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The River Mersey in West Didsbury | © Paul Albertella / Flickr
The River Mersey in West Didsbury | © Paul Albertella / Flickr

The Best Things to See and Do in West Didsbury

Picture of Emma Lavelle
Updated: 8 February 2018

An affluent suburb in the south of Manchester, West Didsbury is perfectly located within easy access of the city centre while maintaining a village atmosphere. Most of the action in the neighbourhood is centred on the main street, Burton Road, but there is still plenty to see and do in the area, especially if you enjoy discovering independent shops and cocktail bars.

Browse independent stalls at the Maker’s Market

On the last Sunday of every month, one of Manchester’s best markets pops up on the corner of Burton Road and Nell Lane. The Maker’s Market moves around the city, taking up home in a different location every weekend. The West Didsbury date is always popular with plenty of eclectic stalls offering everything from hand-drawn maps of Manchester to handmade jewellery, scented candles and sweet treats.

Embrace minimal style at Moth

Moth is one of Manchester’s best kept secrets – an independent interiors store located on Burton Road, tailored towards a distinctively minimal style. Inside you will find cushions, ceramics, tableware, stationery and jewellery from a selection of stylish brands. Owner Hazel and her adorable toy poodle Monty are always friendly and welcoming, making it a joy to visit.

Moth, 154 Burton Rd, Manchester +44 161 445 9847

Treat yourself to a chocolate afternoon tea at Cocoa Cabana

This tempting chocolatier has recently moved to larger premises, offering more space for you to settle down and enjoy their famous chocolate-themed afternoon tea. Their counter is always filled with delicious sweet treats, including brownies, tarts and chocolate truffles that can be enjoyed in the café itself or wrapped in a box to give as a thoughtful gift.

Cocoa Cabana, 168 Burton Rd, Manchester +44 161 282 5700

Walk along the River Mersey

Just a short stroll from West Didsbury village, you will find yourself on the banks of the River Mersey, completely removed from the city. This is the perfect place to escape the busy streets and go for a relaxing walk. If you turn left, you can walk along the river to Fletcher Moss in East Didsbury. If you turn right, it takes less than an hour to stroll to Chorlton.

Enjoy one of the best pizzas in Manchester

Manchester is famed for its many Neapolitan pizza joints, and the recently opened Proove on Burton Road is one of the best in the city. Serving deliciously doughy pizza to eat in or take away, their variety of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and meaty toppings offer something to suit everyone. Don’t fancy pizza? Check out their street food selection, including the best arancini balls in the city.

Proove, 160 Burton Rd, Manchester +44 161 669 9061

A little fodder for the New Year…. #delicious #pizza #westdidsbury #nye #nye2017

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Go on one of the city’s best bar crawls

Manchester city centre can be incredibly busy on the weekends, making Burton Road the perfect destination for laid back drinks in bars where you can actually hear yourself speak. It takes just five minutes to walk down the stretch of bars, but there is plenty of choice. Folk offers a cosy ambiance and a large outdoor terrace, and is conveniently located directly opposite Mary & Archie, where you’ll find a similar atmosphere and a well-stocked bar offering local beers. At the other end of the strip, the Metropolitan is a more upmarket pub, housed in a gigantic Victorian building. In between, you’ll find plenty of small cocktail bars, including the always popular Hula and The Drawing Room.

Folk, 169-171 Burton Rd, Manchester +44 161 445 2912

Mary & Archie, 200 Burton Rd, Manchester +44 161 445 3130

The Metropolitan, 2 Lapwing Ln, Manchester +44 161 438 2332

Hula, 158 Burton Rd, Manchester +44 161 434 6096

The Drawing Room, 148B Burton Rd, Manchester +44 161 283 6244

Dine in Simon Rimmer’s vegetarian restaurant

Greens is a local institution, having been open for almost thirty years. Located on Lapwing Lane, just a two-minute stroll from Burton Road tram stop, the vegetarian restaurant is still one of Manchester’s most exciting eateries. You’ll find the usual halloumi fish and chips on the menu to please the less adventurous, but there is also a diverse selection of more creative options featuring fresh seasonal ingredients.

Greens, 41-43 Lapwing Ln, Manchester +44 161 434 4259

Roasted carrot, walnut, Gorgonzola salad

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Shop for wine and beer

You may not think to visit a neighbourhood simply to buy alcohol, but West Didsbury is home to a branch of Reserve Wines and The Epicurean. The former has three shops in Greater Manchester and offers one of the best wine selections in the city, as well as regularly hosting tasting evening. The latter is a mecca for local craft beer lovers, stocking a diverse range of both local and international beers, even offering gluten-free options.

Reserve Wines, 176 Burton Rd, Manchester +44 161 438 0101

The Epicurean, 226 Burton Rd, Manchester +44 161 434 2549