A recent article in the Manchester Evening News suggested that Uppermill was becoming a “home to hillside hipsters.”
Although the term ‘hipster’ is used mainly by people (who’ve read it on the back of a muesli packet) to refer to anything remotely trendy, there has been something of a renaissance occurring in Uppermill in the last few years, though Camden it is not. I don’t believe there are any plans to open a Cereal bar on the High street anytime soon, but there are a lot of beards knocking about the area, so that might have something to do with the misattribution.
With art galleries, craft and boutique shops, cafes, restaurants, and trendy bars popping up all over the village, there certainly is a buzz about the place. If you haven’t been to Uppermill for a few years, you will definitely notice the difference.
Uppermill is the largest of the thirteen villages that make up Saddleworth and is conveniently located equidistant between Manchester and Huddersfield. Before the industrial revolution, Uppermill and the communities of Saddleworth were primarily occupied in pastoral agriculture and small scale domestic weaving. The 18th Century three-storey weavers cottages built from locally quarried stone with their distinctive mullioned windows can be seen throughout the village. The large water-powered mills built along the River Tame, that superseded the weavers cottages are mainly gone, and those that remain have mainly been converted into accommodation.
The Huddersfield narrow canal, built in the late 18th Century to transport textiles across the Pennines, passes through the village, going under the impressive Victorian viaduct at the northern end before disappearing into the hills at the Standage Tunnel. In the summer you can take a trip down the canal on the Pennine Moonraker, or you can take a stroll along the canal, stopping off for a pot of tea at the Limekiln Cafe, or for an ice-cream at Grandpa Greene’s Ice Cream Parlour in Diggle.
Regardless of the apparent gentrification of the High street, as one of the villages involved in the traditional Whit Friday Band contest and Rush cart celebrations, Uppermill has managed to retain its close links to the traditions of Saddleworth. Once a part of Yorkshire before the boundary was moved (nearly 40 years ago), white rose plaques still adorn many of the buildings in the village, signifying Saddleworth’s close relationship to the county over t’hill. On August 1st (Yorkshire day) a ceremonial reading of the Yorkshire “Declaration of Integrity” is carried out in the village by members of the White Rose society.
There is a thriving eating and drinking scene in Uppermill, with cafes, bars, restaurants and traditional local pubs to suit all tastes. There is also a good number of small craft and boutique shops selling locally produced products.
Despite the presence of a huge recently built Tescos supermarket in the next village, there are still a number of independent shops selling locally sourced fresh food products, including two butchers, a baker, a greengrocer, a wonderful underground wine shop and a delicatessen selling fancier products from further afield.
There is still an independent DIY store (you don’t see many of those these days) housed in the beautiful old co-op building on the High street. There are also all the other amenities you could imagine ever needing including a Post Office, a library and a children’s playground. For some reason that I cannot get to the bottom of, despite the plethora of gas-guzzling 4x4s in the area, there is no petrol station in the whole of Saddleworth.
Uppermill is within easy access to the Saddleworth Moors and Peak District, and there are a multitude of magnificent walks around the area, ranging from a gentle stroll to a challenging uphill slog. The beautiful Dovestone Reservoir is located a few minutes away by car, and the war memorial and Pots and Pans stone are at the top of the hill keep an eye on everything in the valley below.
Greenfield station is a few minutes walk from the centre of Uppermill, and has hourly trains heading to Manchester or Yorkshire. The M62 passes through Saddleworth Moor not far away, and junction 22 is 1,221 feet above sea level, making it the highest motorway in the country, (though get off at junction 21 for Saddleworth).
Saddleworth Museum (open 1pm – 4pm) on the High Street has a collection of displays that explain the history of Uppermill and Saddleworth, they also act as the focal point for tourist information, and they have nice loos at 20p a visit.
Pots & Pans Cottage is a charming L shaped 18th-century weavers cottage located in a small hamlet 10 minutes walk from the centre of Uppermill in Saddleworth. If you are interested in visiting Uppermill and exploring beautiful Saddleworth then click on the book now button below to view the prices and availability and make a booking.