When people think of Rochdale, it usually includes comments about cobbled streets, shut down mills and unemployment following recent reports. But having lived in Rochdale for all of my 23 years of my life I feel I am in a better position than london journalist to paint a picture of my northern town. They are right that unemployment is higher than the national averae but that is just one downside to the many upsides (no pennine hills pun intended!) that Rochdale has. Rochdale is a large borough that consists of a few different villages that have been swollowed up by the borough during expansion, some of these being Littleborough, Smithy Bridge, Shawclough, Norden and Castleton. The toen centre in Rochdale leaves a lot to be considered. Traditionally a market the new tram link is set to revitalise the town centre, currently large scale plans are being put into place, that is quickly losing some of the more main street shops that people are more familiar with. The location of Rochdale is a large benefit with major cities within easy reach, manchester 20 mins by trains, leeds / bradfor 1 hour by train. Liverpool 45 mins drive. You can easily get the best of both with Rochdale, as mentioned manchester is on your doorstep, but so is the countryside and the pennines to be more precise which can offer lots of different activities for everyone's tastes. I know Rochdale isn't exactly a cosmopolitan city but to me it is home and I wouldn't have it any other way.
When I tell people I'm from Rochdale, I either get told I must be rough or I must live in the hills on a cobbled street...! Well, I'm not either! I'm from Smithy Bridge, so on the outskirts of Rochdale - near to Littleborough and Hollingworth Lake. My parents have lived in the same house for 25 years and I was brought up there - in a lovely suburban cul de sac next to a farm. I had a fantastic childhood and feel very lucky for growing up in such a great place. I now live in Shawclough after buying my first house. It is a very similar area to Smithy Bridge and again I live in a quiet cul de sac, which is next to large open areas of green belt. Many people think Rochdale is full of terraces and council houses, but it really isn't. Step out of the town centre and there's some beautiful areas on the door step of the pennines - Littleborough, Milnrow, Smithy Bridge, Norden, Bamford, Shawclough to name but a few. The council are even doing up the town centre soon and the metro link is being built, which will hopefully make the town more popular. Rochdale is also an ideal location for commuters - 25mins by car or train to central Manchester and 1hr to central Leeds - brilliant! So, great houses, beautiful location, future developments and good transport links...I think Rochdale is fantastic!
So what's so special about Rochdale? I hear you cry. Well apart from being the town of my birth, its is also the birth town of Dame Gracie Fields, former MP Sir Cyril Smith, Lisa Stansfield and Anna Friel. Rochdale is also the birthplace of the Co-Operation Movement in 1844, and the museum can be visited on Toad Line just outside the town centre. Rochdale grew up around the cotton industry and many of the old mills still remain in the town but now are industrial units or have been turned into luxury apartments. So where is Rochdale? Well, Rochdale is now made up of several smaller towns, which go to make the borough of Rochdale, these towns are Rochdale, Middleton , Heywood, Littlebrough, Milnrow and Wardle. If you follow the M62 from Liverpool towards Leeds you will come to J19, this is the turning for Middleton and Heywood, J20 is for Rochdale Centre and Wardle, J21 is for Milnrow and Littleborough. So, what is there to do in Rochdale and its surrounding areas. Well, Rochdale has several Country parks, the most famous being Hollingworth Lake. This can be seen from the M62 as you pass over the Rakewood Viaduct on the way to Leeds. This is an absolutely beautiful park and the lake can be walked around with relative ease, and if you don't have the energy to walk all that way, then you can hire rowing boats to laze around on the lake. There are several other footpath in the area which I can also recommend, most of the trails are also open to Mountain Bikes as well. Rochdale also has a canal, Which is called the Rochdale Canal suprisingly enough, which was opened in 1804. The canal stretches all the way from Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire to the centre of Manchester. Some part of the canal especially that around the Littleborough area are nice for a Sunday afternoon stroll, or something I have done in the past is to catch the train to Todmorden and either walk or Cycle back to Rochdale, About 20 miles. I will say that c ertain section of the canal, especially those near to the centre of Rochdale are best avoided as these are usually used by the local residents, as dog toilets and they are far from pleasant. Another favourite walking place of mine is Watergrove reservoir, which is a country park at the top of Wardle town, (Just go through Wardle until you can go no more). Watergrove is a reservoir built in 1930 and the reservoir takes its name from the town, which was flooded so that the reservoir could be. This is a very pleasant place to walk if you're after peace and tranquillity, as its usually very quite. If you wish to walk round the reservoir than paths are of good quality and well sign posted. As I said before Watergrove is an excellent place to go for a few hours if you need some where quiet. There are several other