What Are The Best Places To Live In The North West and North Wales?
The North West and North Wales are quite large areas so how can you best decide where is the best place to live?
Well, with the recent publication of the Sunday Times ‘Best Places to Live in Britain’ 2019 guide, we take a closer look at this year’s winning towns in North West England and North Wales. This year’s winner of the regional category for the North West is Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria.
Filled to the brim with community spirit and boasting excellent views of the stunning Lake District, Kirkby Lonsdale it’s easy to see why John Ruskin considered it to be so lovely. The town is incredibly well-kept and highly sought after by film and television crews. It’s not hard to see why it knocked last year’s winner Altrincham off the top spot to claim the 2019 title.
With North West property price rises continuing to outstrip those of London and the South East, now is an excellent time to invest in the region. The Manchester skyline is littered with cranes as the burgeoning creative and technology industries drive employment and investment into the city. Such city growth is having a positive impact on the region as a whole. Have you thought about the below places as potential best places to live in the North West and North Wales in 2018?
Best Places to Live in the North West & North Wales
Abersoch – With its sandy beaches backed by the mountains of Snowdonia and yachts in the harbour, it is easy to dismiss Abersoch as just a holiday home destination for the well-heeled of Manchester and Cheshire. However, the town is now developing more of a year round appeal with quality restaurants and numerous festivals.
Cartmel– Renowned for its distinctive stone cottages, this beautiful village has a wealth of history. Home to a 12th century priory that boasts glorious stained glass windows, Cartmel is committed to honouring and preserving its heritage. The village is also well-known within the equestrian world for its picturesque racecourse which hosts steeplechase meetings on the spring and summer bank holidays. Within the local area, there are several highly rated primary and secondary schools.
Kirkby Lonsdale – Nestled between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, the quaint village of Kirkby Lonsdale has some of the country’s best scenery right on the doorstep, including the famous Ruskin’s View. There’s a real sense of community spirit to the place. In addition, it has a thriving centre, noted for its abundance of independent stores, including an award-winning butchers, and weekly 800 year old charter market. Away from the pretty cobbled streets (renowned for their cleanliness), there are excellent schools and easy access to the motorway network.
Ancoats– In the ongoing battle to be the best place to live in Manchester, Ancoats is emerging as a clear winner. Giving the likes of Castlefield and Northern Quarter a run for their money, Ancoats is the perfect location for young professionals. Full of bars and restaurants but only a few minutes from the city centre, Ancoats’ industrial past is very much present, with many mills having being converted into trendy apartments. The area offers the perfect marriage of history and modernity.
Levenshulme– Despite having more family-friendly properties than hip Ancoats, Levenshulme is still a hip and cool place to be. The area is now reaping the rewards of years of gentrification with numerous independent shops, cafes and shared community spaces. Transport links into the city centre are excellent for cars and bikes alike. Levenshulme is an area on the up.
Aigburth– With Liverpool about to benefit from a significant injection of investment, Liverpool is a city to keep a close eye on. For families looking to make the most of their budget, Aigburth is an excellent choice. Positioned between the River Mersey and Sefton Park, Aigburth has excellent transport links into the city centre. There’s a wide range of bars and restaurants, as well as a cluster of independent shops at Lark Lane.
West Kirby– Just a half hour train ride from Liverpool city centre, West Kirby is a delightful town full of cafes and tearooms. Fortunately, you can walk off all that cake with a stroll on the beach, reaching the Hilbre Islands at low tide, or with a spot of sailing. With views across to the Welsh Hills and Dee estuary, West Kirby is a real breath of fresh air.
Ramsbottom– Rather than heading south into Cheshire, anyone looking to escape to the country from Manchester might turn their sights north and to Ramsbottom. An old mill town renowned for its gastronomic success, Ramsbottom is very social area with numerous fun festivals running throughout the year, including the World Black Pudding Throwing Championship. Independent businesses seem to thrive in Ramsbottom with barely a chain store in sight.
