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Discover Hat Works Manchester Your Ultimate Guide

Discover Hat Works Manchester: Your Ultimate Guide

If you thought Stockport (stockport) was just another town on the map, think again! This bustling Greater Manchester borough holds a quirky and unique title: it’s famously known for its hat-making history. 

In this article, we’ll unwrap the story behind Stockport’s famous hat-making legacy and why this town is a must-visit for history buffs and hat enthusiasts alike.

Best Time To Visit

Any time is a good time to delve into Stockport’s hat-making history. However, if you’re planning a visit to the Stockport Hat Works Museum (formerly known as the Hat Museum), check their opening times. 

They’re usually open year-round, but hey, nobody wants to turn up to a closed door!

Festivals? Oh, you bet. Stockport loves celebrating its hatty heritage, so keep an eye out for special events, especially around National Hat Day in January. It’s a hoot!

Things to Know

Address: Stockport Hat Works Museum, Wellington Mill, Wellington Road South, Stockport, SK3 0EU, United Kingdom

Opening Hours: Wed – Fri 10AM-4PM

Admission Fee: 

  • Ages 0 – 15: Free
  • Ages 17 – 59: £5.00 
  • Ages 60+: £3.75
  • Students: £3.75 


From the late 18th to the early 20th century, Stockport was a titan in the hat-making industry. We’re talking felt hats, folks – the kind that would make any Victorian gentleman tip his top hat in respect. 

At its peak, Stockport was churning out millions of these head-toppers annually. The town was to hats what Hollywood is to movies!

How to Get There

By Train: Stockport is well-connected by train, with frequent services from major cities like Manchester and London. The Hat Works Museum is a 15-minute walk from Stockport railway station. 

As you exit the station, head south on Station Road, turn left onto Wellington Road South, and follow the road until you reach the museum.

By Bus: Several bus routes stop near the museum. The most convenient ones include routes 192, 199, 300, and 309, which stop at Wellington Road South, a short walk from the museum.

On Foot: If you’re in the Stockport area, a walk to the museum is a great way to explore the town. It’s a relatively straightforward route from the town centre to the museum, mostly along Wellington Road South.

By Car: Stockport is easily accessible by car, located near major motorways like the M60. If you’re using a GPS, input the museum’s postcode: SK3 0EU. 

Parking is available at the museum, but it’s limited. Additional parking can be found at the nearby Merseyway Shopping Centre.

Where to Stay Near Hat Works, Stockport

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Address: 73 Buxton Road, Heaviley, Stockport, SK2 6NB, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 871 527 9040

Pricing: ££

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Nestled just a stone’s throw away from Hat Works, Premier Inn Stockport South is the go-to spot for a hassle-free stay. It’s perfect for those who want a comfy bed and a hearty breakfast without burning a hole in their pocket.

The rooms? They’re the usual Premier Inn affair – clean, comfortable, and fuss-free. It’s the ideal base for exploring Stockport and its hat-tastic heritage. 

And let’s not forget the on-site restaurant – a godsend for those evenings when you just can’t be bothered to venture out for dinner.

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Address: 11 Station Road, Stockport, SK3 9JD, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 359 6363

Pricing: £££

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Talk about convenience! Holiday Inn Express in Stockport is a mere hop, skip, and jump from the Hat Works Museum. It’s bang on for those looking for a bit of modern comfort in the heart of Stockport.

The rooms are modern, well-equipped, and oh-so-comfy, perfect for recharging your batteries after a day of hat history exploration. Plus, the complimentary breakfast is a real winner – nothing beats a good brekkie to start your day.

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Address: 74 Edgeley Road, Stockport, SK3 9NQ, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 477 5395

Pricing: ££

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Fancy a bit of traditional charm? The Wycliffe, a family-run hotel, is just a short drive from Hat Works and offers a homely and welcoming atmosphere. It’s like staying with your favourite aunt – if your aunt had a knack for top-notch hospitality.

The rooms are cosy, clean, and full of character, offering a more personal touch compared to the bigger chains. And the breakfast – it’s the stuff of legends; a proper full English that’ll set you up for a day of exploring.

After a hearty breakfast at The Wycliffe, why not unwind in their charming garden? It’s a peaceful little oasis, perfect for enjoying a cuppa or simply basking in the calm of an English garden.

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Address: 271 Wellington Road North, Stockport, SK4 5BP, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 333 234 6582

Pricing: ££

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Innkeeper’s Collection Heaton Chapel is a real gem; just a short drive from Hat Works, this spot combines the charm of a traditional inn with modern comforts. It’s a smashing choice for those who appreciate a bit of character in their stay.

