Manchester is a diverse and interesting place to live, covering 115.6 km² of land. The last census revealed that 503,100 people live here, making Manchester one of the most vibrant areas to live in the North West. With each district being different from the last, which locations are the best place to live?

Castlefield

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If you want to live in the Manchester area but would like to choose an area that is more peaceful than the central ones, Castlefield may be the choice for you. Famous for being divided by the world’s oldest industrial canal, you can expect to see a number of old styled warehouses here.

Castlefield is situated on the basin of the Bridgewater Canal, which provides a lot of history for this city. First being built in 1764, it quickly allowed Castlefield to be an influential industrial area, connecting to Rochdale canal in 1805. Because of the industrial history, you will see interesting architecture, including cobbled streets, something that is unique to Manchester.

One of the most appealing things about Castlefield is the wide open spaces, canals, bridges and viaducts. Because of these sights, you can find a wide variety of al fresco dining and drinking. On a sunny day you can relax in one of the new pubs or bars.

Any local will tell you about Albert’s Shed restaurant, which attracts tourists from outside of the Manchester area.

Northern Quarter

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Definitely one of the trendier areas of Manchester, this place has attracted young professionals and students that want to embrace the ambience of Manchester city centre. There are a number of bars and restaurants that are independently owned, offering a charm that other places struggle to replicate.

The Northern Quarter is often referred to as the center of Manchester, leaving you close to two major transport hubs and the biggest shopping centre in Manchester, the Arndale. With vintage record stores, jazz clubs, comedy clubs and unique restaurants, the Northern Quarter is definitely the place to live if you want a good social life.

Because of the Northern Quarter being one of the vibrant areas of Manchester, a lot of modern businesses are choosing to situate their offices here. It’s an inspirational place to work thanks to the uniqueness and history of the area.

Cafe culture is still going strong in this area, with places such as KoffeePot, Takk and North Tea Power being in their prime. If you want a good boost of culture then Affleck’s Palace is still going strong, with each floor still having something unique on it.

If you want to learn more about coffee shops in the Northern Quarter, check out one of our previous huddled posts.

Ancoats

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Being able to go on a short walk to some of the popular locations in Manchester is a great benefit. With Ancoats, you’re never further than a ten minute walk from these hotspots. There are a number of stores in this area, and the world famous Sankeys is still going strong in the area.

If you want to try out the popular area of the Northern Quarter, it’s simply a stone’s throw from Great Ancoats Street. Not so long ago, a lot of money was invested in this area, converting the old mill buildings into impressive apartments, offices and other spaces.

One of the most historic areas of Ancoats is Victoria Square. It’s a block of apartments that supports older people. It’s been there for a long time, and allows the elderly to have the independence that they don’t normally get with other retirement homes.

Millennium Quarter

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Not known to a lot of people, the Millennium Quarter is the area that was regenerated after the 1996 IRA bomb, mainly focusing on the area around Manchester Cathedral. Within this area is the Printworks, the Arndale, the Corn Exchange and much more.

This location is one of the more popular places to live, as you’re only a minute away from great shopping and nightlife venues. Adding to the popularity is how close you are to Victoria and Piccadilly train stations, allowing people to travel outside of the Manchester area if necessary.

One of the main places to visit in this area is Shambles Square where you can find Old Wellington Inn and Sinclair’s Oyster Bar. The history of these two buildings go on throughout Manchester’s history. It first started with The Old Wellington Inn back in 1522, with Sinclair’s Oyster Bar being extended onto the building in the 18th century.

During the Victorian period a lot of buildings were demolished to make way for various road improvements, and others were completely destroyed during the Manchester Blitz. These two buildings are the only surviving Tudor buildings in the whole of Manchester. When the IRA bomb went off, they only suffered minimal damage. They were moved brick by brick to where they’re located now, showing off Manchester’s proud history.

The Village

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Known as one of the UK’s favourite gay quarters, the Village has started to attract people to live in this area. This area has a number of bars, entertainment venues and flats that are situated along Canal Street. It’s one of the few places in Manchester where a number of club venues are near to each other.

If you want to live an area that has its own character, this is definitely the place for you. The Village is part of the older, industrial section of Manchester, showing off a number of old buildings that have been converted with a modern style.

A concern for people that live in this area is parking. True, it can be tricky to find a place to park, but when you live in such a central location there is no need for a car. The main transport hubs of Manchester are all around a 10 minute walk away.

The Manchester experience

Although I’ve only covered five locations within central Manchester, there are much more that could be named. Greater Manchester is home to some of the greatest towns to live in, combining both cityscapes and the countryside. No matter where it is you live within Manchester, you’ll love the experience. The people are friendly, the history is impressive and the locations are amazing.