No I haven't got my geography wrong. I'm writing about Cheadle, Staffs not one of the other Cheadles in Manchester. Best known as "that place near Alton Towers", many of you will have driven through Cheadle to get to the famous theme park without even knowing you were here. It's 6 miles from Towers, as it's locally called, 11 miles from Stoke On Trent, about 15 miles from Stafford, 12 miles or so from Ashbourne and has a motorway on either side (M1 and M6, both about 30 mins away). Cheadle sits in a little valley at the south western end of the Peak District and is the most beautiful place on Earth, in my opinion. Views from all of my windows look out on green, green hills. I moved here with my family when I was 18 from Kent and cried for the first two weeks. I thought I'd gone to the end of the Earth and that nothing would ever happen to me here, that life had ended because I was no longer near the metropolis. How wrong I was! I went away to Uni almost immediately but couldn't wait every weekend practically to get back to the peace and quite of this little and ancient (over 1000 years old) market town. The people are so friendly here, despite the fact that they couldn't decide if I was a cockney or australian (I'm neither) and that it took me a while to get used to the local accent. Now that I've got kids of my own, we decided to move back to Cheadle. Reasons: it's small, but not too small. It's close to Birmingham, Stoke on Trent, Manchester, the big motorways, Sheffield, Leeds ... all these places are an hour away max. It's got all the amenities within walking distance - supermarkets, pubs (apparently the highest number per capita in the UK - wahey!), communal activities, places I can go with the kids, schools that aren't so monstrous that noone knows anyone, decent parking (every day except Friday), loads of cute little shops, real butchers and ba
kers shops, a park that has no graffiti and actually has caretakers present all the time and play equipment that has never been vandalised as far as I know. I don't step in dog poo every time I walk anywere. I can leave my windows open at night and not hear traffic streaming by constantly. I don't worry *too* much about break ins or violence, mainly because offenders would have to find the place first. We can go for proper country walks by stepping outside our front door - we don't have to drive somewhere first. Of course, the Peak District is all around us so you can drive for 15 minutes and go walking on some of the largest hills in England with the most breathtaking natural scenery. Derbyshire is ten minutes away - visit Buxton, Ashbourne and Bakewell. The locals are friendly, if not blinkered to the rest of the world. They seem all seem to be related to each other, and one old dear has only ever left Cheadle three times in her life - the farthest was Stoke On Trent - and she's in her 90s! Some of the older residents think that Cheadle's dirty and violent and has a drugs problem. I have to say that this makes me laugh whenever I hear it. It's NOT violent, unless you compare it with the womb. The drugs problem is NOTHING compared with bigger cities - but then, locals here don't have that knowledge to compare to. It's cleaner than anywhere I've been, barring Germany. There are bins everywhere and even gum boards on the street lamps. The binmen actually come into your garden and take away your rubbish if you forget to put it out!! I was gobsmacked! They take away all kinds of stuff too - none of this wheelie-bin-and-nothing-else rubbish. We've got kerb side recycling and a Farmer's Union in the High Street (and it's a proper high street, not a has been that's been obliterated by progress. It's the perfect little town with a proper market and lovely inhabitants. It's just right fo
r families with young children. Teenagers ... they can't stand it here, they think it's boring which I understand as I used to as well (until they get a car and go clubbing in Stoke and Stafford every weekend). Down side ... erm ... it rains more here than anywhere else in England, my cat keeps getting cow ticks and you can't get NTL to take advantage of their free internet package now. But I think that's it.