The rooms are snug and inviting, with all the essential amenities you’d expect; and the on-site pub? It’s a winner for both its atmosphere and grub, imagine ending your day with a tasty meal and a pint in a cosy, traditional setting.

The inn’s location is also spot on for exploring Stockport. After a restful night in one of their cosy rooms, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running. 

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Address: Regent House, Heaton Lane, Stockport, SK4 1BS, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 871 984 6367

Pricing: £

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If you’re after straightforward, no-fuss accommodation, Travelodge Stockport ticks all the boxes. It’s budget-friendly and just a quick drive to Hat Works, making it ideal for travellers watching their pennies.

The rooms are what you’d expect from Travelodge: clean, comfortable, and practical; it’s the perfect spot to crash after a day of exploring Stockport’s hatty heritage. Plus, you’re smack dab in the middle of Stockport, so you’ve got easy access to all the local sights and bites.

For those who need to stay connected, the hotel provides complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the building. It’s ideal for planning your next day’s adventures in Stockport or just unwinding with some online entertainment in the comfort of your room.

Where to Eat Near Hat Works, Stockport

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Address: 14 Town Street, Marple Bridge, Stockport, SK6 5AA, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 427 1200

Pricing: ££


If you are looking for a cosy café vibe, Huffys, nestled in Marple Bridge, is a local favourite. Just a 10-minute drive from Hat Works, it’s the perfect spot for a laid-back brunch or lunch.

Their menu is all about hearty, home-cooked fare; think scrumptious sandwiches, warming soups, and delightful cakes – all homemade and utterly delicious. Plus, the quaint and friendly atmosphere makes Huffys an ideal spot to unwind and enjoy a cuppa with a tasty treat.

And when the weather’s nice, Huffys offers lovely outdoor seating. Imagine the bliss of enjoying your delicious homemade cake and a steaming cup of tea while basking in the gentle warmth of the sun.

Media from rackmcr

Address: 9 Mealhouse Brow, Stockport, SK1 1JP, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 429 0270

Pricing: £££


Fancy something a bit more upscale? Rack, located right in the heart of Stockport, is about a 5-minute drive from Hat Works. This place is all about sophistication and flavourful dishes.

Rack’s ambiance elevates the dining experience with its stylish, contemporary interior. The modern decor, paired with subtle lighting, creates an elegant yet comfortable setting, perfect for a romantic dinner or a sophisticated night out with friends.

The restaurant’s British menu is a culinary delight, featuring a fusion of traditional and contemporary flavours. Each dish is carefully crafted and beautifully presented, turning your meal into a visual and gastronomic feast.

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Address: Mersey Square, Stockport, SK1 1SP, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 480 3818

Pricing: £


Step back in time at The Plaza Stockport Café, located inside the iconic Plaza Theatre – just a quick 5-minute drive from Hat Works. This café is a delightful throwback to the glamour of the 1930s.

The menu here is simple yet satisfying – think traditional café fare with a touch of nostalgia; it’s a fantastic spot for a light lunch or a sweet treat in a unique, historic setting. Plus, you get the added bonus of soaking up the atmosphere of one of Stockport’s most beloved landmarks.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of vintage aesthetics, or just in search of a cosy spot for a bite, The Plaza Stockport Café is a venue that promises not just a meal, but an experience steeped in history and charm.

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Address: 15 Little Underbank, Stockport, SK1 1LA, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 480 5188

Pricing: ££


If you’re in the mood for something a bit more international, Street Guys is your go-to. Located in the heart of Stockport, just about a 5-minute drive from Hat Works, this eatery offers a burst of global flavours.

Their menu is a vibrant mix of street food from around the world; from spicy tacos to aromatic curries, every dish is a celebration of global cuisine. It’s casual, it’s fun, and it’s downright delicious.

And let’s not forget about the drinks! Street Guys offers a selection of international beers, unique cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages that perfectly complement their global menu. 

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Address: 108-110 Buxton Road, Stockport, SK2 6PL, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 477 8068

Pricing: £££


Craving some Mediterranean magic? Rozafa, situated just under a 10-minute drive from Hat Works, brings the flavours of Greece and Turkey right to your table in Stockport.

The atmosphere here is warm and welcoming, perfect for a relaxed dining experience. The menu stars a range of mouth-watering Mediterranean dishes – think succulent grilled meats, fresh seafood, and a variety of mezes.

Whether it’s a family dinner or a romantic evening, Rozafa promises a memorable Mediterranean feast.

