When I first started visiting Stockport in the ’90s, the attraction was as much the wild (relative to Cambridge) countryside as much as the idiosyncratic Robinson’s pubs. We’d stay in the Little Mill at Rowarth when it was a great pub and walk round Werneth Low and Etherow, just as appealing as the tourist honeypots of Hayfield and, of course, New Mills.
I still always try to walk a new bit of Stockport Borough when I stay over. Woodley out west is new to me, and that probably reflects its lack of showing in the Beer Guide over the years. Only the Travellers Call in Bredbury comes to mind on the road to Hyde.
The Peak Forest canal is probably the most attractive aspect to what is a fairly plain suburb, with the character provided by some traditional looking pubs and the odd, odd house.
Three attractive old roadside pubs. and the 1960s Woodley advertising real ale but recently removed. I had a decent if terrifyingly strong espresso at StartPoint café in the dour looking shopping centre, and then stumbled on this really attractive house near the pocket park.
My ulterior motive for the visit was the Joshua Bradley, a new Guide entry and something of a suburban flagship for Hydes. The pub is a large, grand recently converted house, on a street of care homes, and the main local venue for weddings and upmarket eating. I’ve no doubt it will do good business tomorrow.
Not my sort of place then you might think, but a half of Hydes Original was excellent (NBSS 3.5), and the pub sparkled. There was plenty of space for drinkers, though not the bench seating type ! The beer range stretched to the Beer Studio, complete with impressive handpump, and some guests.
Technically this pub is in Gee Cross, a suburb of Hyde. The next pub you come to on the A560, the Cheshire Cheese, is as different a pub experience as you could find. I had a superb John Smith (yes) there when it was briefly in the Beer Guide recently. All the pubs in Gee Cross looked wonderful in the sunshine.
The views from the A560 towards the Pennines and Saddleworth were unbeatable, until Hattersley intervened.
Edit:Not for the first time, Pub Curmudgeon has pointed out I don’t know my west from my east. Apologies. Not sure I could fairly call Cheadle the Wild West or Woodley the Enticing East though.