The eponymous park Oddfellows rests in is Bruntwood, a serene, green family-friendly space, a 30-minute drive south of central Manchester. The shops, cafés and pubs of historic village Cheadle are a 10-minute drive away.
Manchester Airport is just a 14-minute drive from Oddfellows; direct flights arrive from London and major cities throughout Europe. Flights from the US stopover in Iceland or Ireland. London Heathrow and Gatwick are both around a three-hour drive away. The Smith24 Team can help with booking international or domestic flights and transfers.
Northern Rail and TransPennine Express services arrive from major English and Scottish cities at Manchester Airport station, a 15-minute drive from the hotel.
Manchester is a city you can easily explore on foot. However, Oddfellows’ out-of-town location makes hiring a car worthwhile, especially since the Peak District National Park is just a 30-minute drive away.
Worth getting out of bed for
The beauty of Oddfellow’s location is its balance of country and city; so mice of all provenance will be happy. Wander through Bruntwood Park: 100 acres of mature trees, lakes and manicured gardens. Putt about on Cheadle Golf Club’s pitch, take an archery lesson, and if you have the requisite helmet, borrow one of the hotel's two bikes (free, but on a first-come-first-served basis) and hit the BMX racetrack. Longer, lovelier bike and hike trails can be found in the Peak District National Park, a 30-minute drive away. However, the action is centred in Manchester, the energetic everyman of a historic yet youthfully-minded city. Shop and spa in the Spinningfields district and Intu Trafford Centre; walk the hallowed halls of Gothic John Rylands library and 17th-century Harry Potter-set lookalike Chetham’s; and pay deference at the mothership of football, Old Trafford (a 15-minute drive from the city centre). Manchester Art Gallery has gathered collections as diverse as Japanese wabi-sabi trinkets and English slipware; it has an apiary on its roof, too. For pop-up screenings, talks, gig nights and gallery private views, head to the colourful Northern Quarter, home to some of the city’s finest vinyl stores, such as Piccadilly Records and Vinyl Exchange, both on Oldham Street.
Cheadle’s dining scene can’t rival Manchester’s, but there are plenty of places to pitch up at for hearty pub grub. The John Millington serves piled-high plates in a vaulted, beamed dining space, and The March Hare has generous roasts and stone-baked pizzas in a cosy fire-warmed setting.
Whether you have a WAG’s credit limit or not, Manchester’s array of eateries is exemplary. The finest of dining is found at The French; here Great British Menu finalist Adam Reid has devised six- and nine-course tasting menus with dishes such as rhubarb-and-custard tart and sour cherry-spiked duck. See sakura all-year round at Tattu, an elegant restaurant with a cherry-blossom tree in its dining room. Its dim-sum menu (foie-gras gyoza, chicken-truffle shumai) and proximity to Spinningfields makes it a great stop-and-snack spot. Australasia impresses from the get-go with its glass-triangle entranceway, from which you descend to the dining room in a lift. The Kitchens is Spinningfields’ constantly evolving street-food emporium, bringing Polish pancakes, artisanal bangers, Indian bhel puri (rice and vegetables in tamarind sauce) and other global delights under one roof.
In Cheadle, forget-me-not-hued space Le Petit Bijou on Massie Street is warm and welcoming with great home-made cakes and bacon butties; La Cueva is a unique cave-like tapas joint for snacking pit stops. In Manchester, get your coffee fix at delightfully punny, industrial-chic cafe North Tea Power or super-cool Icelandic coffee house Takk.
Cheadle’s nightlife isn’t limited to no-nonsense Northern boozers; it’s home to some fine examples of country pubbing. Manchester’s cool spills over into Stockport in Brezo Lounge; a jumble sale of retro chairs and thrift-store artwork for convivial gatherings. Manchester’s nightlife is legendary; the spiritual home of post-punk and Madchester, the Haçienda, may be gone, but venues such as Soup Kitchen, Kraak, The Deaf Institute and The Night and Day Café carry the torch. Big-ticket bands and singers play the Academy. If you packed trainers, hangout at the Black Dog Ballroom on Church Street or cosy, shabby-chic drinkery The Angel in the NOMA neighbourhood. If you brought high heels and brogues, nab a window seat at Epernay, crazy cocktail emporium The Alchemist in Spinningfields or beloved-by-bartenders The Liars Club.