As part of our VIP Concierge Relocation and Resettlement Service, we present our Spotlight on Regions series - a deep dive into the key factors that could help your decision making process when considering which region of the UK to live in.

In this issue, we’ll explore the benefits of living in the North West of England. Stretching from the top of Wales, up through Cheshire, Lancashire & Cumbria - the North West region covers a lot of ground. From urban living in the biggest city in the region - Manchester - to the stunning tourist hotspots in the Lake District National Park, and the up-and-coming industrial towns like Barrow in Furness, the region has lots to offer.

#10 - Cost of Living

The cost of living in the North West of England can vary depending on the specific area, however, it is generally considered to be far more affordable compared to London and the South East of England.

Property rental prices in the region are around the UK average. Renting a house on the outskirts of Manchester and smaller towns across the region costs around £700 per month. In the city centre of Manchester, prices are slightly more expensive at around £1000 per month. Purchasing homes in the region is affordable, with an average price of £229,000 (compared with London’s average price of £700,000 and a UK average of £292,000).

Day-to-day expenses like food and transport are also relatively reasonable, and utilities like water and electricity, phones and broadband are all in line with the UK averages.

Overall, an IMG moving to the North West will be able to afford a good standard of living and have money left over to explore the region and all it has to offer.

#9 - Historical & Cultural Landmarks

The North West of England is steeped in cultural and historical landmarks to visit in your down-time.
The Manchester Museum has collections spanning natural history, archaeology and anthropology. Liverpool boasts its UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Albert Dock, which houses museums like The Beatles Story and Tate Liverpool, alongside the impressive Liverpool Cathedral. Also in Liverpool, The Cavern Club, synonymous with The Beatles' rise to fame, remains a pilgrimage site for music aficionados seeking to experience the city's musical legacy firsthand.

Chester is home to a Roman Amphitheatre and medieval Cathedral and offers a unique medieval shopping experience at The Rows, giving visitors a glimpse into Chester's historical commercial life. Lancaster's imposing Castle and the picturesque Williamson Park are well worth a day trip out. The North West also features internationally renowned sites like Hadrian's Wall, dating back to the Roman empire.

Sports fans have the choice of a plethora of famous venues to visit. For football, Old Trafford - home to Manchester United and the Etihad Stadium - home to Manchester City both run stadium tours and the Anfield Stadium in Liverpool is home to the Liverpool FC Museum. You can also enjoy rugby league and rugby union games across the region, experience motorsports at Oulton Park or visit the home of the famous Grand National horse race, Aintree.

(Above: the famous Old Trafford football stadium, Manchester)

#8 - Fresh Air & Countryside

There’s an abundance of picturesque scenery in this region. From the rugged mountains of the Lake District to the serene beauty of the Peak District and the coastal charm of places like Morecambe Bay, there is something for everyone seeking to explore nature and the great outdoors.

The Lake District, located in Cumbria, is England's largest National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known for its breathtaking scenery of lakes, mountains, and valleys, it offers boundless opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, boating and wildlife watching.

The North West's coastline offers a mix of sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, and estuaries for coastal walks particularly popular around the Morecambe Bay, Formby and Southport and RSPB Leighton Moss in Lancashire offers birdwatching opportunities.

These outdoor attractions provide opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and appreciation of natural beauty, making the region a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

#7 - Family Friendly Attractions

The North West of England offers a variety of family-friendly attractions that cater to diverse interests and age groups - ensuring families are always kept entertained, without having to travel far.

In Manchester, highlights include the Science and Industry Museum and the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. In the scenic Lake District and Cumbria, families can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and boating, explore the World of Beatrix Potter, and take scenic rides on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. Blackpool is renowned for its iconic attractions, including the Blackpool Tower - home to the infamous ballroom featured on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, the Pleasure Beach amusement park for the thrill seekers, Nickelodeon land for the youngsters and the Sandcastle Waterpark for those looking to make a splash!

The region is also home to wildlife attractions including Knowsley Safari Park - where you can see some of the worlds most exotic animals from the comfort of your car, Chester Zoo - known for its conservation efforts and extensive collection of animals, aquariums like Sea Life Blackpool and Manchester and Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire. Stockley Farm Park is a family-friendly farm park where visitors can meet farm animals such as sheep, cows, and pigs and go on tractor rides.

(Above: Knowsley Safari Park, Liverpool)

#6 - Transport Links

The North West of England boasts a robust transport network connecting residents around the region and to other parts of the UK. The rail network is particularly strong, with inter-city services linking major cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, and Chester. Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime Street serve as major rail hubs, providing frequent services to Leeds, London, Birmingham, Scotland, and various regional destinations.

The region is well-served by major motorways such as the M6, M62, and M56, facilitating easy north-south and east-west travel. Public transport within cities is comprehensive, with Manchester’s tram system and extensive bus services across the region.

Air travel is well serviced - Manchester Airport is a key international hub flying to over 200 destinations and Liverpool John Lennon Airport offering numerous European flights.

#5 - Health and Wellness

The North West provides a range of health and wellness attractions that promote physical fitness, relaxation, and holistic wellbeing. Whether you prefer indulging in spa treatments at luxurious retreats, enjoying outdoor activities, or maintaining fitness routines at state-of-the-art gyms, the region offers options to support a healthy lifestyle.

