Knutsford - Where olde worlde elegance meets contemporary chic

KKnutsford is a town that combines being effortlessly chic and yet full of charm.

Knutsford is a town that combines being effortlessly chic and yet full of charm. It’s a mixture of cobbled streets, old coaching inns, smart restaurants and designer boutiques which makes it rather romantic.Chancellor George Osborne, MP for Tatton holds his constituency meetings here and says Knutsford is the location of one of his children’s all-time favourite eateries, which must mean in spite of its sophisticated attractions, kids like it too.Lady writerKnutsford was the home of the young Elizabeth Gaskell and her inspiration for Cranford. This year the town is Gaskell crazy for the bicentenary of her birth, on September 29th 1810, with Cranford Guided Tours, Brook Street Chapel Flower Festival, the Victorian Music Hall at Knutsford Little Theatre and the Local Trade and Business’s Exhibition 1810-1865 at the Knutsford Heritage Centre. Soak up the atmosphereKing Street and Regent Street are atmospheric places to wander and sample refurbished bars, posh eateries and a great selection of independent shops.Don’t be fooled by the narrow pavements and historic buildings, there’s a contemporary air of affluence here, just check out those expensive motors and places like Uber the unique interior design operation that has clients all over the world.Canute believe it!King Canute was said to have forded the River Lily hence the name Canute’s Ford (Knutsford). This legendary visit is also commemorated with a May Day custom in which the streets are decorated with coloured sands. Apparently Canute threw sand from his shoes after fording the river, and into in the path of a wedding party wishing the newlyweds as many children as there were grainsof sand. On the right trackRobbie Williams immortalised Knutsford on his album Sing When You’re Winning with the track Knutsford City Limits. The lyrics describe a man who is offended by being branded northern scum. The chorus is: ‘London’s got its gimmicks / and New York’s had its minute / But Knutsford City limits / I’ll never change’

Knutsford informationMost noted for:Its Mrs Gaskell connection, though the charming BBC TV adaptation wasn’t filmed in the town as it wasn’t considered olde worlde enough.

Grand designs:Scenes from the George C. Scott film Patton were filmed in the centre of Knutsford, in front of the old Town Hall. The building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, and it is now a furniture sale room.

While you’re here…Meet world class writers at the Knutsford Literature Festival in October.

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