The village of Alderley Edge lies at the foot of a wooded red sandstone escarpment which towers over the Cheshire Plain giving great views as far as the Peak District. This area is now managed by the National trust and a network of pleasant paths have been created to provide recreation in the area. The sandstone escarpment lies above an underground network of caverns and several disused mines dating from an age when copper mining was an integral part of the local economy. It is now possible to visit the mines in safety since Derbyshire Caving Club arrange supervised tours in conjuction with the National Trust.
Alderley Edge is associated with a romantic local Legend of Alderley Edge which tells of the wizard Merlin and a band of sleeping warriors who will rise and save our country in its hour of need.
Today the village boasts some of the finest shops, restaurants and bars in the country and is famous for its celebrity clientele, which includes many premiership footballers (David Beckham being a former resident), actors and top business professionals who enjoy the lifestyle which this small village has to offer. Aderley Edge is now one of the most desirable places to live in the country.
Alderley Edge is an ideal location for visiting the North West. Manchester International Airport is only minutes away. Wilmslow is nearby, Macclesfield is about 6 miles away and Manchester 15 miles to the north. Alderley Edge is easy to get to, being only a short distance from the M6/M56 motorway network.
Whether you like comedy. musicals, dance or classic theatre, Manchester (a short journey by car or rail) has it all. The Palace, The Opera House, The famous Bridgewater Hall and the Royal Exchange are just a few, notable names where famous thespians tread the boards on a weekly basis.
The Lowry theatre is set in a magnificent waterside location at the heart of the redeveloped Salford Quays. Opening its doors in 2000 it brought together a wide variety of performing and visual arts under one roof. The Lowry houses two main theatres presenting a full range of drama, opera, ballet, dance, musicals, childrens shows, popular music, jazz, folk and comedy.
You can enjoy a pre theatre meal at their restaurant or cafes with spectacular waterside views. The Lowry is a must see ‘tourist attraction’ not just a venue.
Enjoy a pop concert at the well known Apollo theatre and for those who delight in Gilbert and Sullivan, contact the Buxton Opera House.
Alderley Edge has a superb Golf Club which recently celebrated its centenary year. The club boasts a fine course and a modern, comfortable clubhouse. The Alderley Cricket Club is situated in a beautiful spot at the foot of The Edge which, as well as cricket, incorporates tennis, squash and hockey.
Just over a mile away from Alderley Edge is Wilmslow Leisure Centre where there is a 25 metre swimming pool, sports hall with 4 badminton courts, solarium, aerobics rooms etc.
Nearby is the bustling mill and market town of Macclesfield and adjacent to that the Peak District, Britain's first National Park. For those who like the city and its nightlife then look no further than Manchester only a short car or rail journey away - it has something for everybody.
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Alderley Golf Club
Alderley Cricket Club
Enjoy some of the finest views across Cheshire towards the Peak District by visiting The Edge, run by the National Trust. Only a few minutes walk from Wizards Thatch, The Edge has spectacular scenery, where you can walk through oak and beech woodland, see prehistoric and roman copper mines and treat yourself to a traditional afternoon tea at the Wizards Café.
Explore The Edge and discover the Wizards’ face encased for ever in the rock and make a wish at the wishing well, dance in the druids circle or seek out the Golden Stone for its reputed mystical powers. Meander around woods to Hare Hill, a charming wooded and walled garden with a pergola and sculptures at its heart and back to the car park for a delicious locally made Granelli's ice cream.
Alderley Edge is surrounded by other National Trust properties such as Lyme Park, where they filmed Pride and Prejudice, Dunham Massey, Tatton Park, the interior was used for Brideshead Revisited and Little Morton Hall, probably Britain’s finest timber framed moated manor house.
National Trust (Alderley Edge)
Links for Wizards Thatch
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Independent reviews of Wizards Thatch
Cheshire Life February 2011
Wizards Thatch press review.
Daily Mirror November 2011
Wizards Thatch press review.
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Mining has been going on at Alderley Edge since pre-historic times, in fact for over 4,000 years. Copper, lead, cobalt, iron and silver have all been mined here. Today you can go underground and visit these mines on a guided tour on one of the Derbyshire Caving Club's Open Days. Take a look at the Derbyshire Caving Club website for a fascinating insight into the mines.
Alderley Edge Mines (Caving Club)
Alderley Edge Copper Mines
The Legend of Alderley Edge
The legend of Alderley Edge is reported to have originated from an article published in the Manchester Mail in 1805 by a writer assuming the psuedonym 'The Perambulator'. Subsequently the Legend of Alderley Edge has often been repeated and varied in content. The story told below is our favourite version.
One day long ago a farmer from Mobberley decided to sell his horse, a white mare, at market in Macclesfield. Whien making his way to market he crossed Alderley Edge where he met an old man in a flowing robe who asked if he could buy the horse. The farmer refused to sell the horse believing he would sell the horse at Macclesfield market for a good sum of money. The old man, however, foretold that the farmer would fail to sell his horse at market and would then be grateful to sell it to him on his way home to Mobberley. The farmer duly continued on his way still convinced that he would succeed in selling the horse at market.
When the farmer offered his white horse
for sale at Macclesfield market it was greatly admired but no one offered to buy it. The farmer, surprised and disappointed, then made his way back to Mobberley. Again, while crossing Alderley Edge, he met the old man in the flowing robe. Again the old man offered to buy the horse and this time the farmer was more interested. The old man instructed the farmer to follow him until they arrived at a large rock on The Edge. The old man struck the rock with his staff whereopon the rock split to reveal mighty gates at the entrance to a large cave.
By now it was clear to the farmer that he was not dealing with an ordinary old man. He was clearly some kind of Wizard with extraordinary powers. The farmer was now fearful and begged the Wizard not to harm him. The Wizard assured the farmer that he wouuld not be harmed. He unlocked the gates and instructed the farmer to enter the cave with him. Inside the cave there was a huge chamber in which an army of armoured knights were asleep under a spell. Nearby were a similar number of white horses also in an enchantted sleep. The Wizard explained to the farmer that one soldier was short of a horse which was why he wished to buy one. The farmer handed over his white horse to the Wizard who payed for it from treasure stored in the cave.
The farmer, now in awe of the Wizard, asked what was the meaning of what he had seen that day. The Wizard explained that the sleeping army would one day rise to fight a mighty battle on the plain below the Edge. This battle would save England.
The farmer later told his family and friends what had happened
and took them to find the rock with the gates. Nothing could be seen and nothing has ever been found.
Who was the Wizard in The Legend of Alderley Edge?
We like to believe the Wizard was Merlin and that inside the cave is King Arthur and his knights waiting to enter battle to save England. When Merlin next appears he will be welcome to stay at Wizards Thatch.
Reputedly near to the spot is the Wizards Well on which are inscribed these words ’Drink of this and take thy fill - for this water falls by the wizard’s will.’ It never runs dry!
The Legend of King Arthur
The Legends of Alderley Edge
The Legends of the Three Shires
The Wizard of Alderley Edge