Trains to Knutsford whistle through the quaint Cheshire countryside before coming to rest in this small town with a big cultural heart. The station itself opened in 1862 and largely functions as a commuter hub, serving Manchester Piccadilly with an hourly service - although there are plans to double this by December 2017. Today, the station is one of the fastest growing in the UK, with passenger numbers increasing by as much as 27% each year.
Knutsford is something of a foodie paradise, with an array of restaurants and bars, butchers and fishmongers lining the historic streets. The Tudor-style houses inspired Elizabeth Gaskell to pen 'Cranford', and the author is laid to rest in the town's churchyard. A short walk from the station, Princess Street and King Street make up the heart of the town, and from here you can enter the charming Tatton Estate, which hosts the annual Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show. A celebrity hotspot, Knutsford is home to singer Gary Barlow, comedian Sarah Millican and footballers Peter Crouch and Steven Gerrard.