Moving to Manchester: the complete guide

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Moving to Manchester - the city centre

The city that gave us Oasis, Coronation Street and Emmeline Pankhurst, Manchester is a Northern powerhouse that offers residents affordable housing, strong career opportunities and an abundance of entertainment and cultural offerings. It’s easy to see why many people are considering moving to Manchester.

From great transport links to the rolling countryside, eclectic nightlife and restaurants to satisfy even the most discerning of ‘foodie’, Manchester has it all. The birthplace of the industrial revolution,  the city has an exciting and eclectic vibe, attracting people from all places and walks of life. The result? A vibrant cultural hub with a friendly feel. With many large corporations now also based in the city, Manchester is the ideal place to set down roots. Thinking of relocating? We’ve put together a handy guide covering everything you need to know, including:

  • Popular areas to live
  • Cost of living in Manchester
  • House prices
  • Things to do in Manchester 
  • Travelling around Manchester
  • Employment opportunities
  • Moving to Manchester checklist 

Take a look through our ultimate guide to moving to Manchester now.

Where are the best areas to move to in manchester?

For young professionals and couples:

  1. Didsbury

With its array of stunning Victorian villas and abundance of green spaces (be sure to take a visit to the famous Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens), the suburb of Didsbury is situated just miles from the city centre and is a haven for those striving for a metropolitan way of life with all the benefits of village living. Boasting a huge range of bars, pubs and independent shops and deli’s, it’s a trendy hotspot for those who work and play hard.

  1. Ancoats

Experience the best of the city’s up and coming food, culture and entertainment scenes by moving to Ancoats. Sitting next to the Northern Quarter in the heart of Manchester, Ancoats is city centre living at it’s best, with thriving independent shops and a real sense of community. It was even named one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods by the Times in 2019, perfect for trendsetters and those looking for co-working spaces in revamped cotton mills and riverside living.

  1. Salford

For those looking to enjoy the excitement of city living whilst being a bit more detached from the centre, Salford offers a variety of housing options – from waterfront apartments to rural living and is often classed as one of the UK’s greenest cities. Investment in the area in recent years has seen a huge rise in new homes, retail and leisure facilities, while the development of MediaCityUK (the new home of ITV and the BBC) means that job opportunities are rising, making this up-and-coming area the perfect place to relocate to.

Salford Quays, Manchester

For families:

  1. Sale

A 2020 study by love property looking at the best places to raise a family in the UK ranked Sale in Greater Manchester at number 6. While not technically within the city limits, Sale is just 20 minutes away from the centre by tram and with its community spirit and green spaces mean it’s perfect for those looking for a bit of peace and quiet who don’t want to be too far from the action.

  1. Altrincham
Centre of Altrincham, Greater Manchester

Crowned “the best place to live in the UK” by the Times, Altrincham is a family-friendly town with a thriving outdoor market, plenty of independent shops and cafes and a welcoming, community feel. Also, according to The Sunday Times Parent Power guide, the area is home to the two best schools in the North West – Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and Altrincham Grammar School for Boys.

  1. Prestwich

A leafy suburb just 3 miles north of the city, Prestwich gives off a village vibe, while still being close to the hustle and bustle of manchester. If you’re planning on moving to Manchester and raising a family – nearby Heaton Park will be a hit thanks to their animal centre. 

Prestwich residents can also benefit from the fantastic access to the city centre via the Heaton Park Tramway while the area itself boasts some great pubs, restaurants and independent shops.

The cost of living in Manchester

When it comes to living in the city, the average cost is roughly 30% cheaper than in London, making it an ideal place to put down roots. 

House prices 

Buying a home:

Housing in Manchester is relatively affordable, however, like anywhere, where you decide to live makes a huge difference in the cost of your home. According to Zoopla, by September 2020, the average price of a property in Manchester was £193,681. Rightmove reports that the majority of the houses sold within the city and its outskirts were semi-detached properties with an average cost of £214,269 while the average flat sold for £153,301. 

Prices obviously depend on location and popularity. For example, a 3 bedroom house in Disbury will cost between £200,000 to £350,000 while, in Hindley, a similar detached home will set you back around £150,000.

Terraced houses on Manchester street

How much does it cost to rent?

