the south side of Greater Manchester.
Stockport Bus Station sits beside the town’s famous viaduct, close to the train station. More than 60 bus routes run from the bus station with most areas of Stockport, nearby towns and central Manchester all covered. Stagecoach Manchester operates the majority of the routes, while Metroshuttle 300 is a free bus that links the bus and train stations and the town centre.
Stockport is in the ideal location for those looking to take trips to Cheshire, North Wales and the Peak District. The heritage seaside resorts of Blackpool and Southport are also less than two hours’ drive away. In the Peak District, the spa towns of Buxton and Matlock are both worth spending at least a day in. A car rental is really the only way of reaching the district’s Chatsworth House, the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway and Masson Mills.
Chatsworth House - One of the UK’s most visited stately homes. The 30 state rooms are packed with works by Old Masters, ancient artefacts and contemporary art. Pristine gardens with water features and monuments, a farmyard and an adventure facility for youngsters round off the draws at Chatsworth.
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway - This employs heritage railcars to transport passengers through delightful vistas between Wirksworth and Duffield. Steam-drawn locomotives work the section to Ravenstor, where visitors can hike part of the High Peak Trail.
Masson Mills - This was the flagship facility of 18th century industrial pioneer Sir Richard Arkwright, who harnessed the power of the River Derwent to create a successful cotton factory. The mill and much of its textile production machinery has been preserved, offering visitors the opportunity to relive an important part of British heritage.