Grim up north? Not any more. Manchester is positively buzzing as it finds its feet as a 21st century beacon of UK art and culture. It may not be the ‘Madchester’ of the 90s any more, but that ethos lives on in its vibrant creative communities and entrepreneurial startups.
With stunning modern architecture, a host of bars and restaurants, and impeccable transport links, Manchester has positioned itself as an alternative destination for graduates who quite fancy the London lifestyle, but who baulk at the property prices.
If you’re thinking of making the move to this modern northern metropolis, here are a couple of our favourite areas you should consider.
Location, Location, Location
There really is something for everyone when you choose to rent in Manchester. If you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet in which to raise a young family, then the suburbs offer much in the way of green space and affordable housing options.
Or if you fancy yourself a culture vulture, then the city is the place for you. With countless theatres, music venues, museums, and bars and restaurants, Manchester is up there with the best Europe has to offer when it comes to the arts and nightlife.
Perhaps most attractive is the fact that graduates and young professionals can balance earning a decent wage with being able to afford to live in Manchester, unlike the capital.
The Quays Are Key
Voted one of the top places in the country to live in a recent Sunday Times list, the Salford Quays is urban regeneration at its finest. With the Lowry Theatre and Arts Centre and MediaCityUK, not to mention a number of eye-catching residential low-rise and high-rise buildings, this is a bustling picture of modernity.
Technically part of Greater Manchester, you’re only 30 minutes from Manchester city centre via the Metrolink, making this an ideal location for graduates and young professionals embarking on careers in one of the city’s thriving creative industries.
With many apartments enjoying stunning views of the Quays, this is city living at its finest.
If it’s a move to the ‘burbs you’re after, then head to the south of the city and Didsbury. Sitting on the north bank of the River Mersey, this quiet leafy area is a snapshot of English suburbia, without being too isolated from the city (in fact, it’s a mere 4.5 miles from the city centre).
The Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens offers a nice counterbalance to busy city life with sprawling green space, tennis courts, football pitches, and its fair share of wildlife. There’s also no shortage of pubs and restaurants, including one owned by TV Chef Simon Rimmer serving award-winning vegetarian fare.
There are plenty of transport links, including a new park & ride Metrolink line in East Didsbury primed to whisk you into the city centre in under 30 minutes.
And with 7 primary schools and 2 secondary schools in the area, this is an ideal base for families with young children.
Whether you’re studying or working in Manchester’s city centre, the Salford Quays and Didsbury prove you really can have the best of both worlds.
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