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CAMRA Revitalisation Project

Football debate takes a back-seat in Manchester

There’s much debate in Manchester ahead of the forthcoming season on the prospects for City and United. Those discussions are set to be put aside for a couple of hours this Wednesday 20 July when the latest Revitalisation meeting takes place in the city at  The Gateway in East Didsbury from 7 to 9pm.

In Didsbury it is worth taking a stroll around the beautiful Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden.

And nearby is the suitably named Fletcher Moss pub

Named after the Alderman who donated the nearby botanical gardens to the city. The atmosphere of this gem is clear even before entering, as the buzz of conversation is audible before opening the door. Inside it is a pub of two halves, with the front encompassing two traditional style snugs, full of Hydes memorabilia, before opening up into a large bright conservatory area at the rear.

Also in Didsbury is the Milson Rhodes. Although a modern pub, it sells up to ten cask conditioned beers with traditional ciders, all sold at very keen prices, was a welcome addition to the Didsbury village pub scene. This was Wetherspoon's first venture into Didsbury.

It would be worth trying some of the recent branch pub winners which you will find on the website of Stockport and South Manchester

Beforehand you could take a tour of the Robinsons Brewery. The brewery which has been open since 1838 sits in the heart of Stockport, providing the community in Manchester with real ale for more than two centuries – during the tour you’ll enjoy a samples of their beers whilst discovering much about 180 years of brewing.

In Stockport there’s the best local concentration of excellent pubs in The Good Beer Guide.

Arden Arms

Stockport CAMRA branch Pub of the Year 2009. Grade II listed and on CAMRA’s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors, the Arden’s distinctive curved, glazed bar, its hidden snug (accessed by going through the bar, and said to be one of only four such snugs in the UK), chandeliers and grandfather clock create a Victorian ambience. Conveniently close to Stockport’s historic market and the Peel Centre shops, the place is abuzz at lunchtimes

Bakers Vaults

This excellent market pub has a unique atmosphere being both cosy and relaxed yet lively and vibrant. Although merely a single, large room, it is an architecturally impressive space. This Grade II listed building (originally styled as the George and Dragon) and was built around 1775 on the foundations of the old Stockport castle.

Boar’s Head

A multi-roomed pub with a genuine cosy, town-centre feel. Owners, Samuel Smith spent a fair sum some years back restoring this pub to what it may have looked like.

Swan with Two Necks

Narrow-fronted with a mock-Tudor facade. Mercifully saved from a failed shopping scheme then rejuvenated in late 2008 by a young couple with ideas and obvious vigour. Impressively panelled throughout in light oak to a familiar Robinsons house-style, with labelled doors to match.

Cocked Hat

Six guest ales, typically from micros within a 30-mile radius of Chester (where AtWill’s head office is based). Blackboards with tasting notes to help pick the right ale for you. Located just behind Stockport’s famous indoor market, with the front door facing the main entrance into St. Mary’s church.

Crown Inn

Local branch Pub of the Year 2008, and runner-up nationally in CAMRA's Pub of the Year for 2009, so no wonder the Crown is a busy pub, especially in the evenings. A choice of around 16 ever-changing beers are usually to be had, making it probably the town's foremost cask ale outlet; beers from Pictish and Copper Dragon are normally available.

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