parks, and reservoirs in the area but I think the above are the most beautiful places around the area. So what if you don't want to go walking. Well, the shopping centre in Rochdale took a bit of a dive a few years ago but the council have put money, time and effort in to the centre and things are beginning to look up and several chain stores have come back to the town. Don't expect anything special of the shops though, they are the same as any other town in the country. If you want to go sight seeing in Rochdale then there is the town hall and the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, as mentioned above (Toad lane?) there are other things to visit in the towns around Rochdale. Littleborough has a heritage museum with history of the old town and loads of information on the building of the Canal and the Summit Railway tunnel, which connect Yorkshire and Lancashire. The Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum is in Rochdale as well and has a few of the olde fire engines from early century to present day. If your into toy cars then the Corgi Heritage centre is in Heywood about 15 minutes drive from Rochdale town cen tre a nd if your into steam then Ellenroad Engine House (Sign posted as Ellenroad in steam), is in Newhey, just off junction 21 of the M62. Come off the motorway and then head back under the motorway. Here is the Worlds Biggest working steam mill engine, weighting 80 tonnes and standing 28ft in diameter. Be warned it's only open on Sundays (April to October) Whats the nightlife like? Well after many a year going to Rochdale on a Friday or Saturday night I can tell you its pretty good really. There are lots of pubs to choose from differing in style from Rock to Dance. A visit to Yates Wine lodge is always a good bet as its always full of good-looking people. (Maybe that's the beer goggles talking). Other good pubs are the Flying Horse up near the town hall and if you want to experience a good set of pubs and travel into Rochdale then you should try walking down Whitworth road. There are several good pubs down this road, offering variety from Live acts to Live Dj's. Other good places to visit are Heywood centre as it has a very lage selection of pubs. Apparently it was in the Guiness Book of Records with most pubs per square mile and from one end of the town to the other there must be over 50 pubs to choose from. Good pubs are the Queen Anne, The Freemasons arms and the Duke of Wellington, all with 5 minutes walk of each other. If you want to go clubbing. In Rochdale centre, there is Pazzazz (rubbish, full of kids), Liquid Rock (So, So, full of more kids) but if you want a really good night out try Nemises, which is just off J20 of the M62. Off the Junction and just go straight ahead. Sign posted Sandbrook Park. Be prepared to queue though unless you get there early. Some nights the bouncers have been known to institute a no uglies/ no fatties/ no tracksuits/ etc policy. So wait patiently, you'll probably get in, or ring up and book. There is never much trouble in the pubs as they are usually staffed by ver y capable doormen, who can see trouble before it happens. Oh! A word of warning, dress smartish for Saturday night. Otherwise you'll be outside on your own. Okay enough waffle about Rochdale. It's a average town on the outskirts of Manchester. Nice for a day out if you want something different. :) Rochdale Web Site: http://www.rochdale.gov.uk © copyright 2001, Mike Porter. This review is part of the HOMETOWN challenge where members are asked to write about any aspect of their home town - or a town they'd like/not like to be their home town. You can find all the participants by going to: http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/internet/internet_sites/dooyoo_co_uk_in_general/_r eview/426988/
Hi, I lived in Littleborough which is a little village five minutes outside Rochdale for 15 years before I moved to university and as no-one else has wrote about Rochdale I thought I would, so here goes: Rochdale is pretty much like any town, an average size with the usual facilities- library,town hall,swimming pool,cinema,bowling alley etc. etc. The shops to be honest are pretty below average with most of them being either a mobile phone shop or a pound shop!! There aren't loads of shops neither so I would normally hop on a train to manchester!! But there is a rileys pool hall in the centre so when I get bored I can go and beat people at pool!!! The eateries include the usual aswell: mcdonalds, pizza hut, yates, burneys, whetherspoons, etc. but they are also sprinkled with a few trendy bar that are cool places to boost your street cred but for us students a bit on the pricey side!! But very nice food and you pay for what you get. I work for pizza hut so get 50% off there for me and my friends-which is cool. Now for what I know best- Clubbing in rochdale. There are a few clubs in Rochdale but the best is definately nemesis- it is also the most expensive and if you are not a member can cost about£5-6 on a friday or saturday night. In my opinion thursdays are the best nights they are 70s nights and have the best atmosphere and no trouble. Other good clubs include the nile(but apparantly since I have left has been taken over by slaggy 16 year olds-a bit of a youth club now-apparantly) and liquid rock- very big with cheesey music and average priced drinks!! Stay away from Pazzazz unless u like being felt by pervy old men-if your male please go and rescue some of the nice girls from the palms of pervy old ugly men!! And thats Rochdale folks!!!!!