9 Reasons We Should All Pack Up and Move to Manchester

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It’s the birthplace of computers, railways, football leagues, Factory Records and Vimto, and if you’re looking to relocate to a major UK city then Manchester – barmy, energetic, innovative Manchester – might just be the answer to your prayers. Here are nine indisputable reasons why. 

1. You Can Mangle Your Liver In Style

Mancs love a drink (and then another drink, and then seven more drinks). When it comes to loveable watering holes the choice is bewildering, so your best bet is to pick an area and then bar-hop until you find your perfect spot. If you’re the glossy, groomed type, head to neon-lit Deansgate; if it's misadventure you’re after, try the edgily eccentric Northern Quarter; and if you’re a craft-beering hipster there's deathly-cool Chorlton, just a short tram jaunt out of the centre.     

2. You Can Dine Like A King, Nightly


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Manchester’s dining scene has undergone an astonishing revolution over the past decade, and can now go toe-to-toe with that of any major European city. Whatever your growling stomach yearns for, Manchester has it by the plateful, whether it’s gourmet fried chicken (Yard & Coop), authentic rustic Italian (Salvi’s Cucina), Tokyo-level sushi (Umezushi) or heroically OTT burgers (Almost Famous, pictured). 

3. It’s Gorrrgeous

A vast amount of cash has been spent regenerating Manchester since the turn of the century, and it shows: the centre is a hugely appealing mixture of Manchester's proud industrial past – grand viaducts, winding canals, towering mills – and the stylish glass-and-steel structures of its digital-powered future. If you prefer your sights more on the rural side, you’re surrounded by unspoilt, picture-postcard villages: Disley, Dobcross, Haigh, Broadbottom, Flixton...

4. You’ll Be At The Sartorial Cutting Edge


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Mancs tend to take an uncommon pride in their appearance, which is how the city came to be at the forefront of such style movements as punk, hip-hop, acid house and football casualism. With boutique shops offering everything from skater-wear to lux denim, the Northern Quarter is the place for a wardrobe update – and make sure you hit the oft-imitated Oi Polloi, arguably Britain’s best menswear shop. Brace for out-the-door queues if they’ve just got some particularly hyped stock in. 

5. You Can Dive Face-First Into Culture

Manchester has more than its fair share of museums and galleries – including 2015’s Museum Of The Year, the incredible Whitworth Art Gallery – alongside a thriving network of pointedly unique music venues, including local landmarks Night & Day, The Deaf Institute and Band On The Wall. Meanwhile, theatre/cinema/gallery mega-venues HOME and The Lowry are Manchester’s answers to London’s Southbank Centre.

6. You Can Overdose On Your Vinyl Habit


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Manchester is the ideal place to watch your vinyl addiction spiral horribly out of control. Your first port of call should be the legendary Piccadilly Records, one of the best independent record shops on the planet (seriously), stocking everything from obscure psych-rock reissues to bleeding-edge electronica. For second-hand crate-digging there’s Vinyl Exchange and Chorlton’s King Bee Records; for Northern soul heads, Beatin’ Rhythm; and for dance fans, Eastern Bloc – the epicentre of Manchester’s late-’80s acid house explosion. 

7. It’s Refreshingly Weird (And Staying That Way)

While many British city centres have become blandly indistinguishable, Manchester continues to proudly wave its freak flag high. Eccentric attractions include the psychedelically shambolic “department store” Afflecks; no less than three full-on tiki bars (Liars Club, Hula Bar, Lola Lo); and the hedonistic Indy Man beer festival, held in Grade II-listed former swimming baths.

8. You Can Actually Afford To Buy A Flippin’ House

If you're currently residing daahn saarf and trapped in perma-renting hell – rent’s too high to save for a house, and houses are too expensive even if you could save – then be assured that, in Manchester at least, owning your own home isn’t the lunatic dream of a deluded madman. At the time of writing, the average house price according to Zooplaq is £176,862, although thanks to everyone cottoning on Manchester’s paradise-like qualities, property prices are now rising even more rapidly than London’s – so do get a shift on. And then...  

9. You Can Feel Revoltingly Smug


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Lording it over your fellow man is a terrible thing to do, but let's be honest, it's also massively enjoyable. Once you’ve got yourself a Manchester postcode you can feel sickeningly smug in the knowledge that you reside in officially the best place to live in the UK – being the highest-ranked UK city in the Economist’s Global Liveability Survey for the third year running in 2016. In the words of Manc icon Ian Brown, “The only thing Manchester hasn’t got is a beach”.