New Mills seems to have a particularly poor reputation among people who’ve never been there, rather like Oldham in fact.  A work colleague who stayed in one of those posh B&Bs in neighbouring Hayfield, Smarmfields I think it was called, claimed never to have heard of the town.

Clearly, I’m a big fan.  We stayed at the Little Mill in Rowarth in the ’90s when it was one of the country’s great pubs, and grew to love the slightly ramshackle Robinsons pubs round the area that have largely been lost to gentrification (Stockport style).

Still some very basic pubs (Exhibit 1 – Queen’s Arms) remain though, alongside some shops that would scare a 10 year old girl.  Or me. The sign in Patricia’s Hairdressers warning you off on pain of death within 2 minutes is worthy of a special visit.


But never mind the “League of Gentlemen” theme park, it’s all about the Torr, stupid.  The only thing better than a river gurgling past satanic mills is a Millennium footpath in the sky to bounce along.  Better than the paltry efforts in Newcastle and London, and no-one to share it with.

The views from the park underneath the viaducts is pretty special, particularly for a Fen lad like myself, but I bet even Doveholes get more visitors.

For the first time in decades, it has a Beer Guide entry too.  The Pack Horse might have had the NM address but was a couple of miles out of town, a real country house of a pub.

The Beehive is a real pub, with real handpumps (as well as the ornamental ones at the top).  A good beer choice too;


A straight forward one bar place with seating dotted around to suit all tastes, it would look at home in Mossley, if not Monton.  The Thornbridge was the right side of OK (NBSS 3), and only £3 a pint, which is cheaper than in Sheffield.

A good mix of old boys and young lads, with a decent amount of ale being sold alongside the Becks. The Barman had to  turn the clips round everytime someone asked for the cask though, so I don’t think it was flying out (or perhaps his memory was as bad as mine).  I see the inevitable micro opened in November, so just like buses…

I’ll forgive it the music, even though “Men in Black” is now lodged in my brain.


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