What the locals really think of Chorlton

Beech Road Cafe

Beech Road Cafe - Credit: Archant

There’s lots to enjoy in Chorlton: its residents have made it a creative quarter and there’s a lively lifestyle

Epecerie Ludo

Epecerie Ludo - Credit: Archant

Chorlton has always been a little leftfield, slightly outside the mainstream.


A creative suburb that embraces everything from the poetic rants of pub philosophers to an actual Poet Laureate (Carol Ann Duffy is a resident). And nowhere expresses the Chorlton vibe better than the area around Beech Road.


The shops, restaurants and cafes here have a patina of metropolitan cool these days. In fact it is a great little shopping area with its quirky boutiques an epicerie, bakery, galleries and therapy rooms.


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That doesn’t mean the rest of Chorlton is less noteworthy. This is a lively, multicultural location and also pretty good for an alternative shopping experience, including an amazing deli that brings in people from all over Manchester and an equally fantastic organic and wholefood supermarket.


Why they love Chorlton...




Rebecca Boulton

Rebecca Boulton - Credit: Archant

Rebecca Boulton of Prime Management Company

Why Chorlton?

I’m based in Chorlton as I rented a room in a friend’s house in 1986 when I started working for Rob Gretton (manager of Joy Division and New Order), who at that time worked from home. I had a lot of friends who lived in Chorlton and it was relatively cheap at that time, and I just ended up staying and buying a house here.

What’s so great about Chorlton?

I really like Chorlton because of the mixture of people. I now have children and I think the schools they’ve been to and go to are really good. It’s got lots of great bars and restaurants and the foodie culture is fantastic. It really has some of the best food shopping of anywhere I’ve been at places such as Unicorn, Barbakan, Out of the Blue fish shop, Ludo delicatessen, Higson and Black. There’s also quite a nice sense of community with people seeming to mix well.

Anything that has changed over the years?

The main change has been the house prices! Chorlton used to be affordable but now it’s become difficult for people to move into the area because of the high prices. Also the tram going right through Chorlton is brilliant and means we use our car much less as it’s so cheap and convenient

My favourite places are...

Chorlton Green Brasserie - great value for really lovely all day food from a brilliant breakfast to a lovely evening dinner, The Beech’ Barbakan Deli - It’s been there forever serving the best bread in the world, Ludo Deli on Beech Road has fantastic range of French products with lovely people Buddha Beauty on Beech Road, Trouble at Mill on Beech Road - the most amazing custom made and off the peg designs and Truth hairdressers

If there is one thing you should see...

It probably has to be the birds in Chorlton Ees/Waterpark. Even though I’m not a twitcher I’m impressed when I see kingfishers and herons in a beautiful tranquil environment


Geraldine Vesey

Geraldine Vesey - Credit: Archant


Geraldine Vesey, Director of SKV Communications, Manchester

Why Chorlton?

I’ve been based in Chorlton for almost 20 years. It’s not far from where I grew up and is a great place to bring up children.

What’s so great about Chorlton?

I really enjoy the variety of places to socialise. In the morning you can have a delicious breakfast at Beech Road cafe, at lunch time drop into The Tea Hive for the tastiest cheese on toast I’ve ever had and the evening we are spoilt for choice, with restaurants ranging from Turkish, Middle Eastern, family friendly pizza joint through to Mexican. Croma has been a firm favourite since it opened as they really do make families feel welcome. There are bars a plenty for a nightcap – some of my favourites are The Bowling Green, Duffys and Dulcimer.

How it has changed?

It now has more quirky gift shops, restaurants, coffee bars and independent shops. I remember Beech Road being famous for haberdashery shops. Now it has a creative recycling gallery, a designer clothes shop and three gift shops – no excuses when it comes to birthday presents.

Favourite places

Tea Hive, Beech Road café, The Bowling Green

If there is one thing you should see...

Chorlton meadows on the banks of the Mersey – acres of green space and an opportunity to reconnect with nature within a couple of minutes’ walk from home.

Luke Cowdry and The Electrik Roast

Luke Cowdry and The Electrik Roast - Credit: Archant

Luke Cowdrey co-owner of Electrik bar in Chorlton with Justin Crawford (aka DJ duo the Unabombers). They opened Volta eaterie in West Didsbury a year ago.

Why Chorlton?

We opened Electrik seven years ago. We are DJs but by the time we got to 2008 we were in our 40s and getting a bit older.

As we are barflies we wanted to do our own bar. We chose Chorlton because Justin lived here and we just wanted something that was outside the city centre with a neighbourhood feel and a less transient population.

What’s so great about Chorlton?

It has a really good buzz and continues to develop a rich independent scene.

What has changed about Chorlton?

It has changed a lot. It has a thriving bar culture and some really good eateries. I’d compare it to Islington 20 years ago, it has a similar dynamic. People used to joke that Beech Road had the highest Guardian newspaper readership in the city.

If there is one place you should visit...

You definitely have to go to Beech Road at the weekend . You feel like you’re somewhere else. Not Manchester.



Chorlton Library

Chorlton Library - Credit: Archant

Carol Thompson runs Chorlton Traders

Why Chorlton?

I run the Traders Associations in Chorlton and Didsbury and Shop Local and Independent loyalty Scheme.

What’s so great about Chorlton?

There’s so much going on, the Arts Festival in May, Beer festival, Big Green Festival in the summer and lots of things going on such as the re-vamp of the county garden next to the Library.

Favourite places?

Chorlton Meadows is a lovely green space and a great spot for picnics in the summer, water sports and great for cycling. We’ve also got the Unicorn and ethical shopping and Epicerie Ludo on Beech Road was chosen as one of 26 High Street heroes in the UK last year.

One place you should visit...

Chorlton library is the community hub. It celebrated its centenary last year and it’s where we hold the book festival and is the centre of everything.




Chorlton Barlow Moor Road shops

Chorlton Barlow Moor Road shops - Credit: Archant

Emma Beech owns Trouble at the Mill a clothing emporium and bespoke design service on Beech Road

Why Chorlton?

It was kind of a spontaneous thing. I’ve always worked in clothing and making things and had a shop for a long time in Glasgow but opening here was spur of the moment thing. It’s worked well. People love that they can come here and find something different and they fit.

What’s great about Chorlton?

For me it’s been that I’ve been able to welcome all kinds of people into the shop. Every size and age. There are a lot of people around here in the media working at the BBC, or solicitors and artists and that has been great for my business which caters for individuality.

Favourite place?

The area around Longford Park is very interesting. The cafe Caffeine & Co there has its own bakery and great ground coffee.