A mini-guide to a day out in Sale

Waterside Bistro

Waterside Bistro - Credit: Archant

A well-connected suburb with lots to offer


Start the day with an exploration of a major attraction - Sale Water Park. It’s a major green space just a short tram ride from Manchester city centre and during the summer the lake is a magnet for water sport enthusiasts who take to the water on their jet skis and sail boats. You can get away from the hustle and bustle of the Water Sports Centre by taking a walk through grassy meadows to the river Mersey or along to Jackson’s Boat Bridge.

The lake used to be a gravel pit and belonged to Sale Old Hall. In 1816 a footbridge was created to replace a local farmer called Jackson who would ferry passengers across on his boat, hence the name of the local pub Jackson’s Boat. Curiously the River Mersey is the traditional boundary between Cheshire and Lancashire. However, the Jackson Boat Inn is in Lancashire, in spite of sitting on the Cheshire side of the river. This anomaly is due to natural changes in the course of the river over many centuries.


Where better then to head for lunch at the Jackson’s Boat inn? During the Jacobite uprisings of the eighteenth century, Stuart sympathisers met secretly there and according to local tales, they drank to the health of the Pretender Prince Charles ‘across the water’ in France, symbolising this with a bowl of water placed in the centre of the table.

Of course, Sale has a wide range of places to enjoy a delicious lunch. The Fat Loaf has affordable lunchtime fayre, Serendipitea for yummy cakes and if you want a lunch or dinner with a view there’s Oca picturesquely situated on Sale waterside.

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Head for the shops and the Square Shopping centre has plenty of places to browse everything from fashion to food. You can book a holiday, get your hair done or shop for all your daily essentials. Throughout December, the Square will be open on Thursdays and on Friday December 20th until 8pm, so you can conveniently shop for Christmas gifts.


Time to relax and we love Sale’s beauty salons where we can make the most of ourselves with the latest non surgical treatments.


Catch a show! Sale has its very own orchestra and a theatre and performance space the Waterside Arts Centre, which is based on the site of the old Sale Civic Theatre and part of the former Trafford Town Hall. The Waterside will be 10 years old next year and is not only an asset to the community but a vibrant cultural hub.

This is a modern arts centre that continues to reflect several aspects of its local heritage. The 350 seat theatre is named after the late Sale-born screenwriter Robert Bolt who was born in 1926 and became one of the most successful playwrights and screenwriters of his generation. He won Oscars for his screenplays for Doctor Zhivago and A Man for All Seasons, which he adapted from his own play. He also penned the script for David Lean’s epic 1962 classic Lawrence of Arabia. The centre was officially opened by Bolt’s widow, Sarah Miles.

The centre’s Lauriston Gallery also commemorates the Trafford based Lauriston Trust. The aim of the trust is to promote the arts in all their forms to young people in Trafford and Greater Manchester. It provided invaluable support to the gallery, which was opened by trust chair, Betty Gallimore MBE, on April 29, 2004. The Waterside’s civic heritage has too been preserved. The centre’s venue known as The Chamber is the former meeting chamber of the old Trafford Council Town Hall. The room remains the same as when constructed in the 1930s. It boasts wood panelled walls, parquet flooring and art deco flourishes.


If dining out is your thing then Sale has lots of places to enjoy a wide variety of cuisine, from bistro classics, to Greek specialities. Stroll along the waterfront on a frosty evening and visit a cosy pub, a local Italian, Indian or Chinese restaurant.

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