Located just about five miles southwest of Manchester’s bustling city centre, Sale is home to a thriving community of about 54,000 residents, according to the last census.
This town boasts a storied history that traces its roots back to the medieval era, but what is it like today?
Recently it got a huge nod of approval from The Sunday Times, who suggested it was ‘finally emerging from the shadow of its bigger sister, Altrincham’.
Does that ring true? Before heading down, we weren’t entirely convinced.
They also said: “This Trafford gem is home to top-notch schools, a lively café culture, and such excellent connectivity that you can enjoy a car-free lifestyle.”
Sure, it’s a town in the middle of a makeover, but signs point to it blooming into one of Southern Manchester’s shining stars in a few years.
Of course, it faced a huge setback when Sale Food Hall recently said its goodbyes – a spot that drew foodies from all corners of Greater Manchester.
But hey, don’t let the farewell blues get you down; Sale still packs a punch.
But believe us, there’s still plenty to enjoy and lot’s more to come.
We went down to find out more…
Sale has a long and fascinating history, which has been marked by a series of important events over the centuries.
In 1643, during the English Civil War, the town was the site of the Battle of Sale, in which Royalist troops led by Prince Rupert of the Rhine defeated Parliamentarian forces.
By the 17th century, Sale had a cottage industry producing garthweb, the woven material used for horses’ saddle girths.
The arrival of the Bridgewater Canal in 1765 transformed Sale’s economy by providing a quick route to Manchester for fresh produce, stimulating urbanisation and growth.
In 1849, the railway arrived in Sale, leading to rapid growth as a commuter town, and attracting the middle class. By the end of the 19th century, its population had tripled.
During World War I, Sale Aerodrome was used as a training base for pilots in the Royal Flying Corps.
The site later played a key role in the development of radar technology during World War II.
Today, it remains a somewhat sleepy commuter town, full of interesting independent shops, restaurants and bars.
According to its residents, perhaps the best thing about Sale, is its strong sense of community.
We caught up with some residents to talk about Sale’s community spirit.
Simon, who runs Hops and Boogie, said that he loved how easy it was in Sale to get from one place to another.
“There are four tram stops, so you can get in and out of Manchester easily.”
He also said it was a great place to buy a house, both in value and availability.
“One of my favourite things about Sale is the wide open green spaces. I love walking down the river and the water park – it’s beautiful around the canals too.”
Simon also talked about the recent developments in the area that have made it such an attractive place to live.
“But now with a team of independent businesses supporting each other and collaborative events planned in 2024, the Square can provide a community hub to bring people in M33 together. It’s a brilliant place to be.”
Simons’ top recommendations would be to check out Stanley Square & Northenden Road for places to enjoy a night out. He also loves to go bird watching around the water park, or take the kids to paint something at Bean & Brush – or to get a coffee at Grapefruit.
We spoke with Rina, who owns àmphora café, another hugely popular spot in Sale.
“The community spirit here is Sale is so nice, it’s very much at the heart of everything that happens here” said Rina, from Amphora Cafe.
“It’s a small place, and everyone knows each other – but not only that, we all support each other. Especially local businesses.”
Sale has seen a proliferation of local businesses with independent roots.
“It sounds a bit cliche, but we’re all like a family here.
“If ever I need something, help or advice, I’ll drop in on a local business to ask them first.
“We all stick together.”
Rina said that there’s such a great selection of shops and restaurants in Sale these days, that they rarely have to travel further afield.
“One of my favourite bars in the area is Cork of The North. It’s incredible! So cosy and comforting, you can’t beat it for a nice glass of wine.
“In terms of restaurants too, there’s a fabulous selection. Greens would be my favourite, their food is top notch.
“Stanley Square is the place to be, but it’s well worth venturing outside for some more classy independent spots.”
Councillor Tom Ross, said Sale was buzzing with excitement and it was truly a place coming up in the world.
He said: “We have made a clear commitment to the people of this borough that we will regenerate and transform our town centres and that is exactly what we are doing.”
The council have been moving towards more affordable housing options and the re-development of the Town centre continues apace.
He continued: “Sale is a really exciting place to be at the moment and is buzzing thanks to all the work taking place and new restaurants opening.
“I am, of course, delighted that Trafford Council is playing a major part in the modernisation of Sale and am confident it will keep going from strength to strength.”
Best places to eat and drink
Cosy cheese and wine nights? Check. Craft beers from all corners of the world, washed down with your favourite vinyl records? Check. Traditional.. err.. Greengrocers, you’re not going to believe it! Sale has that too. .
Artisan Coffee, innovative Indian food? Sale has got a really fabulous selection.
Sale is smashing it when it comes to interesting places to eat, drink and have great nights out.
