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Monty's

Independent shops and things to do in Salford and North Manchester

The state of independence is alive and well in Salford and Prestwich

By Rob Martin
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In the face of shopping and eating chains, big name brands and dominating companies taking over our high streets, it's good to know that, in amongst the fantastic restaurants, brilliant pubs and bars and annual events that happen in the region, there's still room for smaller, independent businesses and events to thrive. That's right, Chorlton isn't the only place in Greater Manchester where you can shop for organic tofu and head out for a night of real ale. Indepence is doing very well, thank you, in Salford and close by in Prestwich, Bury.  
So from pet shops to grocery stores, festivals to pubs, here are just 12 of many independently minded things to do in and around to Salford.

78 Steps
Rob Martin

78 Steps

Shopping Grocery stores

In 2013, Manchester International Festival and The Biospheric Foundation joined forces for The Biospheric Project, turning a run down factory on a Salford estate into an urban farm. Walk 78 steps from the project to the council block of Newbank Tower and you'll get to the shop, '78 Steps', which sells produce grown at and soruced by the Biospheric team.

The New Oxford

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Breweries

A Salfordian institution, the New Oxford is a convivial boozer with enough cask ales (Dark Star, Pictish, Allgates) and much more to keep die-hard ale nuts happy.

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Pets Own

Shopping Pet shops

Pets Own in Prestwich is an example of an old school pet shop sticking to what it does best - catering for local pet owners with great quality foods and provisions sourced locally where possible, and with an owner who calls your pet by its name as you walk in.

Eagle Inn

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Pubs

Located on a back street just off Trinity Way and down the road from Elbow sanctuary Blueprint Studios, The Eagle Inn is a relic, dating back to 1903, lovingly brought back to life and infused with a youthful exuberance from those that have restored it.

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Monty's Cafebar and Pizzeria

Bars and pubs Café bars

Talk about a little gem. Monty's is a great place, friendly, intimate and unexpcted, sitting as it does on Langworthy Road, because if this was in the Northern Quarter there'd be queues out of the door.

Star Inn
Rob Martin

The Star Inn on the Cliff

5 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Pubs

What was once a home, Paradise Cottage, became an inn as far back as 1856, but it wasn't until October 2009 that The Star Inn became the very first in the country to be taken over and run by its regular customers.

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Village Greens Community Co-op

Shopping Grocery stores

A cooperative grocery store with a strong sense of ethics underpinning its entire operation, offering an alternative to the supermarkets, it aims to provide high quality food and goods which have been carefully sourced to ensure fair trade practices, compassionate rearing and minimum waste.

Garden Needs

Things to do

Like any conventional garden centre, here you can buy your evergreens, your hardy perennials and there's a lovely herb section too. But underlying all of this is a commitment to health and well being which makes this place a cutting above the rest. 

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The Fall

Salford Music Festival

Run by volunteers and featuring hundreds of bands playing over 4 days at various venues across the city, this superb event showcases bands you don't know and a few bands you do, (The Fall, anyone?). It's a not for profit organisation which aims to promote music and Salford. 

See this September's line up at their website.

Cuckoo

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Café bars

Possibly the jewel in the Prestwich crown is Cuckoo, an unpretentious yet smart independent cafe bar that serves well for anything from an afternoon family hangout or Sunday roast to a summer BBQ or laid-back late-night piss-up.

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Islington Mill

Things to do Event spaces

Having recently received a well-deserved £1 million grant from the Arts Council, Islington Mill has nonetheless been ticking along nicely for the past decade or so. A unique hybrid of gallery, club and studio spaces outside of the city centre, or Salford to you and I.

The King's Arms

5 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Pubs

Owned by former Beautiful South and Housemartins lead singer Paul Heaton, this Salford institution has tapped into the gentrification of Chapel Street with a lovable mix of old and new styles.

More things to do in Salford

Salford Lads' Club

Things to do Schools and universities

One of the club's main claims to fame is providing the backdrop for the seminal photograph that appeared as the gatefold image for The Smiths album, 'The Queen Is Dead' but there's more ot it than that.

The Quays

Attractions Public spaces

It started with The Lowry but that amazing venue was soon followed by Imperial War Museum North, the Lowry Outlet Mall, and now MediaCityUK is to be found there too, amongst many other attractions.

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Ordsall Hall

Attractions Historic buildings and sites

Salford is a city full of surprises, and not the least significant of these is the magnificent Ordsall Hall, a Grade I listed Tudor manor house slap bang in the middle of a housing estate. 

Salford Museum & Art Gallery

Art Galleries

Close to Salford University and in the grounds of Peel Park lies Salford Museum & Art Gallery, which opened in 1850 as the very first 'unconditionally free' public library in the UK. 

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