Philip James area guide: Didsbury


This week we’re looking at Didsbury, one of Manchester’s most sought-after residential locations. With its attractive Victorian housing stock, impressive parklands, wonderful pubs, cafes and shops, this large suburb to the south of the city centre is more popular than ever. But what about the secret parts of Didsbury? The local businesses and hidden streets that only local people know about? Helen from Didsbury Life knows Didsbury better than anyone else so Philip James asked her for her top tips for living in Didsbury:


“When people mention Didsbury there are a few things which immediately spring to mind; the famous clock tower, the beautiful Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens and expansive parkland, the stunning Italian Consulate building on Mersey Road and the River Mersey itself.

“But there’s so much more to Didsbury. The Village itself boasts a range of shops, bars, pubs and restaurants which cater for all tastes. At the top end of the village, opposite the MMU campus, and sited around what used to be the village green (apparently with a Maypole, no less) sit three institutions –The Didsbury, Loch Fyne and The Fat Loaf. All great culinary destinations – and even better that you can walk off your food with a stroll through Fletcher Moss.

The village itself sits around the intersection of Wilmslow Road and Barlow Moor Road. There’s a real mix of the old and the new in Didsbury village.

“We’re relative newcomers on the Didsbury scene, having come as students in 1984 – and stayed – but it’s great to see that many establishments which were there way before us are still going strong. However, new blood has come in and enhanced the village feel.

“The Art of Tea on Barlow Moor Road is an eclectic destination with a bohemian European café culture vibe. Saints and Scholars, a beautiful ramshackle, ivy-clad old building (just next to the iconic Didsbury Library) serves the most wonderful food. However, don’t expect silver service here. Expect rustic. Expect eclectic. Expect a fabulous dining experience. If your idea of a good night out is having a few drinks with friends, Didsbury doesn’t disappoint. From old favourites such as The Royal Oak and The Fletcher Moss to The Woodstock, with its outside dining/drinking area – and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a table under the canopy lit with twinkling lights.

“West Didsbury used to be a bit of a ‘non-area’, but recently it’s become a real hotbed of independent businesses, an area where residents and businesses know the meaning of community. People know each other. Business owners know each other. You’ll often see Joe from Pinchjo’s (check out the tapas!) chatting with Justin from Folk (check out the Mezzes), who in turn will be serving Gareth from Frog Furniture, who in turn you may see in The Metropolitan, a short hop away from the renowned Greens Vegetarian Restaurant, owned by the Simons, Connolly and Rimmer.

“Thyme Out Delicatessen on Nell Lane has become a real mainstay with foodies in West Didsbury. Forward thinking owner Ben has introduced chickens (you’ll eat their eggs at breakfast) and has opened up his garden area behind the deli as a community allotment. We have to declare an interest here – we have one of the allotments. But so have other local families – and we are so delighted that we’ve been able to begin supplying, in a very small way, some local restaurants with some very local produce. Thyme Out really West Didsbury’s hidden gem.

“West Didsbury is also a global culinary destination. We have Nepalese (Great Kathmandu and Gurkha Grill, South-east Asian (Cachumba), Italian (Azzurro and Piccolino) and a number of quirky English bistros (Love2Eat Deli). We also have an award-winning Modern English (Rhubarb Restaurant).

One of the key annual events in West Didsbury is WestFest; a celebration of the community’s independence. It’s a great example of just what happens when a community works together. And it’s not only the businesses that pull together, our local primary school Cavendish Primary is a fully committed member of our community.

“I could literally go on forever about how wonderful Didsbury and West Didsbury is, but why not test it try for yourself and discover our little corner of independence?

Didsbury Life, 212 Burton Road, Manchester, M20 2LQ.
0161 445 7759


If you’re looking to move to Didsbury then speak to Philip James – we’re the local experts. From our landmark offices on the corner of Wilmslow Road and School Lane we have a wide-range of houses and apartments for sale and rent across Didsbury and West Didsbury. And with prices from as little as £59,950 it’s never too late to get on the Didsbury property ladder;


1. Spath Road
With its large detached Edwardian mansions, mature trees and gated Victorian Villas, Spath Road is Didsbury’s finest address. Located to the south-east of Palantine Road it has some of Manchester’s most expensive houses with prices nudging towards seven-figures for the area’s best houses. This long road is lined with some of the largest mature trees in Manchester, giving passers by only the rarest glimpse of the luxury homes hidden in their private grounds

2. Burton Road

Although it’s the busiest street in Didsbury, full of shops, cafes and restaurants, there are still a number of high-quality houses off Burton Road. South of Lapwing Lane on the eastern-side of Burton Road sit seven of the area’s smallest streets; Beaufort, Montrose, Stratford, Kenilworth, Warwick, Leamington and Walsingham Avenue. These small cul-de-sacs have impressive 3-storey Victorian houses. Their gardens are small and parking can be a struggle but they offer some of the quietest and most sought-after streets in Didsbury

3. Whitechapel Street
There are plenty of large detached period properties in Didsbury but if you’re just starting out on the property ladder, Whitechapel Street is where you’ll want to look. Located to the west of Wilmslow Road and south of Barlow Moor Road these five small streets; Grenfell, Churchwood and Davenfield Road, Whitechapel Street and the ever-popular Crossway have a large collection of cute Victorian cottage-style terraced houses. Most houses are your typical two-up/two-down design but many have cute private gardens instead of back-yards and the bay windows make the living rooms bright and sunny (when it’s not raining in Manchester!)

4. Bamford Road
This quiet no-through road off Barlow Moor Road is THE quintessential Didsbury location. The 3-storey Edwardian terraced houses have large bay windows, wide tiled hallways, black and white gabled roofs, deep red brickwork and large wooden porches. The gardens aren’t particularly large but we think it’s Didsbury’s most handsome street

5. Olive Shapley Road
Didsbury has some of Manchester’s finest Victorian and Edwardian housing, but not everyone likes older properties. So for those looking for newer accommodation, Olive Shapley Road is one of the area’s most popular new-build developments. Located to the south-east of Wilmslow Road, this long street has five large detached modern blocks of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments. With a football pitch on one side and the railway on the other, the apartments are quiet and private with communal gardens and plenty of off-street parking

Didsbury Sales
679 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury M20 6RA
Telephone: 0161 448 1234

Didsbury Lettings
School Lane, Didsbury Village, Manchester
Telephone: 0161 448 3219

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