Local Area Information

Where the Cheshire plains meet the peaks in the “Happy Valley” sits the delightful town of Bollington. With a rich heritage in the cotton spinning industry, there’s still plenty of surviving mills and a network of canals. Standing high above the town on Kerridge Hill is the landmark of “White Nancy” built in 1817 to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Waterloo. Today the town is a thriving community within the Manchester commuter belt resulting in a very bohemian atmosphere. Unlike most places, there are still plenty of busy pubs and a bounty of eateries, bars and cafés. It’s a very short hop to the bustling city of Manchester or the majesty and breathtaking beauty of the Peak District National Park.

As a major centre for cotton spinning in the 19th and 20th centuries, Bollington boasts a rich heritage which can still be seen in its old converted mills and canal network. Nicknamed the ‘Happy Valley’, Bollington sits on the South-Western edge of the Peak District with its iconic landmark, White Nancy rising above the Town on top of Kerridge Hill.  

Bollington is where the peaks meet the plains.

A small town with the village atmosphere at its heart, it is often referred to as a Lancashire mill town in the Derbyshire hills of Cheshire – the Happy Valley. Situated on the very edge of the Peak District National Park, Bollington is a traditional stone built mill town, the only stone built community in Cheshire, nestling in the valleys on the sides of green hills which look away over the Cheshire plain.

Narrow streets lead through the town providing tantalising views of hills, valleys and the very quarries from which the building stone was hewn by the sweat of its early inhabitants. Many of their descendants live here to this day – once a Bollingtonian always a Bollingtonian!

Possibly named after Bolla’s ton or village in a medieval era of primitive farming, the town has evolved through the birth of the industrial revolution with the first water powered mills in the district, in Ingersley Vale, and later the giant Clarence, Adelphi, Waterhouse, Oak Bank and Lowerhouse steam powered mills fully supported by the then revolutionary canal and railway.

In modern times some mills have disappeared, others have changed their industries – Adelphi Mill is full of high tech businesses – and the top floors of Clarence Mill have been converted into luxury apartments with industry below.

At Clarence Mill you can find Bollington Discovery Centre, where this story is told.

Those two man-made transport routes, now redundant from their original purpose, serve the town as very popular recreation and nature areas – the Macclesfield Canal -  navigated today by increasing numbers of narrow boats and cruisers, it’s busy towpath used by walkers, runners and fishermen, and the Middlewood Way, once the Macclesfield Bollington & Marple Railway, now the green home to a great variety of flora and fauna.

But for all the changes wrought over the years Bollington remains a friendly little town, bustling by day and night – many glorious pubs and restaurants – retaining its scale, keen to avoid the extremes of out of character development, keeping its community together, committed to a comfortable relationship with each other, the hills and the town.

And all this overlooked by that potent symbol of our community, White Nancy.



Guest Comments
Lovely clean and well equipped cottage with a luxurious feel. The owners are readily available if needed, but otherwise leave you to enjoy your holiday. Good quality cottage at a reasonable price. — Mrs Gillett, 23 Jun 2017
Read more comments >>