While Manchester is undoubtedly cheaper than most major cities located in the South, there are, of course, more expensive and cheaper places to live. According to homelet, in August 2020, the average cost of renting in the North West as a whole was £781 per month, while home.co.uk lists that a 3 bedroom property in Manchester as, on average, costing £1,219. 

(image from simplybusiness)

Saving on housing costs

There are plenty of ways to save money when buying or renting a property within Manchester. Like any other metropolitan area, living slightly outside of the city will mean cheaper house and rent prices, although you will have to factor in travelling costs, while for those who are moving alone, there are plenty of house share options and rooms to rent available on sites like Spareroom and Gumtree.

Things to do in Manchester

A city full of history, culture, arts and sport, Manchester delivers a punch when it comes to things to see and do. 

Restaurants

The city is the perfect playground for food lovers and caters to a wide range of tastes, with an array of both haute cuisine and more casual restaurants. Timeout’s Manchester food guide lists the following as their top 5 restaurants in the city:

  1. Where The Light Gets Ina seasonal led tasting restaurant that attracts discerning foodies from around the world, it’s setting in an old coffee warehouse makes this a must for anybody living in the city.
  2. Mana – the first restaurant in the city to achieve a michelin star since 1977, Mana boasts an innovative menu which celebrates British produce and natural resources.
  3. Adam Reid at the French an upmarket restaurant with a local vibe,  The French’s Grade II listed dining room is not to be missed. 
  4. Hispia neighbourhood bistro in Didsbury that serves modern food in a relaxing setting – top marks for their stunning interior.
  5. Erstboasting one of the best wine lists in the city, with a focus on biodynamic and organic processes, Erst’s modern industrial-inspired interiors perfectly offsets their cool yet lively and selection of snacks, small plates and sharing dishes.

Manchester is also home to the famous curry mile which runs along Wilmslow Road in Rusholme and boasts an incredible array of the best Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi restaurants.

Bars and pubs

The average cost of a pint of beer in Manchester is about £4.00, meaning that, while it’s not the cheapest city in the UK, prices are low enough to enjoy a night out without digging too deep. The city is known for its buzzing nightlife, with an array of bars, pubs and clubs to suit every taste.

For cocktails, head to Spinngfields while The Northern Quarter is home to the city’s more independent offerings and those looking for a lively scene in a pretty railway setting should head to Deansgate locks.

Pubs in Manchester city centre

Sports

Deep-rooted in the history of the city is the rivalry between Manchester City and Manchester United and fans can tour both stadiums while a trip to the National Football Museum is a must.

For those with other sporting interests, there are 11 golf courses in Greater Manchester, while the city is also home to National Centres for Cycling, Lacrosse, Squash, Taekwondo and Water Polo.

Old Trafford stadium Manchester

Museums and culture

From family-friendly attractions like the Science and Industry Museum and the Manchester Museum itself to more niche offerings such as the Museum of Transport and Hat Works in Stockport, Manchester is home to a wide variety of museums and exhibitions. 

If you’re an architecture buff, a walk around the city will bring you face to face with some stunning buildings such as the Town Hall, Manchester Cathedral and John Rylands library. This self-guided walking tour is perfect for exploring the city in your own time. 

Experiences

Looking for something a bit different? The city is home to loads of attractions, activities and experiences to keep you busy:

  • A soap fan? Why not take a tour around the Coronation Street set?
  • Looking for some adventure? Check out Challenge 4 Challenge, an indoor activity centre which is perfect for any age

Shopping

The Northern Quarter, Manchester

If you’re moving to Manchester and are looking for a retail fix, the city has an abundance of shops and boutiques. The thriving Northern Quarter contains an eclectic mix of independent shops and cafes, while for those looking for high street brands, market street, the Trafford Centre and Manchester Arndale have you covered.

Travelling around Manchester

A tram travelling around Manchester city centre

When moving to a new area, it’s important to check out how to get around, especially if you don’t have access to a car or will be regularly commuting. Manchester has a range of popular and affordable transport options that will help you navigate both the city and the nearby suburbs. 

With multiple trams and two main train stations, the city also gives you easy access to the stunning Lake District and surrounding areas, along with other major cities such as Liverpool, Leeds and London for a relatively short train ride. 

Similarly, Manchester Airport is situated just outside the centre and can be reached by tram, train or bus – ideal for those who like to travel a bit further afield. 

According to Numbeo, the average cost for a monthly transport pass in Manchester is just £65.22, a bargain when compared to London’s £250 monthly tube ticket. Another reason why so many people are considering moving to Manchester. 

