National newspaper The Sunday Times has published its annual list of the best places to live in the UK – and it’s certainly got people talking.

Split into regions, the north west hotspots includes a host of Manchester and Cheshire towns and suburbs – but perhaps not the ones you might expect.

Naturally Ancoats makes the list thanks to its oh-so-hip credentials and its “happy combination of accessible location, stylish accommodation and a formidable reputation for food and drink gives it the edge”.

But South Manchester suburb Levenshulme is also singled out by the guide for its independent market, Victorian and Edwardian properties and “artsy vibe”.  It says of Levy: “Reasonable prices and a sense of fun mean this inner-city suburb is perfect for cool kids who now have kids”.

Ramsbottom also makes the top ten list for the north west thanks to its “clutch of excellent bars, restaurants and cafés (Levanter, Baratxuri, Hungry Duck, Tea Atelier, Grind and Tamp) [that] have helped turn this into the most mouthwatering of the old milltowns.”

Ramsbottom

The guide also adds: “The friendly, ungentrified bar at the Irwell Works Brewery could well be our favourite: here is proof that the town’s growing appeal hasn’t dented its down-to-earth Lancastrian warmth. You can tuck into a local pie while sampling the eight cask ales produced in the Brewery below.”

Altrincham is knocked off the top spot from last year, but remains the second best place to live in the north west according to the guide, which says: “Once struggling Altrincham is now a super suburb thanks to its magical market makeover.”  It singles out Sugo, the Stubborn Mule Brewery and The Con Club as must-visit food and drink destinations too.

Altrincham Market
Altrincham Market

Top spot was claimed by Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria, thanks to its: “unbeatable Lake District location, bags of community spirit and one of the cleanest high streets in the country.”

Also getting a mention in the guide is former mill town Bollington near Macclesfield in Cheshire, which is singled out for its 16 pubs, sandstone houses and shining community spirit.

Knutsford in Cheshire is also praised, for being: “classy and convenient, with a Curzon cinema, this fine old town is posh Cheshire at its most comfortable.”

For the full guide, see TheSundayTimes.

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