Altrincham– Last year’s North West regional winner, Altrincham has undergone a radical transformation in recent years thanks to a £6 million regeneration project. Previously, the town’s high street was a seemingly endless row of empty shops but that’s dramatically changed now. The new ‘Alty Market’ has drawn in a younger, cooler crowd, leading to a revitalisation of the town’s nightlife. In November 2018, Altrincham was awarded ‘High Street of the Year’. With trams and trains directly into the centre of Manchester and excellent local schools, this slice of suburbia is ideal for young professionals and families alike.
Bollington– A former mill town, renowned for its variety of local pubs and brews, Bollington is frequently referred to as ‘Happy Valley’. It’s not hard to see why. There’s always something going on, from opera to themed talks. Proximity to the Peak District makes an excellent choice for keen walkers, but less adventurous individuals can always enjoy a stroll by the canal. Close to Macclesfield and with excellent rail connections, it’s the perfect country retreat for commuters.
Knutsford– 2017’s regional winner, Knutsford is known for its affluence and aspirational feel. The model for Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford, Knutsford has a strong country feel whilst still being within a comfortable commuting distance of Manchester. That is in large part thanks to the sprawl of Tatton Park. The two high streets provide good shopping and brilliant nightlife opportunities.
Previously Shortlisted Locations For ‘Best Place To Live In The North West & North Wales’
Chester– Chester is a city bursting with history. The famous Rows boast excellent shopping opportunities as well as restaurants and cocktail bars. There are a number of top state and independent schools in the local area, as well as great rail and road transport links. The prime residential areas can be found to the south of the River Dee.
Hale– Nine miles south of Manchester with a bustling village atmosphere, Hale has brilliant schools (places at the local grammar schools are highly sought after) and excellent transport links. It is still within the Cheshire footballer belt but is known for being more down to earth than Alderley Edge or Wilmslow.
Tarporley – With its bustling high street, excellent schools and rural country feel, Tarporley is a perennial favourite with families looking to combine the best of town and country. Whilst the village caters for a wide range of day to day needs with its independent shops, bars and restaurants, it is also conveniently placed for commuting to Chester (12 miles) and is well-connected to national motorway and rail networks.
Georgian Quarter – Characterised by its gorgeously elegant terraces, this area of the city remains an oasis amongst the glass and steel of a city on the rise. Amongst the residential properties are some of the city’s best restaurants and at either end stand Liverpool’s two imposing cathedrals. Also nearby is the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and the Everyman Theatre.
Crosby– The biggest selling point of Crosby has to be the beach. Just 6 miles outside of Liverpool city centre, you can treat yourself to one of the UK’s best coastal views, only enhanced by Antony Gormley’s famous sculptures. The top properties are to be found along the seafront at Blundellsands and there are several excellent independent schools nearby.
Lytham– Blackpool’s more refined seaside neighbour, Lytham has a thriving shopping centre and notable local arts and music scene. Grand houses line the wide Victorian avenues and there are 4 golf courses, including the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club which has hosted the Open Championship 11 times. It is the perfect place to relive charming childhood memories of time spent beside the sea.
Chorlton-Cum-Hardy– Thought to have more personality than nearby Didsbury, Chorlton-Cum-Hardy is known for its artistic, hipster atmosphere. For example, each year it hosts both a book and art festival. Simply known as Chorlton to locals, the area boasts 3 Metrolink stops for great access into Manchester city centre.
Castlefield– Popular with young professionals, this canalside district has a great selection of apartments, art galleries, bars, restaurants as well as regular food and music festivals. Growing families reluctant to leave the buzz of the city will also find outstanding state schools nearby.
Saddleworth– Often overlooked but only a 20 minute train journey from Manchester, this area of stone villages and converted mills offers a great community spirit, traditional pubs, canal and moorland walks. Furthermore, it generally has lower house prices than some of Manchester’s more well known suburbs.
Llangollen – Located on the banks of the River Dee and one of the most picturesque spots in Wales, Llangollen is not simply a tourist favourite. There is a strong sense of community with events and activities put on year round. Visitors are drawn in by the traditional steam train and spectacular water features, including the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Victoria Promenade.