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The Essential Travel Guide to Quarry Bank Manchester

The Essential Travel Guide to Quarry Bank Manchester 

There’s just about a hundred different locations in Manchester that you can visit, and the Quarry Bank is definitely one that should be on the top of your list. 

This well-preserved gem in Styal, Cheshire, is more than just a cotton mill; it’s a time capsule that takes you straight back to the Industrial Revolution. Quarry Bank Mill offers an immersive experience that combines history, education, and natural beauty. 

Easily accessible from central Manchester, it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in understanding the rich industrial heritage of the region. Start planning your trip to this captivating site with our complete guide!

Best Time to Go

Probably the best time to go to Quarry Bank is during the daytime because you can clearly see how incredible the place looks. While I still recommend coming in late during the day (before closing time), Quarry Bank pops beautifully in the early hours. 

Seasonal changes also play a significant role. Personally, I would say that every season is the best season to visit, but spring and summer are generally the most ideal. 

The weather is more accommodating, allowing you to fully engage with the outdoor activities and explore the picturesque gardens and countryside.

Things to Know

Currency: Euro
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: UK English

Calling Code: +44

Address: Styal Rd, Styal, Wilmslow SK9 4HP, United Kingdom


Contact Details: +44 1625 527468

Opening Hours: Tuesday, closed; Monday, Wednesday to Sunday 10:30 AM to 5 PM

Quarry Bank is worth visiting because it offers a unique and immersive glimpse into the Industrial Revolution, serving as a well-preserved testament to 18th-century architecture and the cotton industry. 

If you find yourself in Manchester with a passion for history or architecture, this museum, housed in a historic cotton mill, is a must-see.

Do you have to pay for Quarry Bank?

You need to pay when entering Quarry Bank, and prices will depend on the price packages. Adult, Child, and Family ticket types will range from £11 to £33. 

Ticket typeGift aidStandard
Adult £22.00£20.00
1 Adult, 3 Children£33.00£30.00

Quarry Bank is managed by the National Trust and typically requires an admission fee. The cost can vary, and National Trust members may receive free or discounted entry. 

For the most accurate pricing, consult the National Trust’s official website. In summary, visiting is not free unless you’re a qualifying National Trust member. 

How to Get There

Train: The nearest train station to Quarry Bank Mill is Styal, which is approximately a 13-minute walk away from the mill. 

The NORTHERN line is the primary train service that stops near Quarry Bank Mill. The first train arrives at around 05:47, and the last train stops nearby at 23:07. The train fare to Quarry Bank Mill costs about £3.20 to £3.70.

Bus: Bus services also provide convenient access to Quarry Bank Mill. The nearest bus stop is Styal, a 13-minute walk from the mill. Bus line 88 is the primary service that stops near the mill, with the first bus arriving at around 07:23 and the last one at 19:10.

Taxi: While specific taxi services were not mentioned, taxis are a flexible option for reaching Quarry Bank Mill. You can easily book a taxi from nearby cities or train stations to take you directly to the mill.

Car Service: Car services like Uber or local car hire companies can also be used to reach Quarry Bank Mill. This option offers the convenience of being picked up and dropped off at locations of your choice.

Is parking free at Quarry Bank?

Quarry Bank Mill is open all year and provides free parking. Just follow the National Trust signs to reach it. Once there, go directly to reception for a friendly welcome.

Things to Do in Quarry Bank

Step inside the Georgian rooms of Quarry Bank House, the mill owner’s home, and immerse yourself in the world of Hannah and Samuel Greg. Learn about Hannah’s interests in education and self-improvement, as well as her social life and dinner parties.

Quarry Bank boasts a captivating glasshouse, brimming with a variety of plants. It’s a green haven where you can stroll, breathe in the fresh air, and admire nature’s beauty. 

The gardens around are equally enchanting, flaunting seasonal blooms and providing a serene backdrop for a leisurely walk (places to walk near me) or a spot of quiet reflection.

Dive into the fascinating history of Quarry Bank Mill, a testament to the Industrial Revolution. Here, you can witness the evolution of textile manufacturing, observe the original machinery, and understand the hardships and triumphs of the workers of the era. 

It’s not just about seeing; it’s about experiencing the echoes of the past, making it a rewarding journey through time.

The Apprentice House at Quarry Bank is a learning adventure waiting to happen! It provides a unique, interactive experience, allowing you to grasp the lives of the apprentice children who once lived and worked there. 