What to Do in Hat Works, Stockport

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First up, let’s talk about the main event at Hat Works: the hats, obviously! This place is like Aladdin’s cave for hat enthusiasts. From dapper top hats to fancy bonnets, the collection is a nifty walk through the history of headwear.

But wait, there’s more. The museum doesn’t just showcase hats; it dives into how they were made. You’ll see old-school machinery and tools – some of them look like they’ve come straight out of a Dickens novel. 

It’s pretty fascinating to see how a lump of felt or straw turns into a snazzy hat. And the info boards dotted around? They’re like having a mini historian in your pocket, explaining the ins and outs of hat making.

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Fancy making your own hat? Well, at Hat Works, you can! They run these cool millinery workshops where you can try your hand at creating a hat. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re all thumbs or the next Coco Chanel – these workshops are ace for all skill levels. You’ll be under the wing of skilled hat makers who know their stuff. 

They’ll guide you through the process, from choosing materials to the final flourish; it’s a bit like Bake Off, but with hats. And the best part? You get to take home your creation; Imagine rocking up to your next do in a hat you’ve made yourself – talk about a conversation starter!

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If you’re keen on getting the lowdown on Stockport’s hatting history, sign up for a guided tour. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill, droning lectures; the guides at Hat Works are a lively bunch, full of anecdotes and facts that’ll keep you hooked.

On these tours, you’ll get the skinny on everything from how the hat industry shaped Stockport to the nitty-gritty of hat fashion trends. It’s a fab way to get a deeper understanding of the exhibits and the stories behind them. 

Plus, you can ask all the questions you like. Ever wondered why top hats were so tall or what’s the deal with those fancy feathered ladies’ hats? This is your chance to find out!

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Now, who doesn’t love a good dress-up session? At Hat Works, they’ve got this cracking ‘try-on’ area where you can actually wear replicas of hats from various historical periods. I

it’s like a time-travelling fashion show, and you’re the star! Imagine donning a Victorian bonnet or a 1920s cloche – it’s not only fun but also a bit of an insight into the fashions of yesteryears.

It’s a hit with both kids and adults, and honestly, it’s a fab photo op. You can’t visit a hat museum and not take a selfie wearing a top hat, right? 

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Hat Works isn’t just about the end product; it’s about the journey too. There’s this section in the museum where they delve into the materials used in hat making; you’ll get to touch and feel different fabrics and materials – from plush felt to exotic feathers. 

It’s quite an eye-opener to see the variety and understand why certain materials were favoured in different periods. This part of the museum does a grand job of explaining the process from raw materials to finished hats. 

It’s interactive and educational, making it perfect for anyone who’s curious about the nitty-gritty of how things are made. Plus, it’s a bit of a revelation to realise just how much work goes into making a single hat!

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Hat Works regularly hosts special exhibitions and events, and they’re always worth checking out, these could range from historical retrospectives to contemporary millinery displays. 

It’s a great way to see the museum in a new light and learn more about specific aspects of hat history or modern hat fashion. Keep an eye on their events calendar – there’s always something different popping up. 

Whether it’s a themed exhibition or a special holiday event, these extras add a whole new dimension to the museum experience. It’s like the cherry on top of an already delightful cake – or should I say, the feather in the cap!

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Hat Works isn’t just for the grown-ups; it’s a fantastic place for kids to learn and have fun. The museum offers interactive learning experiences tailored for the younger audience. 

These activities are designed to be both educational and entertaining, making learning about history and fashion exciting for children. Kids can engage in hands-on activities like hat-themed crafts, where they can get creative and make their own paper hats. 

There are also educational games and quizzes that make learning about the history of hat-making a blast. It’s a great way for children to develop an interest in history and crafts in an interactive and enjoyable setting.

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For those who love photography and social media, the museum often sets up themed photographic exhibits where you can snap some truly unique pictures. These exhibits are usually beautifully curated, with fantastic backdrops that make for perfect photo opportunities.

Whether it’s posing with vintage-style hats or capturing the essence of historical millinery trends, these photo spots are a hit. It’s a fun way to create lasting memories of your visit and share your experience with friends and family on social media. 

Don’t forget to tag the museum in your posts!

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For those who love to delve deeper, Hat Works Museum organises talks and lectures by experts in the field of fashion and history. 

These sessions are incredibly insightful, offering deeper knowledge and understanding of the art of millinery, historical fashion trends, and the cultural significance of hats in different eras.

These talks are not only educational but also provide an opportunity to engage with experts and like-minded enthusiasts. It’s a chance to ask questions, discuss and broaden your understanding of the world of hats and their place in history.

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