The secret’s out. I’ve told you. Sale is Manchester’s Hidden Gem. People are always asking where’s the next Chorlton and for you older folk, where’s the next Didsbury?! Well it’s M33 and let me tell you why.
The Changing Town Centre
The recently branded Stanley Square is at the heart of Sale Town Centre and is currently undergoing an incredible transformation. Acquired by Altered Spaces they’ve truly invested in the town. Among the companies already enjoying success in Stanley Square are Groceries and Beer (The Store Group), B&V Trading, Hops and Boogie, Draft, Style Junky, Roti, Together, Wardrobe Sixty Five and Book Shop. Along with some successful pop-ups from Stem Sale and A Few Scoops Ice Cream
Stanley Square are also expecting new openings soon including Foodhall, which is Groceries & Beers replacement from The Store Group and more like the Foodhall they run in Stretford, Blanchflower, Sugo, a Japanese Restaurant, a restaurant from a Celebrity Chef, Mr. Beardmore, as well as local business Bean & Brush moving to new premises. Very exciting!
With what’s happening at Stanley Square it’s easy to overlook what’s happening elsewhere On The High Street. Northenden Road has a thriving scene of its own with Cork of The North, Grapefruit, Mustard, Rudy’s, Propeller Coffee, FF Kitchen. Elsewhere in Sale, there’s The Perfect Match which was mention in the Michelin Guide, my personal favorite pub in Sale, The Bridge, which sits on the edge of the canal, and Minikin on Cross Street. If you want food and drink Sale is thriving, recently shortlisted for Manchester’s Foodie Neighbourhood of the year (won by Altrincham) but I’ve no doubt that in 2022, it will be Sale.
I haven’t even touched on the local retail shops and I must mention Emporium M33 which is an Affleck’s Palace-esque location full of talented artisan, independent businesses. Other great shops to give a shout-out to are Utopia, Minitque Designs, Iconic Bathrooms, Diddibox, Petites Modes, Style Junky to name a few. The Makers Market also arrives every third Sunday of the month.
Situated just off the M60 with the A56 running through the centre of the town, Sale has incredible transport links. The Bridgewater Canal also runs through Sale and is easily accessible. If you include Brooklands as part of Sale, which I do, Sale has 3 metro stops, Brooklands, Sale, and Dane Road, from which it’s only 20 mins into the City Centre. The cycling network is also going to improve when Andy Burnham and Chris Boardman’s Beelines Network is finally completed.
Trafford is well known for its schools and there’s plenty of options around Sale. Stand out secondary schools that come to mind are, Sale Grammar, St. Ambrose, Loreto Grammar Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and the School for Boys, Stretford Grammar, and Ashton on Mersey School. There are also some great options for Primary schools; St Joseph’s, Tyntesfield Primary, Park Road Sale Primary, Springfield Primary, and St Mary’s. Sale also has some incredible performance arts schools with Stadler Academy and Cadman’s Dance Centre.
Sale has an abundance of green spaces to enjoy those outdoor strolls, runs, dog walks, or hangovers. The first that springs to mind is Sale Water Park and Sale Ees an incredible open space that is also next to the River Mersey. There’s Crossford Bridge Playing Fields, recently saved by the M33 community is home to the well-renowned Sale Harriers and Sale United Football Club. Not to mention, Priory Gardens, Worthington Park, and Walton Park. If you’re at Walton Park, look out for the coffee shop on the canal boat, Walton Perk.
Behind the scenes in Sale is the Sale Town Regeneration Committee. This is a committee lead by Michael Brown from Altered Spaces that consists of a range of stakeholders that volunteer their time in order to improve the town centre. They’re only at the start of the journey but they can all see the huge potential that the town centre has.
The community in Sale recently bound together to prevent any development at Crossford Bridge Playing Fields and the ongoing work by Friends of Worthington park and other such volunteer groups help take care of Sale.
The Town has also been working on an events programme with The Waterside Arts recently curating the Refract Festival and in normal times we usually see The Sale Festival.
It’s hard not to draw comparisons to Altrincham but that’s only natural. Sale feels like Altrincham did 8 years ago, a melting pot of potential along with some already stand-out features.
I personally love the place!