East is East Manchester: Ashton Market and Stamford Park, Stalybridge

We love having a trawl round for a bargain, whether it’s charity shops, flea markets or antique shops. When I realised that Ashton Market hosted a flea market every Tuesday, we were straight onto it.

The market place in Ashton is huge, with brightly striped canopies. Admittedly the fantastic weather we enjoyed would cast anything in a good light, but it was a really pleasant place for a mooch. There’s a farmers and producers market here on the last sunday of every month, so I’ll definitely be back to check that out.

I had to rein myself in when passing all the second hand book stalls. We stopped off for a jacket potato though – any self respecting market place should have a proper jacket spud vendor. We took our spuds back to the car ready for a hot picnic in nearby Stamford Park.

Stamford Park is in the middle of a shedload of improvement work at the moment, and parts of it are a building site. I’ve not photographed those as it’s a bit unfair. When this work is completed, and the park is restored to its Victorian glory, it will be stunning. Happily, the conservatory is still open, and the first lot of work to be completed was the childrens play areas, so we were happy.

There’s a great adventure play area for older kids, and a smaller are set in a sand for younger ones. We loved the red plastic roundabout – it spins really easily, much less effort to push than most roundabouts.

The views from the park are lovely, as it’s set on a steep hill. It’s always nice to have some nice scenery when you’re pushing a swing!



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