Employment opportunities in Manchester

Known as the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Manchester is now home to a wide range of businesses and corporations – from independent disruptors to global powerhouses and has one of the largest economies in England.

Media, digital and creative: The BBC moved their regional base from London to bases in Manchester, while ITV also has headquarters at Salford’s MediaCityUK. There is also an abundance of creative roles available throughout the city in the form of marketing, arts, design and digital companies.

MediaCityUK in Manchester

Finance and professional services: Manchester is home to the largest regional financial, professional and business services (FPBS) industry outside of London, employing more than 280,000 people, and these industries account for around 20% of the local economy. The city itself is home to world-leading companies such as Natwest, Barclays, Klarna and MoneySuperMarket, while there are more FinTech startups and scaleups in the region than anywhere else in the UK.

Production and manufacturing: From clothing to food, beer to chemicals, brands such as Kellogg’s, Siemens, Unilever and Jaguar Land Rover are all based in the city while Manchester’s thriving infrastructure places it as one of the best places in the country for innovation and business development.

“Manchester is at the heart of the UK’s largest manufacturing and advanced engineering cluster; the Northern Powerhouse.”

Invest in Manchester

Moving to Manchester: Checklist

1. Decide where you’ll move

Depending on your job and budget, first you’ll need to pick a location to live in. Use our information above, or take a look through these guides for more information:

Don’t forget to check out the local healthcare options in your area, such as doctors and dentists, before you decide to move at www.nhs.co.uk.Pack your belongings

2. Pack your belongings

Packing for a move can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Take a look through our handy moving house checklist to tick off those things you may have missed, while you can also find out how to pack fragile items for a house move for the best way to keep your items safe and secure while travelling.

3. Hire a removals firm

Whether you’re moving from close by or are travelling the length of the country, chances are you’ll need a removals company to help when moving to Manchester.  We also work exclusively with Enterprise to offer van hire deals to our customers to help you with your move.

4. Use self storage while you find your ideal place or are renovating your new house

When moving, a lot of people like to rent first to get a better feel of the areas they may want to live in for a longer period of time. If this is the case, there’s no point forking out for a larger place if you’re not planning on staying too long. Similarly, if you have purchased a house or flat that needs a bit of TLC, navigating renovations with a house full of stuff can be a nightmare.

Making full use of self storage is the perfect way to free up some space while moving house and getting settled. Read our top tips for packing a storage unit or organising a unit now to make the most of your space. 

5. Enjoy your new home!

Relocating to a new area can be daunting, but it’s also an exciting time. Navigating somewhere unfamiliar, getting lost and finding your new favourite cafes, bars, restaurants and shops is all part of the fun of moving, so make sure you give yourself some spare time to explore your new home – you might even stumble across a hidden gem.

Why store with us?

If you’re looking for somewhere to store your belongings as you move to Manchester, we’re here to lend a hand. With a range of self storage unit sizes, some extras to help you on your way and a range of unit sizes, store with us today. Here’s why:

  • Two store locations: we have two self storage facilities on offer if you’re moving to Manchester – our Manchester Central store located on Willerby Road, and our Worsely store which is just outside the city centre.
  • Only pay for what you need: our flexible self storage solutions allow you to scale up or down your storage depending on your individual needs. Simply get in touch with your local store and they’ll be able to help you change the size of your unit.
  • Simple sign up and registration: all of our self storage facilities now offer contactless sigin-up and move-ins.
  • Security as standard: we work hard to ensure your belongings are always safe, which is why all of our stores offer extensive security measures, including 24-hour CCTV monitoring, while most of our stores also offer PIN code access to customers for added safety.
  • 24-hour-access to your unit: we know that everyone’s schedule is different, which is why we offer 24-hour access at the majority of our stores 
  • Excellent customer service: our friendly team of storage experts are always on hand to help – simply contact us on 0800 321 3211 or get your online quote now.
  • Helpful extras: from trolleys and lift access to packing materials, shelves and racking and on-site parking, we make it as easy and convenient as possible for you to access your belongings and make the most of your storage space.

Whether you’re decorating your new home, or need somewhere to store your belongings while you get settled, our range of self storage units are ideal no matter your individual needs. Contact our Manchester self storage facility now for more detailed information, or get in touch with our team today to find out more about us and what we can offer.