What the locals really think of High Lane and Disley

Discovering Disley

Discovering Disley - Credit: Archant

High Lane and Disley are sought-after neighbouring locations and not just because of the easy links into the city. Janet Reeder finds out why

Proprietor, Liz Fowler, at Pretty Fox, Market Street, Disley

Proprietor, Liz Fowler, at Pretty Fox, Market Street, Disley - Credit: Archant

I am standing in Richard Cowburn’s acclaimed bakery on High Lane shooting the breeze when an elderly lady pops her head around the door and thanks him for the fantastic croissants he’s just supplied for the church coffee morning.

‘They all went at 11 O’clock,’ she tells him. ‘You could have made twice the amount.’

Croissants? For a church coffee morning? Ah but here in High Lane they are well and truly blessed to have Cowburns , a family run affair, bestowed the accolade of being in the running as one of TV’s Britain’s Best Bakers a couple of years ago and providing the local community with the kinds of delights the French would approve of for sure.

A surprise perhaps to those who have never visited the area properly? Indeed you may be forgiven for thinking High Lane and Disley are merely a part of the commuter belt along the A6 but stop the car and pull into a fantastic pub, or book a place at a restaurant for the evening and you’ll get a taste of the good life here.

From the magnificent stately pile, Lyme Park to the appeal of residential living at Dystlegh Grange, this is certainly an in-demand area as far as property is concerned but that also means it serves the community on many other levels too not least with quality shops and excellent places to eat.

The Parish of Disley covers about 3.5sq km but it is the starting point of the Gritstone Trail and therefore a magnet for walkers. There are old footpaths and the towpath along the canal to explore and many of those routes are accessible to those with disabilities.

Head from Disley towards Stockport and a few miles down the road there’s High Lane, which is also a much more interesting location than on first glance.

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It’s here you’ll find Grade II listed Wyberslegh Hall, which is notable for being the home of the author Christopher Isherwood whose books provided the inspiration for the movie Cabaret. But this is also a village with a lot to offer in terms of shops and businesses - including its very own chocolatier.

Proprietor, Megan Farley, at Eversley Home, Market Street, Disley

Proprietor, Megan Farley, at Eversley Home, Market Street, Disley - Credit: Archant

Liz Fowler

Liz is a stylist and former personal shopper who opened Pretty Fox in Disley because of a desire to supply customers with individual styles not on the high street.

‘I really like the village feel here,’ says Liz who lives in Bramhall.

‘Before I opened Pretty Fox I had been looking for the right location and felt that this was definitely a place that was on the ‘up’ .

The shop is on a good position right on the A6. Some people would hate this but I like it because people are always passing and they stop and see your business.’


Favourite places - ‘I do private events in the shop and afterwards if people want to go somewhere for a glass of wine I recommend Frankie’s. We’ve got Sasso, the Italian restaurant and the Ram’s Head if you want somewhere with a more country pub feel.

Oh and we’ve got Lyme Park of course. A lot of my stock has been influenced by the fact Lyme Park is so close by, such as quirky prints with stags, that sort of thing.’


Rick Cowburn at award-winning Cowburn's Family Bakery, High Lane

Rick Cowburn at award-winning Cowburn's Family Bakery, High Lane - Credit: Archant


Megan Farley

Megan runs a pretty-as-a-picture shop in Disley called Eversley Home.

She says: ‘I renovated my own house, people saw what I had done to it and that led to me opening my own shop.

‘I used to be in lettings but now I am studying Interior design and this will become part of the business. I will eventually do a heritage interior design degree, as there are lot of older houses in this area that are listed and doing them up can be a minefield.

‘I’d seen various shops open and close in Disley over the years and felt that it was missing this sort of shop, so I took this on and it has really paid off. It’s a great location and I get customers from all over the place. it’s all about finding something different.’


Favourite places - ‘I love the Italian restaurant Sasso - their risotto is immense! And the steak is brilliant. And Frankie’s is good for afternoons and lunch. Other than that. It’s got to be Lyme Park which is a great place to take friends when they visit.’


Simon and Anne Dunn at their Chocolate Factory Shop off High Lane

Simon and Anne Dunn at their Chocolate Factory Shop off High Lane - Credit: Archant


Richard Cowburn

Cowburns stands on the site of a newsagent where Richard used to be a paperboy. After honing his skills working for example as a pastry chef at Sharrow Bay and head chef pâtissier at Ayers Rock as well as at the Clivedon, (where he would work with Paul Hollywood) he returned home to be with his children and to open his own artisan bakery.

‘I’ve been 10 years in the village and it is a great community. There used to be three butchers, baker and grocer years ago and gradually the sense of community is returning. it’s taken a while but then bakers are patient people!

‘I now employ about six people and he emphasis is on patisserie using the finest ingredients. We sell to the public but we also supply to about 20 wholesalers too.’


Favourite places - ‘The countryside around here is fantastic and there are some great places for walks. There are some good pubs too. I like comfort food. Nothing beats a good pie.’



Macclesfield Canal at High Lane

Macclesfield Canal at High Lane - Credit: Archant

Simon Dunn

Simon and Anne Dunn used to have a unit making chocolates wholesale 10 years ago but last year returned to set up his Little Chocolate Factory Shop a more personalised set-up that has won him many fans.

‘We were possibly ahead of our time as that kind of business is now pretty fashionable but back then people weren’t really ready for it. Now we are back to what works best for us and we’ve never been happier. We have nice cosy premises with plenty of parking and we are within walking distance of where we work.

‘We’ve lived in Disley for 10 years, moving here to be close to work but it is a great place to live. We’re close to town and on the edge of the countryside, so have the best of both worlds.’

Favourite places - ‘I just think Cheshire is one of the greatest places in the country for dining we’ve got so much choice but we like the Red Lion in High Lane. We do a lot of business with the place. They’ve been serving a lot of hot chocolate and it has been going down so well that apparently they sold as much in the first two months as they did the previous year. Our son Oliver has a business here doing chocolate parties too. And that’s great fun.’