Here at County Homesearch, one region that proves popular time and time again is the glorious wildness of Cumbria and Lancashire. Of course, these counties are today well-connected, bustling places to live – but their outstanding natural beauty and cultural worth remain key to their long-lasting popularity. With many people now working from home on a more regular basis, the traditional “commuter belt” to Manchester and other north-west towns is extending further as places once considered only as weekend or holiday destinations become more viable for permanent family homes.
Our expert regional property finder for Cumbria and Lancashire, Lisa Green, inspired by the 2020 release of the Sunday Times ‘Best Places To Live’ Guide, has compiled her list of the true hotspots to watch in Cumbria and Lancashire. Read on to find out more!
Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria
Winner of last year’s ‘Best Place To Live’ in the North West, this charming little town has stayed as the cream of the crop of this stunning region. Kirkby Lonsdale, situated in Cumbria, but outside the bustle of the Lake District National Park, has climbed over recent decades to become one of the region’s most-loved towns. Its charm perhaps has equally to do with its outstandingly beautiful landscape, its solid culture and its heartwarming community feel. With spotless streets, beautifully-landscaped village greens and local groups operating for sports, hobbies and children’s activities, the benefits of village unity have never been more apparent.
A prizewinning butchers’ and a family-run ice cream shop are amongst Kirkby Lonsdale’s inviting eateries, which also include the Royal Barn, the Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery’s tap room, the Snooty Fox, the Sun Inn and the Orange Tree.
With artisan coffee roasteries, local breweries, art galleries, independent shops and a local market, there isn’t much you’ll be missing in this gorgeous little town. Commutable by car to Preston in under an hour or Manchester in 1.5 hours, and only 20 minutes from Oxenholme with its West Coast rail service to Scotland and London, residents of Kirkby Lonsdale enjoy the best of both worlds with access to countryside living and bustling cities within easy reach.
The beautiful seaside town of Lytham sits under blue sky and by stretches of beach, and though just moments from Blackpool, a truly different world awaits. This absolutely picturesque coastal spot marries the classic British beachfront with the bustle and hum which usually accompanies larger places.
Lytham’s history and culture have helped to round out this special place; with the Lytham Festival just one of the many jewels in its crown. Whether you’re visiting the Georgian Lytham Hall, enjoying the historical fun of Lytham 1940s ‘Wartime Weekend’ or marvelling at the colours and shapes of St. Annes Kite Festival, there’s never a dull moment in this stunning part of Lancashire. The town itself has year-round attractions; St. Anne’s beach, Fairhaven Lake and Ashton Gardens are just some of the features which keep residents entertained in the rare weeks that an event isn’t happening! With independent shops and familiar names on the high street, sampling local produce, delicacies and locally-brewed drinks couldn’t be easier.
Just twenty minutes’ drive from Blackpool, and half an hour’s drive to Preston and its national railway station, Lytham is a top choice for those looking for coastal living in the North.
Keswick, The Lake District
The town of Keswick, in Cumbria, has shot to the top of the public’s collective consciousness in recent years. Keswick’s truly spectacular tourism booms in recent years are matched only by the rate at which it has grown; developing a rural idyll into a charming and bustling town in the heart of the Lakes. Just 4 miles away, Threlkeld – also a Sunday Times Best Places finalist for 2020 – is a popular and thriving village with a church, school, two pubs, a golf course and a cricket club.
Those looking for peace and quiet need not fear, though – the tranquil and truly breathtaking scenery remains unspoilt all around this area. As well as almost endless outdoor activities available to those who make Keswick their home, the town also offers a variety of activities with the renowned Theatre by the Lake, Alhambra cinema, museums, Keswick leisure pool and a bustling town centre, ensuring there is plenty to do all year round here.
With all the local amenities residents could possibly need, including banks, post offices, independent and high street shops as well as artisanal cafes, bakeries and butchers’ available, you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips.
Far from being remote, Keswick is less than half an hour from Junction 40 of the M6. Just a little further to Penrith station on the West Coast Main Line offers trains to Manchester taking around 1.5 hours and London in around 3.5 hours – so your rural idyll need only be disrupted by necessary trips when you want it to be!
Ribble Valley, Lancashire
The lush district of the Ribble Valley is home to some of the most soul-soothing countryside the country has to offer. The fact that much of this region is a dedicated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty will raise no eyebrows to any in the know – from the River Ribble to the Bowland Fells, it’s hard to quibble with the accolade.
That’s not to say that’s all the Ribble Valley has to offer, however – the district is peppered with Roman and Norman architecture and artefacts, picturesque market towns to enjoy like Clitheroe and Longridge, as well as the valley’s cultural hubs, which are fast becoming known as a centre of gastronomic delight for the culinary cohort!
Gastronomers will enjoy visits to The Red Pump Inn, The Derby Arms, and Artisan Ribble Valley – just a few of the region’s best-loved and most exciting entrants into the food scene.
Meanwhile, walking off a hearty meal couldn’t be easier – walking paths around Whalley, Longridge, The Forest of Bowland and Pendle Hill abound for keen hikers.
This beautiful collection of towns and villages is under an hour away from Blackburn, Preston, and Lancaster – making it a well-connected centre of Northern beauty.
With plenty more beautiful regions in Cumbria and Lancashire, including Silverdale, Arnside and many more – why not get in touch with our local property finder, Lisa Green, for more details? With unparalleled expertise and knowledge of this gorgeous region, there’s truly no better way to find your new address – with minimum stress!