Top 7 things to do in Cheadle, Staffordshire

the Bakers Arms, Cheadle, Staffordshire the Bakers Arms, Cheadle, Staffordshire

Cheadle provides visitors with the ultimate Staffordshire experience: markets, Victorian architecture, and canal walkways. 

This civil parish is near the Staffordshire Moorlands, the Peak District, and Churnet Valley, which makes it the perfect base for hikers. It’s also within proximity to some of the most popular family days out in Staffordshire, being the closest market town to Alton Towers

Despite its small population of just 12,000, Cheadle offers much to see and do. This article will prove why visiting this North Staffordshire hamlet is a must – from exploring St Giles Church to soaking up the atmosphere of the Bakers Arms. 

7 best things to do in Cheadle 

Whether you’re staying in Cheadle for a few days or just passing through, here are 10 things you easily fit into your itinerary: 

Visit St. Giles Church 

St. Giles Catholic Church is the most awe-inspiring in a town full of historically significant architecture. Known as ‘Pugin’s Gem’, this church was commissioned in 1841 and designed by one of the most famous architects of the 19th century, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. 

Pugin was known primarily for his gothic revival style, and St. Giles stands as a perfect example of this. Inside, you can admire the elaborate octagonal columns, moulded arches, and carved lions. Outside, you can admire the 200ft spire – an emblem of the town. You can also insert a £1 to light up the church to get a better sense of Pugin’s style and vision. 

The church is open every day for visitors between the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm. Entry is via the church’s south door. 

Drink at the Bakers Arms, Cheadle, Staffordshire

This must-visit pub is a relatively recent addition in a town noted for its history. The Bakers Arms, Cheadle only opened in 2017, despite having the look and feel of a traditional pub. In the winter, its real fire is roaring, providing you with the perfect spot to try some of the finest ales in Staffordshire. In the summer, its sizable beer garden to the back provides a welcoming spot to enjoy the sunshine and a beer. 

The Bakers Arms, whose name is a nod to the bakers who formally occupied the address, has won a range of awards since opening. It made the Good Beer Guide 2024 and won the Staffordshire Moorlands Urban Pub of the Year in 2019 and 2023. 

This CAMRA pub is a hub for both locals and tourists and puts on quizzes on weekdays and live music on Sundays. It’s open Monday to Thursday, 1.00pm to 11.00pm, midday to midnight on Friday, midday to 12.30am on Saturday, and midday to 10.00pm on Sundays. It is centrally located at 21 High St, Cheadle. 

Admire the town’s architecture 

St Giles Church isn’t the only fascinating piece of architecture in Cheadle – the town is full of medieval, Victorian, and Georgian architectural wonders. There are 77 listed buildings throughout the village. 

In terms of medieval architecture, there’s a Grade II-listed 17th-century Tudor House located at 77 and 79 High Street. The front of the building features exposed timber frames and the roof has two gabled dormers. 

Several notable country houses can be found in Cheadle, including the 19th-century Woodhead Hall. Grade-II listed, this Victorian property has served as a school and an air ministry, and today is still used for residential purposes. The last time it was sold it went on the market for £319,995

Elsewhere, you have the Anchor Inn, which was originally built in 1757 and still stands as a popular pub today. 

Hike in the surrounding countryside

There are plenty of ways to explore the surrounding countryside from the town centre of Cheadle. To the east of the town, you can pick up walkways heading to the Hawksmoor Nature Reserve, which is packed with woodlands, wildlife, and wildflowers. From this reserve, you can pick up the Staffordshire Way to go on a bigger journey. 

It’s also possible to walk to Dimmingsdale and Oakamoor via these eastern walking paths. In Dimmingsdale, you can stop for refreshments at the Rambler’s Retreat. 

Alternatively, you can drive 20 minutes north of Cheadle to Froghall. Here, you can take on one of the best canal walks in the county – the Caldon Canal Walk. 

Shop at the markets 

Cheadle keeps its market town heritage alive, with markets held both indoors and outdoors several days a week. The Cheadle Retail Market takes place every Friday between 9.00am and 4.00pm. The market is held on Greyhound Walk, which is closeby to Cheadle’s Tape Street car park. Here, you can shop for fruit, veg, and other local produce. 

There’s also an indoor market held on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in the recently restored Victorian Market Hall. This also takes place between 9.00am and 4.00pm. 

On the High Street, a bigger monthly farmer’s market is held on the fourth Saturday of every month. Here, you can sample the best meats, cheeses, and dairy products produced in Staffordshire. 

Discover the remains of Croxden Abbey 

The 12th-century Croxden Abbey is only a 12-minute drive outside of Cheadle – or a one-hour and 40-minute hike for the more adventurous. The abbey dates back to 1179 and once the home of 70 monks. While only fragments of the abbey remain today, it still stands as one of the best examples of Cistercian architecture in England. 

Croxden Abbey, which is looked after by English Heritage, is open from 10.00am to 5.00pm April to October. It is open 10.00am to 4.00pm from November to March. 

Dine at the Grosvenor Restaurant at Hales Hall

If you’re looking for a fine dining experience in Cheadle, head to the Hales Hall. This impressive building dates back to 1712 and hosts the luxurious Grosvenor Restaurant. 

Surrounded by Staffordshire Moorlands scenery, this restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, evening meals and drinks. You can enjoy a full English here in the morning and a steak in the evening. Popular amongst those staying in the surrounding Hales Hall Caravan Park, the Grosvenor Restaurant is open to anyone visiting Cheadle.  

Getting to Cheadle 

You can drive to Cheadle from Stoke-on-Trent via the A50. 

Alternatively, the 32 and the 32a bus service from Stoke-on-Trent to Uttoxeter goes via Cheadle. This service runs Monday to Saturday every two hours. 

Unfortunately, Cheadle does not currently have a train station. 

Nearby attractions 

As aforementioned, Cheadle is the nearest market town to Alton Towers, being only a 13-minute drive via the B5032. 

It’s also only a half-hour drive to the centre of Stoke-on-Trent, where you can find a wide range of historical and cultural attractions. This includes the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and the Emma Bridgewater Factory. The Emma Bridgewater Factory offers a wide range of experiences, including pottery sessions and factory tours. 

The Churnet Valley heritage railway line is just north of Cheadle, which provides authentic steam railway experiences between the restored Kingsley and Froghall Stations. 


Why is Cheadle called Cheadle? 

Cheadle means “woodland clearing” in Celtic. This makes sense, given Cheadle’s positioning amongst several woodland areas. “Cēd” is Celtic for “wood”, while “lēah” means clearing. A combination of these two words formed the name Cheadle. 

Is Cheadle worth visiting? 

Cheadle is a quintessential Staffordshire village that positions you right in the heart of the North Staffordshire countryside. If you’re looking to visit a picturesque market town while exploring the Peak District, Cheadle is one of the best. It’s often referred to as the “gateway” to the Churnet Valley, making it a popular base amongst hikers, bikers, and rock climbers. 

What Shops are in Cheadle, Staffordshire? 

Being a market town, Cheadle is mostly known for its weekly market offerings, which take place on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. However, the town is also home to a range of independent and boutique shops, including Hollie’s Boutique and Cheadle Cards. It also has several coffee shops and bakeries, including the Summerhouse and the Bread Basket. 

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