Bramhall and Hazel Grove West

Friday 16 February 2017

Description based on stagger as undertaken above
Itinery updated April 2018 to reflect changes.

We may well make use of the local bus services to cover this stagger, so purchasing an all bus run-about ticket may be a good idea. WARNING: There is a major change to bus timetables scheduled for 29th January 2017, so please check the bus times for yourself.

This evening's stagger starts at the Three Bears on the far edge of Bullock Smithy just before it merges into Bramhall. Being located on Jacksons Lane makes it a challenging location to access by public transport. The 307 and 308 busses pass the door hourly during the day but the last bus leaves Stockport at 6:15pm! The 374 is another contender as this passes close-by in the evening, but unfortunatly the last bus is again early, at 6:20pm from Stockport or 7:00pm from Hazel Grove Rail Station. Other alternatives are the 25 minute walk from the centre of Hazel Grove or 15 minutes from Bramall Hall (get there on the 378 bus at 6:35, 7:20, 8:30 then hourly). I know it is February, but if it is not raining (snowing!) then either of the latter two should build up a healthy thirst.

Whichever way you get there this Robinson's house, branded as an Almond Family Pub, Handpumps at the Three Bears majors in excellent food, but does not neglect the drinker. The large modern building was extensively refurbished in 2011 and is an excellent place to sit and watch the bucolic goings on in the fields opposite. Ales on offer are 1892, Unicorn, Dizzy Blonde and the seasonal plus a mystery fifth handpump is showing on their website (see right). On a pleasant evening nothing could be nicer than to consume the ale of your choice while taking the air while sat outside. Don't get too comfy however as this is a stagger and we will have to move on.

Following intrepid shortcuts through the hosing estate which surrounds it we find the Shady Oak on Redford Drive. If arriving by car, following the Recycling Point signs will guide you there quickly. Another modern establishment which functions as a community focal point. Furnishings vary from relaxing sofas where a coffee can be consumed through to the stand-up drinking area around the bar. Fear not there are also a dining area, a lounge and a tv and pool room, plus a conservatory which now incorporates a smoking area. Beers on offer are, unusually for this area, from Thwaites and Wells. Unfortunately we can't rest up here as we have a distance to cover to our next establishment.

Initially following the brook (anyone know its name?) which runs behind the Shady Oak Ladybrook Hotel and including a few cuts through we arrive at the Ladybrook Hotel. Built in the inter-war years in mock-Tudor, and re-furbished in May 2015, the Shady Oak would be described as a roadside tavern, where it on a major thoroughfare. As with the Shady Oak this doubles up as a community centre for the surrounding area. Although everything is under a single roof, the bar has been broken up into a number of distinct areas, along with a large vault beyond the bar. Usually three ales are on the bar, but limited to the range allowed (dictated?) by the John Barras organisation. There is also a garden attached outside drinking, but not in February. Departure could be co-ordinated with the timing of the 378 bus (44 past the hour in the evening) otherwise another lengthy walk ensues into the heart of Bramhall.

On entering Bramhall we need to poke our noses into both the Public Market and the Napa to confirm that real ale has not made an appearance in the last few weeks.

Around the corner at 8 Woodford Road Mounting Stone, Bramhall we come to Bramhall's new kid on the block, the Mounting Stone, a sister outlet to the Chiverton Tap. The bar greats you as you walk in, with a small beer garden to the rear. A lower level drinking area makes a feature of the cellar where the racked barrels can be viewed. The decor reflects the original use as a local blacksmith, hence the mounting stone to allow riders to remount their steeds after a visit. Six cask ales are offered, two from Bollington Brewery, the rest usually sourced from other local breweries. A stout or porter is normally available, along with a cider. Three thirds of a pint for the price of one is available so you can sample a few without getting too tipsy. Unfortunately we can't stay all night, so we must be on our way.

Back across the roundabout and just a little along Ack Lane East we find the Bubble Room on our right. A modern café which was resolutely keg from opening until in January 2013 a single cask ale appeared on the bar. Very upmarket it is one of a chain of three, with one of its siblings being in Alderly Edge. The décor consists of leather, wood and even candelabra. The pavement seating area is a noted sun trap during the day, but not I imagine when we pass.

A few yards further along Ack Lane we come to the Victorian, Victorial, Bramhall nee New Victorian, nee Orange Tree, nee . . . You get the picture, it has been renamed many times in its history. Now in the hands of J W Lees, it usually serves three of their beers and a house cider at all times. Its last refurbishment in August 2012 has resulted it a modern colour scheme but with traditionally upholstered furniture and the almost obligatory maps, cartoons, paintings et cetera covering the walls. Food is a major part of the operation with both the Lees corporate menu plus dishes devised by the chef and it is served up until 9pm. Outside drinking is offered in abundance with a garden to the rear, courtyard drinking (and the smokers) to the side and even pavement café style seating squeezed in to the front - take your pick.

Now comes a major choice - where to go next?

Option 1 is to take the 378 bus back towards Stockport Jolly Sailor, Davenport (2 minutes past the hour - last 23:02) all the way into Davenport and visit the Jolly Sailor which stays open until 12 midnight. Being a little out on a limb, the Jolly Sailor is often overlooked but is well worth a visit. New licensees took over in 2013 and have increased the number of real ales available to four, one regular and three guests. A large interior is split into three distinct drinking areas allows the customers, young and old, to find their own comfort zone. To the rear there is an outside drinking area, enclosed buy bushes, a wall and trees, but unless this is a balmy sultry night, inside may be the better bet. If the last Stockport bound 378 was used it is only a short walk to Davenport rail station (last Stockport train at 23:36) and the same distance again to the A6 with its late night busses on a regular service until 3am in both directions.

Option 2 is to visit the Pointing Dog, Pointing Dog situated near the junction of Gillbent Road and Grove Lane, by either walking (25 minutes for the hale and hearty) or catching the 378 bus (hourly - last 22:48). This is defiantly a dining pub, but with all areas used for both eating and drinking there is no crowding drinkers into a corner. Three regular real ales (two from Dunham Massey) and a guest make up the offering, but at Cheadle Hulme prices so if economy is a need this may not be to your liking. The Pointing Dog remains open until 1am on Fridays, but unfortunately a little like Cinderella's coach, the last public transport leaves before the ball ends. A 313 bus (hourly - last 23:41) will take you all the way back to Stockport, otherwise it is a long walk home!

Whichever ending you adopt, in fact the group could split into two (that will make the Opening Times write-up interesting) this should be a pleasant stroll around the suburbs of south Stockport, weather permitting!

Below, clicking on Map will call up a Google travel map with that location automatically set as the destination. Insert your current location (post code?) as the start and choose a travel mode (public, car, cycle or foot) and discover your travel options.

Following THIS LINK will take you to the Transport for Greater Manchester website for current travel information.


Bramhall and Hazel Grove West


Pub Name


Bus & Rail


Start point:

Three Bears
Jackson's Lane
Limited evening service

Mid point:

Shady Oak
Redford Drive
Limited evening service


Ladybrook Hotel
Fir Road
Mercato Italiano
26 Bramhall Lane South
No Real Ale
9-11 Bramhall Lane South
No Real Ale
Bubble Room
2-4 Ack Lane East
Ack Lane East

Finishing at:

Mounting Stone
8 Woodford Road


View Hazel Grove & Bramhall in a larger map


Updated Tuesday 9th January 2017