Most of the action is around the re-developed Stanley Square, done by Altered Space – who have effectively turned around a pretty grim 1960s brutalist shopping center.
They’ve successfully re-envisioned it, turning it into a bit of a haven for enthusiasts of fine food and beverages.
It is fast becoming a bit of a foodie hot spot, so let’s walk you through it.
Sale has a wide range of schools, including primary schools, secondary schools, and colleges. The town has a good reputation for education.
In terms of primary schools, some of the most popular options in Sale include Brooklands Primary School, St. Anne’s Catholic Primary School, and Tyntesfield Primary School.
These schools have all received excellent ratings from Ofsted, the government organisation responsible for inspecting schools in England.
For secondary education, Sale Grammar School is widely considered to be one of the best schools in the area.
The school consistently achieves excellent academic results, and it has a strong reputation for providing high-quality education.
Other highly regarded secondary schools in Sale include Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, St. Ambrose College, and Sale High School.
In addition to these mainstream schools, Sale is home to several specialist schools and colleges.
These include Trafford College, which offers a range of further education courses, and the Manchester Health Academy, which specialises in health and social care education.
Overall, Sale has a strong and diverse education sector, with many excellent schools and colleges to choose from.
Families moving to the area can be confident that there are plenty of good options available for their children.
Parks and leisure in Sale
Sale is home to several beautiful public spaces and parks, which offer a variety of amenities and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.
One of the most popular parks in Sale is Worthington Park.
This park features a playground, several sports fields, as well as a range of beautiful flowerbeds and landscaped areas.
Another popular park in Sale is Walton Park, which is situated on the southern edge of the town.
This park features a range of sports facilities, including tennis and basketball courts, as well as a skate park and a children’s play area.
The park also offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Other public spaces in Sale include Sale Water Park, which features a large lake and a range of watersports activities, and the Bridgewater Canal, which offers peaceful walks and picturesque views of the local landscape.
Kayak at the water park, amble by the Mersey, trundle into town on the tram and even sail in Sale.
Just a short walk from the Sale tram stop, Walkden Gardens invites you to embrace nature.
Explore manicured lawns, the enchanting Cherry Walk, and the serene Japanese Garden, among other beautiful green spaces.
Road transport is well-developed in Sale, with the M60 motorway running to the north of the town.
This motorway provides easy access to Manchester city centre and other parts of Greater Manchester, as well as to destinations further afield.
Sale is also served by a number of major roads, including the A56, which runs through the town and provides a direct route to Manchester city centre.
Other nearby roads include the A56(M), which connects with the M60 motorway, and the A6144, which runs east-west through the town.
Public transport options in Sale are also excellent. The town has its own railway station, which is situated on the Manchester to Altrincham line.
This line provides regular services to Manchester city centre, as well as to other destinations in the region, including Manchester Airport.
There are also several bus routes that serve the town, connecting it to other parts of Greater Manchester and beyond.
For those who prefer to cycle, Sale has a good network of cycle paths and on-road cycle lanes, which make it easy to get around the town and to nearby areas.
Key to Sale’s appeal is the range of properties it offers: from relatively affordable apartments (one-bedders from £150,000) to the village-y feel of Ashton upon Mersey and the area’s £1 million-plus period homes, there’s an entry point for everyone.
Sale, Manchester, has a flourishing property market with diverse options for potential homeowners.
Over the last 12 months, the average sold price for properties in Sale stands at an impressive £396,500.
The real estate landscape in Sale offers a variety of property types, each with its unique appeal and price range.
For those seeking luxurious living, detached houses are the most sought-after, commanding an average sold price of £655,337. Semi-detached properties, on the other hand, strike a balance between space and affordability, with an average sold price of £463,535.
For those who value community living and charm, terraced houses offer a sense of togetherness and warmth, with an average sold price of £327,476.
Lastly, flats provide an excellent opportunity for individuals looking for more compact and budget-friendly living arrangements, boasting an average sold price of £180,630.
Whether you seek opulence, family-friendly neighbourhoods, or cosy spaces, Sale offers a diverse range of properties to cater to every taste and budget.
With its thriving real estate market, Sale stands out as a promising destination for homeowners and investors looking to be part of Manchester’s vibrant community.
With its unbeatable location, excellent transport links, top-notch education system, fantastic amenities, and a strong sense of community, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and welcoming town.
So why not make Sale your next home?
You won’t look back in about five year’s time.
Do you live in Sale? Is there something we missed from this list, maybe a hidden gem? Let us know! Please email [email protected]
This is the Place is the name of a poem by Tony Walsh commissioned by Forever Manchester, our beneficiary principle charity supporting community activity across Greater Manchester. And they can’t do it without our help. Donate what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a hugely rewarding experience. There’s a unique sense of satisfaction in knowing that you are making a real difference in the lives of others, especially those close to home.