Rochdale Area Guide

The borough of Rochdale is split into four towns: Rochdale, Heywood, Middleton and Littleborough. Rochdale is a large town in Greater Manchester, at the foothills of the South Pennines and only nine miles away from Manchester city centre. It’s a place where urban and rural living combines, with a wide range of housing and rich industrial heritage neighboured by rolling hills and countryside.


Things To Do

Make a day of it at Hollingworth Lake, part of a 118-acre country park at the foot of the Pennines set against the dramatic backdrop of Blackstone Edge. A popular location for tourists and locals alike, it’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike. There’s also an activity centre for sailing, kayaking and canoeing, rowing and windsurfing.

Healey Dell is a beauty spot and wildlife sanctuary rich in industrial archaeology. After a walk, treat yourself to a drink in the Victorian-themed tea rooms, serving English cream teas served in vintage bone china.

Touchstones is the town museum, which boasts five galleries with regular exhibitions, family-friendly collections telling the story of Rochdale and its people, a café and a gift shop.

The Rochdale Riverside development boasts a cinema, indoor mini golf, cafes and great high street fashion shops.

Things You Didn't Know About Rochdale

Rochdale is the hometown of celebrities including actress Anna Friel and musician Lisa Stansfield, and the place where the co-operative movement was founded.


Rochdale is home to a number of schools with an outstanding reputation or Ofsted rating, including Hollingworth High and Hopwood Hall College and a wide choice of great primary schools in the area, including St Michael’s, Caldershaw, Kentmere Academy, Smithy Bridge and Whittaker Moss.

Beech House Academy is the local private school, while Teddybear Nursery is renowned for its excellent early years childcare provision.


Rochdale is ideally positioned for easy access to nearby cities and towns including Manchester, Rossendale, Calderdale and Leeds. The M62 is the major road link, while regular trains can get you to Manchester in just 14 minutes, and to Leeds in just over an hour.


Much like its neighbouring towns, Rochdale came to life during the industrial revolution, making and supplying textiles and cotton all over the world. It was the centre of northern England's woollen trade.

Rochdale Town Hall dates from 1871 and is one of the UK’s finest examples of Victorian gothic revival architecture.

Eating & Drinking

The food and drink scene in Rochdale is rich with award-winning restaurants, well-established bars and cafes, and welcoming traditional pubs. The borough is home to celebrity chef Andrew Nutter – and his gastropub The Bird at Birtle is amongst the best in the region.

Seek out The Pavillion for incredible Indian cuisine, or Bombay Brew for contemporary Indian street food and craft beer. Book a cozy table at The Baum for award-winning pub grub, head to the Medicine Tap for a pint in a former post office, or Vicolo Del Vino for an underground wine bar experience. The recently revamped Baillie Street Quarter is also home to a number of great independents, including the Tree House Bar.


The characterful streets of Rochdale town centre offer a mix of high street stalwarts including Marks & Spencer and Next, alongside a range of independent shops, highly rated restaurants and coffee shops ideal for a pit stop as you explore the centre. Rochdale Riverside is a retail and leisure destination in the heart of the town with a cinema, restaurants and great high street fashion brands, while Rochdale town centre’s haven of independent shops come together in the Baillie Street Quarter, a vibrant, historic street with several Grade-II listed buildings.