Marple is a small town in the borough of Stockport, historically in Cheshire but now part of Greater Manchester. Agatha Christie often travelled this way, and named her character "Miss Marple" after her train was delayed here. The main reason to visit is to explore the canal, which ascends from Ashton by a flight of locks and crosses the river on a fine aqueduct.
They also run twice an hour from Piccadilly to 2 Rose Hill Marple (30 min) which is the end of that line. The track bed continues south as the Middlewood Way cycle route.
Marple doesn't have long-distance coaches, or direct buses to central Manchester, use the train.
Stagecoach Bus 383 / 384 loops every 15-30 min from Stockport through Marple and Bredbury then back to Stockport.
High Peak Bus 384 runs every 2 hours between Glossop, Marple and Stepping Hill Hospital.
On A626 Stockport–Glossop road; from M60 Junction 7 follow A6 south (signposted Buxton) then A626 (signposted Marple). Various pay-and-display car parks (30p per 2 hours, £1.50 per day). There is free parking at Co-operative store.
The village is small and walkable. You can follow the riverside all the way up to New Mills.
- 1 Brabyn's Park, Brabyn's Brow (left of main road just below the main railway station). The former estate of Brabyn's Hall, featuring riverside walks, a dog's graveyard and a BMX/mountain bike track. Free.
- 2 Marple Aqueduct (Peak Forest Canal) (turn right out of the station, then from the bridge on the main Station Road walk north along canal towpath (opp. St Martin's Road) for 1 mile). Passing part of the Marple Flight, a flight of 16 locks, a pleasant and undemanding one-mile walk along the Peak Forest Canal towpath leads to the impressive aqueduct (built 1794–1800) over the River Goyt; return via Brabyn's Park/River Goyt by way of variation. Free.
- 3 All Saints Church, 155 Church Lane. Anglican church built in 1880 on a site where the first recorded service was held in 1588. The church has a separate tower, stables and a lynch gate.
- 1 Fishing at Roman Lakes, Lakes Rd, off Arkwright Rd (turn left out of station, right along Arkwright Rd, then left along Paywood Dr/Lakes Rd; c.1 mile). Angling, birdwatching, mountain-biking, canoeing by arrangement. Pleasant riverside walks in area. £5 per rod.
- 2 Middlewood Way, Railway St (adj Rose Hill Marple station, off B6101 Stockport Rd), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 11-mile former railway track converted for walkers, cyclists and horse riders; leads via Higher Poynton (for Lyme Park) and Bollington to Macclesfield. Return possible via Macclesfield Canal towpath. Free.
- The Cheshire Ring is a circuit of six canals through rural Cheshire, the edge of the Peak District, and Greater Manchester. It's 97 miles (156 km) with 92 locks and takes a week to get around, so you can hire a narrowboat at several locations, putter round the circuit, then return the boat at your starting point. It needs to be a narrowboat because many sections, including the Peak Forest Canal from Ashton-under-Lyne up to Marple, are along narrow canals, where boats may not exceed 7 foot beam. Check navigation status with the Canal & River Trust.
The main shopping street is the pedestrianised Market Street, with a good range of independent shops plus a few of the usual chain stores.
- 1 All Things Nice, 48–50 Market St, ☏ . Excellent reasonably priced, home-made hot and cold food, coffee, good friendly service, interesting deli.
- 1 Ring O' Bells, 130 Church Lane (at junction of Church St and Church Lane, on Macclesfield Canal close to its intersection with Peak Forest Canal), ☏ . Traditional Robinson's pub with friendly young staff, snug rooms around the bar and good reasonably priced food. Canalside garden, live music and an active connection with local brass bands. Bed and breakfast available.
- Norfolk Arms, Royal Scot and Windsor Castle are three pubs near the canal bank at Marple Bridge.
- 1 Oakfield Lodge, 38 Arkwright Road SK6 7DB (near Marple Station), ☏ , email@example.com. Simple B&B, clean and friendly. B&B double from £60.
- Another B&B owner in town has had his head turned for the worse by appearing on the TV game show Four in a Bed.
- With your own transport you might do better in Stockport, where budget chain hotels line the M60.
- Stockport has a museum of its days making silk hats, a network of underground shelters and bunkers, and Bramhall Hall. Lyme Park is a few miles south in Cheshire.
- Manchester for big city attractions.
- The Peak District is easily reached by the trains towards Sheffield, which plunge through a long tunnel to re-emerge in Edale. Hiking trails lead off from the small stations along the way.