Altrincham named one of the best places to live in the UK – for the fifth year running

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Altrincham has been named one of the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live for the fifth year running.

The annual list assesses a wide range of factors including schools, transport, culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.

And Altrincham has once again been judged to be one of the best places in the UK, and one of the six North West places on the list.

A citation accompanying the entry, while inaccurately describing Altrincham as being in Cheshire, reads: “The magical food hall and market that transformed this former Cheshire market town from a dead-zone dormitory with the worst high street in Britain into one of Manchester’s best destinations goes from strength to strength.

“The schools are among the best in the Northwest, the tram offers an easy route to Media City and the city centre and parks and countryside are all within easy reach.”

It adds that the average house price in Altrincham is now £531,000, up 10% since 2020.

The newspaper picks an eclectic mix of local businesses to justify its selection of Altrincham.

It adds: “The market is the star, and on most days of the week there’s no need to look elsewhere for fresh produce. 

“There are good things elsewhere too: Asgard, a new Hong Kong grocer; designer homewares and more at Idaho; Moroccan homewares at So Marrakech, and, at the other end of the scale, train-set paraphernalia at Waltons Models.

“Plenty of national chains too: Waterstones, H&M and Monsoon, and every supermarket you can think of. There’s a Wilko and a Timpson, and loads more.”

The Con Club, Porta, The Little Deli Co and the Oxford Road Cafe also get mentions.

Trawden, the Lancashire village where locals have in recent years rallied round to save its local pub, village store, library, post office and community centre, was named the best place to live in the North West.

Also on the regional list are Christleton in Cheshire, Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria, Prestwich in Greater Manchester and West Kirby on the Wirral.

Ilkley in Yorkshire was named the best place to live in the UK overall.

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor, said: “The Sunday Times Best Places to Live list is necessarily subjective. Leave it just to statistics and you will never capture the spirit of a place.

“For that, you need to visit to take into account that ‘you have to be here’ feeling. Is the pub dog-friendly, for example? Can you live car-free? What are the schools and houses like? Is it multicultural and multigenerational, and can it offer a good way of life to lots of different sorts of people?

“Ten years ago, when we launched the inaugural list, London’s gravitational pull was strong, the WFH revolution had not yet reached our doorstep and high streets were stacked with chains. How times have changed — and how welcome that change is.

“This year we have discovered new best places to live from resurgent city centres in the North, rejuvenated suburbs across the country, hidden villages in the Southwest, and a commutable Scottish island.

“We hope there is something to suit everyone.”

Altrincham has now featured in the list for the last five years. Having been named the very best place to live in the UK in 2020, it picked up the award for the North West region in 2021 and 2018.

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