High street heroes in... Knutsford

PUBLISHED: 16:01 01 February 2011 | UPDATED: 20:36 20 February 2013

Simon Boyd store

Simon Boyd store

Hauntingly beautiful A place that's steeped in culture and mystery... with great shops too!

Chancellor George Osborne MP for Tatton has said his childrens favourite restaurant is in Knutsford and indeed it is sort of place that attracts the kind of metropolitan, savvy sort of figure like the MP for Tatton. The narrow, quaint streets that have probably changed little since Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell used to swish her skirts along the pavements however, the broughams and saddled up horses have been replaced by the sorts of cars that really do get their drivers noticed.

You can easily immerse yourself in the world of Mrs Gaskell by checking out a meeting by the Gaskell Society on the last Wednesday of every month. They are held in the St Johns Church parish rooms from around noon to 3pm. For more details of meetings an events visit www.virtual-knutsford.co.uk

The famed author was born in Chelsea in 1810 but after her mother died she was brought up by an aunt in the town. Her most famous work is Cranford which was turned into a highly successful TV series however, the programme wasnt filmed in Knutsford itself because it looks far too modern these days.

While it is always a pleasure to wander Knutsford, picking up antiques, and exploring the great fashion in its pretty boutiques the area has other attractions too like the Knutsford Tapestry in its wonderful heritage centre.

And if you fancy soaking up the atmosphere of the past pay a visit to the 300 year old Lord Eldon pub which is thought to be haunted by the ghost of Annie Sarah Pollitt, daughter of James Pollitt the landlord of the Lord Eldon in the late 19th century. She was also, in 1864 crowned the first May Queen of Knutsfords famous Royal May Day fair.

Experiences include the witnessing of an apparition that is said to wear clothing dating from the 1800s, flickering lights, moving objects and a unidentified cold breeze. According to a local newspaper article. Landlady Laura Scullion was sceptical about the myth when she took over the pub two years ago - until she too glimpsed a white figure. We had just closed for the night and I was standing at the bar with a barman when the white shadow of a woman moved across the bar and into the tap room, she said.

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