Where is it? Dobcross
How far's that from Manchester? About a thirty-five to forty-minute drive.
Why go? Dating back to 1765, The Swan Inn sits in the picturesque village square in the heart of Saddleworth's Dobcross. The beautiful stone-built pub was in danger of closing until being taken over in 2020 by local resident Sharon Musgrove who has quickly turned it into one of the best spots for food and drink in the region. Whilst she's spruced the place up, it remains very much a traditional inn and, cleverly, the revamp has concentrated on getting the food and drink offer absolutely spot on.
Chef Jon Lowe creates meals of a quality that's well worth traveling for, with locally sourced produce and regularly changing menus. It offers the best cheese and onion pie and the tastiest sticky toffee pudding for miles around, (the cream is so fresh you can literally walk to the farm it came from), and there are plenty of delicious vegan options too.
Upstairs there's a cosy performance space as well, so look out for comedy, music nights and book readings from local authors.
Time Out tip: Don't leave the dogs at home.
While the centre of Manchester is awash with fantastic things to do, a wealth of wonderful bars and pubs and some of the best restaurants in the land, we know that sometimes you just need to breathe in some fresh air outside of the city. It is, afterall, a gateway to loads of different stunning areas of the country, from the Lake District to North Wales and beyond.
Luckily, if you choose to venture into Manchester's surrounding countryside, you can still indulge in scran that is on par with the top eateries inside the city. There are plenty of gorgeous gastropubs and good old salt of the earth drinking holes that can be reached within an hour or less from Manchester's centre. Whether you're after something fun and fancy or just want a big fat roast dinner to greet you after a woodland walk, here our five of our favourite places for a country pub lunch close to Manchester.