You can be at one with yourself and nature, with yoga, mindfulness and meditation workshops and retreats in the serene natural surroundings of the Lake District, or for more of an exhilarating experience, try open water swimming, canoeing or kayaking in Lake Windermere. Cyclists can use parts of the Trans Pennine Trail – a mostly off-road trail network spanning most of the North of England, to explore the stunning countryside. There are a number of health centres in the region - offering a range of classes such as yoga, pilates, spin, and HIIT - allowing you to stay fit and healthy whatever the weather.

The Wellbeing Farm in Lancashire is a unique venue offering workshops and events focused on health, wellness, and sustainable living. Keswick market offers a variety of health foods and organic products for those looking to make the most of the fresh and healthy local produce.

For those looking for a day of pure relaxation, there are some luxurious spa and wellness retreats including Armathwaite Hall Spa in the Lake District, set in a beautiful historic manor with stunning views of Bassenthwaite Lake, with facilities including a hydrotherapy pool, outdoor hot tub and thermal suite or The Midland Hotel Spa located in the heart of Manchester, offering a serene retreat with a wide range of treatments, a relaxation pool, thermal experiences, and stylish treatment rooms.

#4 - Arts & Entertainment

The region is a cultural powerhouse, renowned for its vibrant arts and entertainment offerings that span museums, galleries, theatres, and music venues.

In Manchester, the Manchester Art Gallery has an extensive collection of fine and contemporary art. The city also has a varied music scene that includes iconic venues like The Bridgewater Hall classical concert venue and of course the AO Arena, host of big music names and stand-up comedian shows.

Liverpool boasts the Tate Liverpool and Walker Art Gallery. The city's thriving music heritage is celebrated through venues like The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

Beyond Manchester and Liverpool, the region offers a diverse range of cultural experiences. The Lowry in Salford showcases theatre and visual arts, the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick is a popular music and drama venue with stunning views, and the annual festivals and cultural events throughout Cumbria and Lancashire highlight local talent and international influences.

#3 - Food & Drink

The food and drink scene in the North West of England is vibrant and diverse, reflecting the region's rich cultural heritage. The major cities like Manchester and Liverpool, and the smaller towns each offer unique dining experiences, ranging from traditional British fare to international cuisines.

The North West is famous for its regional specialties, including Lancashire hotpot (a slow-cooked meat and potato dish), Eccles cakes (sweet pastries filled with currants), and Cumberland sausage (a long, ring-shaped sausage flavoured with a variety of herbs and spices). Proximity to the Lake District and coastal areas ensures a good supply of fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

(Above: a classic Lancashire Hotpot!)

Manchester is a culinary hotspot, known for its eclectic mix of dining options, and also home to the "Curry Mile" in Rusholme, famous for its numerous South Asian restaurants. Additionally, the city hosts various food festivals, such as the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, showcasing local talent and international flavours.

#2 - Cultural Diversity and Inclusivity

The region is renowned for its cultural diversity, which is reflected in its vibrant communities, festivals, arts, and everyday life. Major cities like Manchester and Liverpool, along with smaller towns, showcase this rich multiculturalism through various cultural expressions and social integration.

Manchester is a melting pot of cultures, with a long history of welcoming immigrants from around the world. The city has significant South Asian, African, Caribbean, Chinese, and Middle Eastern communities, with over 33% of the city’s population reporting ethnic minority backgrounds and over 200 languages spoken. The city's cultural events, such as the Manchester International Festival and the Caribbean Carnival, celebrate this diversity through music, dance, and food.

Smaller towns in the North West, such as Preston, Bolton, and Blackburn, also reflect the region's cultural diversity. These towns have growing South Asian communities, with 15% of Preston’s population having South Asian descent and urban areas of Cumbria like Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness having small but significant South Asian communities – all contributing to a rich cultural landscape through festivals, religious celebrations, and community events.

#1 - Quality of Life

Overall, the region offers a high quality of life across its big cities, towns and rural landscapes, blending cultural vibrancy with natural beauty and community spirit. Cities like Manchester and Liverpool are cultural powerhouses and the region's countryside provides opportunities for outdoor activities giving residents a chance to reconnect with nature.

Healthcare and education are also pillars of quality of life in the North West. The region is home to renowned hospitals like Manchester Royal Infirmary and specialised institutions such as the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, ensuring access to high-quality healthcare services. Educational opportunities are abundant with prestigious universities like the University of Manchester and Lancaster University, fostering intellectual growth and research excellence.

Community and lifestyle in the North West are characterised by a strong sense of belonging and diversity. Local communities across towns and villages foster close-knit relationships, enhanced by a range of amenities such as local markets, festivals, places of worship and recreational facilities. Affordable housing options and good transport links further contribute to the region's appeal, making it an attractive place to live, work, and raise a family. Overall, the North West of England offers a balanced and enriching quality of life that combines cultural richness, natural splendour, and strong community bonds.

Does the North West sound like the right place for you to settle in the UK? Our VIP Concierge Relocation and Resettlement Service is free to all Indigo doctors - contact us for further information on how we can assist you:

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