Three areas of Greater Manchester made it onto the Sunday Times list of the best places to live in the country in 2015, and with good reason. Manchester is a city with quality culture, entertainment, shopping, and dining opportunities, and it also has good schools and transport links, with many people choosing to use the trams rather than drive. Manchester is a diverse city, with a well-established Jewish community in Prestwich and Asian and Eastern European communities in Crumpsall and Cheetham Hill. Although many looking at the Greater Manchester area will be drawn by the amenities of city life or bound to the city centre by work, there are several villages within commuting distance of the centre, and you won’t be too far from some astonishing nature — the Peak District is never too far away.
Greater Manchester is Britain’s third largest metropolitan county by population, but it is often considered the UK’s second city. With a population growth that is three times the national average, the largest economy outside London, and a wealth of cultural offerings, Manchester is a true rival to the capital.
Though Manchester is no longer the industrial centre it once was, the city’s canals and warehouses serve as reminders of its heritage, whilst new opportunities have taken their place. Numerous large companies are headquartered in Manchester, where office space and homes are more affordable than in London, and the cost of living is generally much lower. Manchester has also bounced back from its history of being destroyed by bombs in the second World War and more recently – showing community spirit and enterprise, and rebuilding.
The significant rebuilding that has occurred here over the decades means that there are many modern homes to choose from, including canal-side luxury flats and ordinary semi-detached homes, but there is still some unique period property in the area, including trendy warehouse conversions. Green space in the city centre is limited, but increases further out – and the surrounding countryside is lovely. There are also many options for good schools, adding to the list of amenities that appeal to families.
Manchester is well-connected to the rest of the UK by road and rail, and to the rest of the world by plane. Within Manchester, there are many public transport options, including trains, trams, and buses.
In 2016, the Global Liveability Survey ranked Manchester as the best UK city to live in, beating out London, and placing 43rd overall in the ranking of 140 worldwide cities.