Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Premier Attraction; Short Breaks STEVE NICHOLLS Visited the Home of Several Soccer Stars - and Found a Delightful Small Town with Plenty to See and Visit

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Premier Attraction; Short Breaks STEVE NICHOLLS Visited the Home of Several Soccer Stars - and Found a Delightful Small Town with Plenty to See and Visit

Article excerpt

FOR a town with a rich heritage, it probably grates Knutsford to think that it is widely known these days as one of the preferred areas of residence for Liverpool and Manchester Premier League footballers.

However, that isn't the reason why people visit. What Knutsford does offer is a picturesque, unspoilt (up)market town, with charm and character.

It's certainly a place for the well-heeled - as the roads populated by des res properties underline. It also has a welcoming nature, seemingly carved out of the tight, hilly, shopping streets.

King Street, known locally as "Bottom Road" as it runs parallel to the the higher Princess Street (or "Top Road"), is an assortment box of boutiques, salons, jewellers, bridalwear shops and gift shops. The pavements so quaint and narrow, shoppers patiently step aside to allow others through, to avoid stepping into the road.

You'll also find a handful of high class restaurants in the town centre. Belle Epoque Brasserie is one of them. A hotel and restaurant, our taxi driver took great delight in telling us it was a favourite of Lord and Lady Beckham before they moved to Madrid.

It's certainly an ornate setting, glamorous but not too ostentatious and, yes, probably the place to be seen eating out in this part of Cheshire. Its a la carte menu has picked up an armful of awards and accolades over three decades.

Knutsford does have other big name claims to fame, established quite a few years before millionaire footballers. King Knut, for starters. The Danish king is believed to have forded the Lily Stream, hence Knutsford/ Cunetesford as it appeared in the Domesday Book.

One of the most renowned female novelists of early Victorian times, Elizabeth Gaskell, was a local lass, while General George Patton and the American Third Army were based in and around the town in 1944. The Old Town Hall was used as a location during the shooting of the 1969 film Patton: Lust For Glory.

It's worth making any visit a two-day stay, because there are so many more attractions within a few minutes drive. The Cottons Hotel and Spa is a sumptuous four-star venue just a minute's drive out of the town centre. …

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