Sale has been named one of the Sunday Times Best Places to Live – but there’s no place in this year’s guide for Altrincham.
It’s the first time in six years that Altrincham hasn’t been judged one of the best places to live in the region, having also won the overall title as best place to live in the UK in 2020.
This year, neighbouring Sale is included in the North West list, with the judges’ citation reading: “A welcoming and well-connected Greater Manchester location, Sale is emerging from the shadow of Altrincham thanks to its excellent reputation for state schools, Metrolink tram connections, and the creation of a new town-centre hub in Stanley Square with cafes, restaurants and independent shops.”
The inclusion comes just days after Sale Food Hall, one of the jewels of Stanley Square, announced its closure “with a heavy heart” due to rising costs.
The overall winner in the North West was Liverpool, with Manchester, Penrith, Rawtenstall, Stockport and Tarporley also included.
Wadhurst in East Sussex was judged to be the best place to live in the UK 2023.
Helen Davies, the editor of Best Places to Live 2023, said: “When times are tough, where we live matters more than ever. Attractive surroundings, good neighbours and a comfortable home are the best defences when the stresses of modern life seem overwhelming.
“This guide is a celebration of towns, cities and villages that are each a fantastic place to live in 2023 from Orkney to Felixstowe, the Chew Valley to Manchester city centre. Whether you’re downsizing, trading up or getting onto the property ladder, there will be somewhere to suit you.”
Here’s the full list of shortlisted North West locations:
There are lots of reasons to be optimistic about Liverpool — not just Eurovision, but also the booming reputation for science and tech and grand projects such as the new Everton Stadium and new film studios. Good-value houses are the big attraction – this is one great city where you can buy a house without breaking the bank – but you also get a lively city centre and beautiful beaches close at hand. Our top districts in the city this year are both affordable: Waterloo for seaside, sunsets and independent shops, and Toxteth for its cultural and community vibe.
After a couple of years when its street cred was in danger of being washed away by a tide of investment flats, the original northern powerhouse is reasserting its cultural bragging rights. Much has already been written about Ancoats, but its historic mills, warehouses and new-build blocks set the benchmark for hip urban living. There’s talk of at least 1,500 more homes, but in the meantime, a new ‘mobility hub’, with car parking, charging points, car and bike sharing clubs, will keep things moving.
With its handsome red sandstone buildings and windswept scenery, Penrith is a go-to location for lovers of the great outdoors of all ages, and families who like the highly rated selective schools, and WFH-ers who like the excellent road and rail connections. Everyone appreciates the engaging community vibe, which comes to the fore in traditions such as the annual agricultural show and October’s Winter Droving, when 20,000 people descend on the town to watch street performances and a fiery torchlit procession.
An improving town centre that’s home to interesting bars and restaurants and a buzzing weekend street food and bar scene – as well as Mr Fitzpatrick’s, believed to be the last temperance bar in Britain — mean this old shoemaking town is a worthy rival to fashionable Ramsbottom a few miles to the south, especially among first-time buyers and young families who are snapping up the good-value two-up two-down cottages.
Sale, Greater Manchester
A welcoming and well-connected Greater Manchester location, Sale is emerging from the shadow of Altrincham thanks to its excellent reputation for state schools, Metrolink tram connections, and the creation of a new town-centre hub in Stanley Square with cafes, restaurants and independent shops.
Stockport, Greater Manchester
What was once a bog-standard former mill town has reinvented itself as a funky, family-friendly alternative to Manchester’s Northern Quarter. As well as brilliant independent shops, cafes and bars, it has good parks, decent schools, fast train links to Manchester and suburbs with a house for every style and budget.
Tarporley is Cheshire at its most well heeled and welcoming. Families love the excellent schools and the high street is both glamorous and practical, with boutiques and interior shops side by side with a pharmacy and hardware store.