It’s educational, it’s engaging, and it’s a glimpse into the daily routines, lessons, and chores of the children from the past.

Join a guided tour of the Apprentice House to learn where the child apprentices lived, ate, and slept after a long day at the mill. 

The tours offer insights into 19th-century cures for ailments, from headaches to lost limbs. When visiting, tours at Quarry Bank Mill help you explore 19th-century medical treatments. There are also timed tickets for these tours available at the Visitor Welcome building. 

These tours are included in the general admission fee: £22 for adults and £11 for children with Gift Aid, or £20 and £10 without. Family packages are also available.

Quarry Bank is the perfect place to go with groups because not only will you be having fun with your friends or family, but you can also enjoy certain benefits when joining group visits.

Group visits to Quarry Bank Mill come with special perks. For parties of 15 or more, discounted admission rates are available, and National Trust members gain free entry. Additionally, coach drivers and group organisers are granted a complimentary ticket. 

The facility provides designated coach bays in the parking area and offers a personalised welcome service onboard. Customised tours of the mill or garden start at £25 for groups of 15. 

For those coordinating group visits, a free Travel Trade Pass is available, granting the leader and a guest complimentary access to over 300 National Trust sites across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland for a year, aiding in effective trip planning.

Feel the floors shake as you witness the roar of the machinery and the hiss of the steam engines. 

The mill offers an immersive audio-visual experience that shows you the mill through the eyes of its workforce. Be prepared for loud noises and flashing lights.

Wander through the Lower Garden, where you can appreciate the ornate gardens created by mill owner Robert Hyde Greg in the 1860s. 

For a more elevated view, head to the Upper Garden and Glasshouse to gaze out at the stunning valley vistas.

During school holidays and special occasions like Easter and Christmas (“The Complete Guide to Manchester Christmas Markets), Quarry Bank Mill hosts various events such as children’s literary festivals and history-packed interactive trails. These events offer a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

These closures are exceptional circumstances, and it’s advisable to plan your visit accordingly to avoid any inconvenience.

If you’re curious about the lives of child apprentices during the industrial era, the Apprentice House at Quarry Bank Mill offers a sobering look. 

Here, students can experience firsthand what life was like for these young workers, from their limited educational opportunities to the tough chores they had to perform. The tour can be adapted to suit different educational stages, making it a valuable learning experience.

For nature enthusiasts or those studying geography and science, Quarry Bank’s estate is a treasure trove of ecological diversity. 

You can explore various natural features like ponds and woodlands, and even participate in workshops that focus on these habitats. If you’re up for a challenge, there are also map-based activities that teach you how to navigate the estate using a compass.

Styal Village, still an active community, offers a window into the lives of the mill’s original workforce. Created by the Greg family, the village helps us understand the motivations behind the mill’s location and how the community around it grew. 

Despite its peaceful appearance, remember that this village was designed to house early industrial workers, adding a layer of complexity to its seemingly tranquil streets.

Where to Eat near Quarry Bank

Address: HMP, Styal Rd, Wilmslow SK9 4HR, United Kingdom

Contact: +441625553146


Operating Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 12 to 2 PM; Sunday 12 to 3 PM; Monday, closed 

The Clink Restaurant offers high-quality meals prepared by students in training for their City & Guilds NVQs. The menu is diverse, featuring vegan afternoon tea and children’s menus, among other options.

Located in a converted chapel, the restaurant provides a unique atmosphere. The leather upholstery and boardroom tables are crafted by prisoners, adding to the restaurant’s distinct ambiance.

Address: After Security, Terminal 1, Manchester M90 1QX, United Kingdom

Contact: N/A


Operating Hours: Daily 4 AM to 8 PM

The Upper Garden Cafe offers a relaxed dining atmosphere that’s perfect for a quick break or a leisurely meal. Nestled within Quarry Bank’s lush gardens, the cafe provides a scenic backdrop that enhances your culinary experience. 

From light snacks to hearty sandwiches, its signature Cheshire Farm ice cream, and artisanal coffee, the menu caters to a variety of tastes. It’s an ideal spot to unwind and enjoy the natural surroundings after exploring the historical and ecological wonders of Quarry Bank.

Address: Leigh Rd, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 2RA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44(0) 1225 864885


Operating Hours: Per check-in basis (Restaurant is open 24/7 to hotel guests)

For a more formal dining option, the Weaving Shed Restaurant is the place to be. The restaurant prides itself on a menu that often incorporates locally sourced ingredients, offering dishes that resonate with the area’s rich history. 

Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional meal or something more modern, the Weaving Shed provides a dining experience that complements your visit to Quarry Bank. It’s more than just a meal; it’s an extension of the cultural journey you embarked upon

Address: Altrincham Rd, Styal, Wilmslow SK9 4JE, United Kingdom

Contact: +441625404713


Opening Hours: Daily 9 AM to 3:30 PM

Earlams Community Store and Cafe offers a cosy and welcoming environment that feels like a home away from home. The cafe’s interior is designed with comfort in mind, featuring plush seating, warm lighting, and a laid-back atmosphere. 

Whether you’re stopping by for a leisurely breakfast or a quick coffee break, the menu has something for everyone. Enjoy freshly baked pastries, hearty sandwiches, and a variety of beverages that cater to different tastes. 

The cafe’s commitment to quality and community is reflected in every bite, making it a delightful spot to relax and recharge during your day.

Address: Altrincham Rd, Styal, Wilmslow SK9 4JE, United Kingdom

Contact: +441625444888


Opening Hours: Daily 12 to 11:30 PM

Nestled within a 17th-century building, The Ship Styal is a gastropub that exudes character and charm. The rustic yet cosy interior welcomes you with its wooden beams and historic features, offering a delightful blend of old-world charm and modern comfort. 

This gastropub is renowned for its selection of craft ales and artisanal beverages, providing the perfect accompaniment to the hearty British fare on the menu. 

From traditional pub classics like fish and chips to elevated dishes featuring locally sourced ingredients, The Ship Styal offers a satisfying dining experience that pays homage to the region’s culinary roots.

Where to Stay


The Best Western Pinewood Manchester Airport-Wilmslow Hotel provides a relaxed stay with modern accommodations. 

Also, the rooms here feature contemporary decor and are designed for comfort. The hotel’s gardens offer a tranquil space to unwind, adding a touch of nature to your stay. With its proximity to Quarry Bank Mill, the hotel has become a convenient hub for exploring the area.


At The Stanneylands, understated rooms and a piano lounge create an atmosphere of refined relaxation. The classic decor of the rooms complements the elegance of the hotel. 

There’s a piano lounge that provides an intimate setting to enjoy live music while savouring a drink. Surrounded by gardens, The Stanneylands offers a peaceful retreat within reach of Quarry Bank Mill.


For budget-conscious travellers, the Premier Inn Manchester hotel in Wilmslow offers simple and comfortable accommodations. The modern rooms ensure a restful stay, and the on-site restaurant provides convenient dining options. 

Moreover, the hotel’s proximity to Quarry Bank Mill makes it a practical choice for exploring the area without compromising on comfort.


Rylands Farmhouse & Events offers a casual rural guesthouse experience. The setting embraces the countryside charm, with cosy rooms and picturesque views. 

The garden provides a peaceful space to relax and soak in the natural surroundings. Close to Quarry Bank Mill, the guesthouse offers a serene base for your travels.

Where to Shop


If you’re looking to take home a piece of Quarry Bank’s rich history, the Mill Shop is your go-to destination. 

Here, you’ll find a range of unique souvenirs, from vintage-inspired textiles to artisanal crafts, that capture the essence of the mill’s industrial past. It’s a great way to extend your Quarry Bank experience long after your visit has ended.


Located near the stunning gardens of Quarry Bank, the Primrose Cottage Nursery offers a variety of plants, gardening tools, and decorative items. 

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a newbie, this shop provides everything you need to cultivate your own green space. It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring a bit of Quarry Bank’s natural beauty back home with you.


For book lovers, The Raven Book Store is a must-visit. With a wide array of genres and titles, from classic literature to modern thrillers, this shop offers a cosy atmosphere for you to find your next great read. 


If you’re in need of basic amenities or travel essentials, the Castle Comfort Centre has you covered. 

From snacks and beverages to travel-sized toiletries, this shop is designed to meet the practical needs of every visitor. It’s a convenient stop to ensure your Quarry Bank visit goes smoothly.


For those carrying extra luggage or bulky items, GRG Storage offers a secure and convenient solution. 

Located near the main entrance, this facility allows you to explore Quarry Bank unencumbered. It’s an excellent option for travellers or anyone looking to make the most of their visit without the hassle of carrying extra baggage.

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