What to do, where to shop, and where to eat in Lymm

White painted house on the banks of the canal as it exits Lymm

One of Lymm's most iconic sights, this pretty canalside home was once the residence of Sooty & Sweep's Matthew Corbett - Credit: Yasmin Thomas

Travel writer Samantha Haylor says a day spent in Lymm is a day well spent

Recently voted within the top 20 of the ‘UK’s most Instagrammable villages’ - Lymm is one of the most sought-after places to live in Cheshire due to its greenbank location with views across the Pennines, its picturesque village centre and its fabulous community spirit.

Sandstone cross on red sandstone steps, inside a square pavillion with sundials

Lymm Cross dates to the early 17th century - Credit: Yasmin Thomas

The name Lymm is of Celtic origin and means a ‘place of running water’ - aptly named as the sound of water can be heard throughout the village as the stream passes through its centre.

Local ambassador and founder of @living.in.lymm, Emma Kilgour says: ‘Since moving to Lymm my husband and I have thrown ourselves into getting to know this fabulous village. It really does have so much to offer those looking for a semi-rural lifestyle. Beautiful walks include Lymm Dam, The Bongs, Spud Wood and the Bridgewater Canal, it has great amenities for all the family and a wonderful community ethos. There’s such a wide variety of independent businesses in Lymm and the support they show for each other never fails to amaze me. It’s also a wonderful place for a day trip.’

Walk

With the nearby hill summits of Rivington Pike, country and canalside walks on its doorstep, Lymm’s picturesque surroundings and green spaces welcome residents and visitors alike.

Start at the Lymm Heritage Trail to the south of the village centre at the Lymm Dam - here you can stop by Avanti Coffee, home of the delicious ‘Avanti Roche’, a hazelnut chocolate coffee, before joining the 3.5 mile walk, which includes the incised valley of the Dingle, the Bridgewater Canal, the Trans Pennine Trail and the steep sided cliffs of Slitten Gorge.

View of church across Lymm Dam

Take a walk and discover why Lymm is so loved by locals and visitors alike - Credit: Yasmin Thomas

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Serious walkers might opt to tackle the muddy, offbeat track and discover the Bongs at the far end of the Dam, while those who like to explore from the water can relax in comfort and hire a narrowboat. ‘Mabel of Marbury’ offers narrowboat holidays along these unique British waterways - as seen on Channel 4's Great Canal Journeys.

Take a stroll down the path to the western side of the peaceful waters of Lymm Dam and you will come to a flight of steps leading to The Dingle - an area of woodland leading to the village where a flowing stream connects the Main Dam and Lower Dam.

It is easy to be distracted by the scenery and abundance of wildlife that surrounds Lymm but when you reach the cobbled streets at the heart of Lymm Village you will find a high street filled with character and steeped in a rich history.

Shop

Take your time wandering through Lymm’s atmospheric village and visit Bird & Bay, an independent home and garden décor shop, with a passion for contemporary and vintage irresistibly opulent curio. Ruby and Harry specialises in bespoke, made to order, balloons, sweets and seasonal gifts from local artisans, and Bee Chic is a carefully curated boutique stocking a wide range of ladies' fashion and accessories.

Shop fronts with black and white timbered upper floors, with view across to more timbered buildings

Everything you need for a great day out - Credit: Yasmin Thomas

Browse unique art galleries such as Collect Art, a contemporary art gallery stocking well known modern British artists from across the UK and abroad, and CLK Art, which offers contemporary original paintings, art, limited edition prints and sculptures.

Owner of Bird and Bay, Anji Owens, tells us more about the community feel: ‘We are so lucky to live in such a pretty village which is becoming more and more vibrant with the growing range of small independent shops, bars and restaurants, added to which are the new fantastic markets and street stalls. I feel so proud to be part of what’s on offer here.’

Dine

Lymm’s dining establishments and culinary culture is vibrant, generous and bursting with flavour. 
18 The Cross is a delightful restaurant that combines village charm, local produce and traditional methods. Craig Kirk, Head Chef says: ‘There is a great diversity to Eighteen The Cross; it’s at the centre of a community, where local people can eat fresh quality local produce, it’s a real treat to be living and working in a village with such a vibe.’

Sextons Bakery in Lymm, imposing red brick building in gothic style

Catch the scent of fresh baked cakes from Saxtons Village Bakery - Credit: Yasmin Thomas

As you walk through the village the smell of freshly baked treats lingers in the air from Sextons Village Bakery. You can experience exquisite traditional French cuisine in the comfort of an elegant and classically designed restaurant at La Boheme. Bistro M’agrada serves refined modern classic British food in a relaxed atmosphere. Or head to Church Green, renowned chef Aiden Byrnes’ pub and deli where you can enjoy a proper home-cooked meal from one of the UK’s top chefs.

Sign for Church Green Deli

The Church Green opened a deli to combat restrictions on dining out during the pandemic - Credit: Yasmin Thomas

Enjoy a selection of cask ales and craft beer at the Golden Fleece and take in the picturesque waterside views. The Wine Kitchen, an independent wine bar and off licence, draws in the crowds looking to soak up its sophisticated atmosphere over a glass of wine or two.

Home to many public events throughout the year, including the Duck Race, Lymm Festival, May Queen Carnival, Dickensian Day, Lymm Artisan market and the Beer Festival, Lymm has something for everyone.

Find Samantha on Instagram @samanthahaylor

Photography @YasminThomasPhotography