Ah Manchester. The city best known for its renowned music scene (not just Oasis, believe it or not), the highest concentration of South Asian restaurants outside of the Indian subcontinent, or in other words “The Curry Mile”, and its impressive Christmas markets famous for their not so Christmassy German Sausages… what more could you possibly want?
As if these three things alone aren’t enough to make you sign on the dotted line for that quirky apartment with exposed brickwork overlooking Deansgate Locks that you’ve inevitably come across, we do actually have an entire list of 20 reasons why you should make Manchester your home, not just the place you visit for the day when you fancy a Chicken Korma or a German sausage.
In no particular order here is our list. Fellow Mancunians, we hope you agree.
1. The Northern Quarter – Manchester’s equivalent to Shoreditch, The Northern Quarter is a hipster’s dream. Home to bohemian bars, quirky independent boutiques and record shops, it has become quite the attraction. Although you may think that all of the bars have competed for the most weird and wonderful name, we would actually recommend you try them all. Apotheca, BlackJack Brew Tap, Odd bar and Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn (yes that is all one name) are where we recommend you start.
2. “It always rains in Manchester” is a big fat lie – yep, it’s true. In fact, it didn’t even make the top 10 in the rankings of wettest UK cities. Ok it’s not exactly Costa del Sol, but at least it’s not Cardiff. The Welsh capital hit top spot with an average of 115cm of rainfall a year. Unlucky.
3. It’s the fastest growing British economy outside of London – you’re probably like us and don’t understand the ins and outs, baffled by all the figures, but we do know it’s a good thing, so yay for British economy!
4. Name dropping (even if the term ‘famous’ is used in the loosest sense of the word) – Nick Grimshaw, Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Michelle Keegan, Ian Brown, Martin Lewis, Steven Patrick Morrissey, Jason Orange, Karl Pilkington, Shaun Ryder, John Squire, Danny Welbeck, Danny Webber, Alan Wren… the list is endless.
5. Trams – A cross between a train and a bus they make travel around the city a breeze, even if they do almost run you over a couple of times before you get used to them.
6. The cost of living is super, super cheap - You only have to look up the average price of a property in Manchester and compare it to that in London to realise that they’re all fools.
7. The accent – This one is debateable but personally we’d put it somewhere between welsh and Scouse. We’ll let you work that scale.
8. The Christmas markets – As if the festive period isn’t already the best time of year, Manchester seals that deal with its 5 weeks of German markets, offering everything from Currywurst to hot chocolate it really gets you in the Christmas spirit.
9. The Curry Mile (which isn’t actually a mile) – Contrary to popular belief The Curry Mile is in fact only half a mile, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. In just half a mile there are over 70 takeaways meaning you could order from a different one every week for a year and you still wouldn’t have tried them all. Challenge accepted!
10. Thriving nightlife – Whether you prefer to spend your Friday night at a comedy club, sipping £20 cocktails on a fancy rooftop bar or showing off your moves on the dancefloor, Manchester is the epitome of an English night out. Mancunians know how to party.
11. The Trafford Centre – People come from miles around to shop in Manchester city centre but if you prefer everything under one roof we recommend the Trafford Centre. Not just for shopping it also has restaurants, a sea-life centre, adventure golf, Aerial extreme, a cinema, Legoland discovery centre, Bowling lanes, arcades, laser quest and rock climbing. Now you know if anyone from Manchester ever says they are bored, they are lying.
12. So much culture – Architecture, museums, galleries and theatres… To quote Ian Brown of the Stone Roses “Manchester has everything but a beach”.
13. City or United? – We don’t even support Manchester but we can admit they know how to play football.
14. Manchester airport – Now let’s say that for some reason you decide that you need a little break from Manchester (we did tell you it’s not exactly Costa del Sol so we understand) its Airport charters flights to an impressive 199 different destinations across the world. So, whether your idea of a holiday is backpacking in the Himalayas or lying on a beach whilst someone feeds you grapes, Manchester Airport is right on your doorstep to get you there.
15. China Town – For those of you who can’t afford a holiday or perhaps just don’t like flying, Manchester does offer a pretty good alternative. Step through the archway on Faulkner Street and be transported into a world that looks a lot like China, but with Manchester’s sky. You’ll be so engrossed by all of the Asian shops, restaurants, bakeries and supermarkets that we’d forgive you for thinking you were actually there.
16. It’s not too big but not too small – If you ask us Manchester is the perfect size. Small enough to walk between most places (or catch that bus/train hybrid thing they call a tram) but also big enough to attract so much business that people are spoilt for choice.
17. Coffee shops galore – For anyone who loves trying new independent coffees spots as much as us, Manchester will keep you busy. There are literally so many it’s hard to single out our favourite few, but maybe that will be our next blog post.
18. Manchester Arena – Most of the people from point number 4 have played there are some point or another. No matter what genre or decade of music you listen too, if you live in Manchester there’s a good chance you’ll go there at least once. On the 12th June there’s even a Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience. We’ll see you there.
19. There’s a Hogwarts style library – In a late-Victorian, neo-gothic building, the John Rylands Library (now part of Manchester University) is truly Instagram worthy. It’s well worth a trip even if you’re not the avid reader. I swear I saw Hermione there once.
20. The Universities – Why should you study in Manchester you ask? Read points 1 to 19 again. There’s also the small fact that Manchester University can count 25 Nobel prize winners amongst its past students and staff. No biggie.
If you managed to read through that entire list, we applaud you. It was long. But we really hope it’s helped make up your mind about living in Manchester. We may joke about the trams running you over at first or the fact it’s not exactly the Costa del Sol, but if you’re like us and complain about the English weather all the time, yet still wouldn’t live anywhere else, Manchester is definitely a great place to consider living.