View over Bollington from White Nancy
Bollington is on the banks of the River Dean and on the Macclesfield Canal, at the south-western edge of the Peak District. It is locally nicknamed "Happy Valley". Rising above the town is Kerridge Hill that is surmounted by White Nancy, a monument built to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo in the Napoleonic Wars.
The town has a small yet thriving local retail community, with two bakers, three butchers, a delicatessen, and a small convenience store. The town has several restaurants, wine bars, and coffee shops, along with a dozen or so traditional public houses.
Bollington has four primary schools but secondary school pupils have to go outside the town.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Bollington was a major centre for cotton spinning. The Waterhouse Mill, now demolished, off Wellington Road, once spun the finest cotton in the world, and was sought after by lace makers in Nottingham and Brussels.
Clarence Mill still stands and has since been converted into luxury apartments. One of the oldest surviving mills in Bollington is the very small Defiance Mill, built in Queen Street about 1800 and also now restored for residential occupation. There is a large paper-coating mill on the site of Lower Mills. The original mill was built by George Antrobus in 1792 but very little of those buildings remain. A stone-built traditional mill still survives amongst the more recent brick developments. In the 1830s and 1840s this mill was rented to Thomas Oliver and Martin Swindells for the manufacture of fine cotton thread for the lace-making industry.
The Recreation Ground, across the road from the library, provides a football pitch, bowling green and cricket pitch, all of which are in regular use by Bollington Cricket Club, Bollington Athletics Club, and the Bollington Bowling Club. Another cricket pitch located between South West Avenue and Clarke Lane, by the Lord Clyde pub, is home to Kerridge Cricket Club. Bollington has a hockey club, which plays on the King's School astro pitches.
The town has several churches, which include:
- Church of England: St Oswald's Church in Bollington Cross
- Methodist: Bollington Methodist Church (Grade-II listed)
- Roman Catholic: St Gregory
Every five or six years since 1964, the town has played host to the Bollington Festival which runs for two and a half weeks and involves various community activities, from concerts, theatrical, opera, art exhibitions, to local history events, science events and competitions.
In 2005 Canalside Community Radio was launched to provide community news and entertainment for the duration of the festival. Cousins John and Terry Waite opened the Festival. In December 2008 Canalside Community Radio began broadcasting to northeast Cheshire having obtained a full-time licence after five years of trying.
Hiking, cycling and riding through the hills and along the canalside around Bollington are popular activities. Boats can be hired for day-trips and holidays at Grimshaw Lane canal wharf.
The town has many traditional public houses, most of which have not been modernised.
Bollington has a branch of the Women's Institute, which meets regularly.
Retired professional gentlemen may meet at the weekly Probus.
Bollington's youngsters can attend the local Youth Club at Water Street School. The Guiding and Scouting movements are all represented. Bollington United Junior Football Club (JFC) has three clubs for children ranging from under-10s to under-17s. Bollington is home to a squadron (236) of the Royal Air Force's Air Training Corps, which has recently opened a new headquarters on Shrigley Road. The Squadron had close links with 42(R) (formerly 236 OCU) of the Royal Air Force before the latter was disbanded in the government defence review in 2010. The Sea Cadet Corps is for 10–18 year olds. The Bollington and Macclesfield Sea Cadets also have a unit website.
The Macclesfield Canal that passes through the centre of the town is now part of the Cheshire Ring. The stretch from Marple Junction on the Peak Forest Canal to Bosley is without locks and is carried on an embankment through Kerridge. This was the scene of a spectacular breach on 29 February 1912, where the water from Bosley to Bugsworth basin emptied through the town. Today the canal is used for leisure purposes.
- Magazine: Bollington Live! produced three times a year by a team of volunteers, delivered free in Bollington, Pott Shrigley and Whiteley Green. The magazine was started in 1994 by a group of residents
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
- "Happy Valley pubs". www.happy-valley.org.uk. http://www.happy-valley.org.uk/pubs/pubs.htm. Retrieved 11 December 2008.
- "Bollington". http://www.macclesfieldcanal.org.uk/bollington.htm. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "Bollington Cricket Club". www.bollingtoncricketclub.org.uk. http://www.bollingtoncricketclub.org.uk/. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- "Bollington Festival". www.bollingtonfestival.org.uk. http://www.bollingtonfestival.org.uk/. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- "Canalside Community Radio". www.ccr-fm.co.uk. http://www.ccr-fm.co.uk/. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- "Bollington United JFC". www.bollingtonunited.co.uk. http://www.bollingtonunited.co.uk/. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- "Bollington and Macclesfield Sea Cadets". units.ms-sc.org. http://units.ms-sc.org/bollington/Default. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- Kerridge Breach