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 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 and music nights.
Time Out tip: Don't leave the dogs at home.
Despite having so many great things to do, a wealth of wonderful bars and pubs plus some of the best restaurants in the land, sometimes Manchester city centre isn't what you fancy and it's rolling hills and fresh air that you're after.
That's when a trip to a country pub for a nice lunch and a pint of ale or a glass of wine, is all that you want.
Within an hour's drive of Manchester city centre there are plenty of stunning gastro pubs, inns and traditional drinking holes where your desire for a taste of the country can be more than satiated.
So if you're in the mood for a Gastro-pub or you're more spit n sawdust in your tastes, here are six of the best.