WHALEY BRIDGE is a wonderful small town in the High Peak, surrounded by reservoirs, rolling hills, green fields and exhilerating walks . We call ourselves the Gateway to the Goyt Valley, an area of outstanding natural beauty which is a magnet for walkers, tourists and those seeking adventure.
Whaley Bridge (population 8,000 approx) is 18 miles south east of Manchester, seven miles north of Buxton, nine miles north east of Macclesfield and 28 miles west of Sheffield. The town stands on the former A6 road, now bypassed. We are also on the Buxton-Manchester railway, allowing many people to commute to jobs in the city, in Stockport and in Buxton. The line is also much used by walkers coming to Whaley Bridge as a starting point for their latest walk.
Many feel the real glory of Whaley Bridge is the canal basin. The town stands at the end of the Peak Forest Canal, which cuts through the narrow valley parallel to main road and railway. Many visitors come by water, and there is a thriving barge-restaurant base at the canal head.
The canal basin, with its Grade 2* listed Transhipment Warehouse, is bathed in history. Limestone carried on the canal was transferred at this point to trucks which, pulled by a mixture of stationary engines, horses and the earliest steam trains were carried up steep inclines and across the hills via the Cromford and High peak Railway over to Cromford, which is now a world Heritage site. It is now possible to walk along much of this route through Whaley Bridge. A parish paths map is available from the Town Clerk and local newsagents.
The basin provides the setting for one of the biggest local events, W3 – the Whaley Water Weekend, held at the start of June. It is also the starting point for the annual Rose Queen Carnival, which usually follows a week later. The annual welldressing also takes place at the end of June. Throughout the year, countless other community events take place.
Whaley Bridge has a good selection of shops. A medium sized supermarket is also within easy walking distance. There are innumerable pubs, and a good selection of restaurants. We have three primary schools in the parish, Whaley Bridge County Primary, Taxal and Fernilee Church of England Primary, and Furness Vale Primary. Comprehensive education is provided at nearby Chapel-en-le-Frith and New Mills, and fee paying schools such as Kings school in Macclesfield and Stockport Grammar school are easily accessible.
Housing in Whaley Bridge provides something for everyone, from small stone cottages nestling away on side streets through to modern new builds, built with deference to the surrounding materials of this area, and now blending in easily. Large Victorian and Edwardian detached houses with grounds, intermingle with farmhouses and farmland around the periphery of the town, and for those wanting something special, properties on Reservoir Road, Eccles Road and Start Lane provide all the views, space and character you could want.
Whaley Bridge is a parish, made up of four wards, with its own Town Council. The wards, which each elect three members to the town council, are: Taxal, Yeardsley, Furness Vale and Fernilee. The council meetings, open to the public, are held every second Thursday of the month at 7.15pm.
Elsewhere on this website you will find details of the many local organisations in the town, which has a deep community spirit. There is also Whaley Bridge Cricket Club, with unsurpassed views looking down over Whaley Bridge, its reservoirs and the valley, who have a thriving Junior and Senior section, and Whaley Bridge Football Club, whose two pitches are set in the Memorial park in the heart of Whaley Bridge alongside the new 3G artificial grass surface, one of the most modern in the country. The football Club have ten junior teams from age 7 upwards, several girls teams, and two senior teams and attract great support across the town.
The Mechanics’ Institute is a building very much at the heart of Whaley Bridge. On the main street at the centre of the town, the Town Library is housed in the basement, and on the ground floor is the Town Clerks office, a reading room and a large room with a small kitchen area. Above it on the second floor is a large hall with kitchen and bar area. In addition to being the office and meeting centre for the Town Council, the building is a venue for countless local events, who hire the rooms, and the Saturday coffee mornings have become legendary – part charity fund-raisers, part community meeting ground.