5 things you need to know about Knutsford
PUBLISHED: 00:00 13 February 2015
Knutsford is one of Cheshire's most popular county towns, drawing visitors from across the UK to its friendly shopping streets and beautiful surrounding countryside.
1. There is considerable debate about the roots of Knutsford’s name. Residents argue that King Canute, King of England, Denmark and parts of Sweden too, crossed the River Lily here, in the days when that held some danger. The English Place-Name Society suggests that it is more likely that the name springs from the Old English for ‘Knutr’s ford’ or, ‘hillock ford’.
2. The Knutsford Royal May Day will be celebrating its 151st event this year. In 2014 hundreds of happy children walked through Knutsford’s streets wearing costumes provided by the tireless May Day Committee, accompanied by dancers, drummers, floats and even chickens. Visitors puzzle over the ‘sanding’ of many of the pavements along the parade route, where patterns made in coloured sand add mystery to the proceedings, as the reason behind this ancient tradition is lost in time. This magnificent event draws crowds from across the county, who can go on to enjoy a full funfair held on the town’s Heath.
3. Knutsford retains much of the gentile tranquillity described by famous resident Elizabeth Gaskell, who wrote the much-loved novel Cranford and who is buried in the Brook Street Chapel’s graveyard. This is in great part due to the volume of independent business owners who keep the high street chains from diminishing Knutsford’s two main streets, King Street and Princess Street, where shoppers can find their every need satisfied.
4. Knutsford has developed a well-earned reputation for the quality of its culinary offerings. King Street is positively packed with restaurants offering diners delights from every corner of the globe, east to west. Visitors to the town can choose from a range of independent eateries that can satisfy every craving.
5. The RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to Knutsford, most of whom sadly don’t set foot out the Park. Undeterred, the retailers of Knutsford put on their own show for residents and those visitors who do make the effort, creating imaginative and creative floral displays of their own. The Easter Bunny Hop, Hallowe’en’s Pumpkin Path, the summer Promenades and the huge Christmas Lights Switch-on concert are all town-wide events that make living in, working in and visiting Knutsford very special.