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17 Best Spots for Countryside Living near Manchester

17 Best Spots for Countryside Living near Manchester

Looking to escape the hustle and bustle without straying too far from Manchester’s vibrant energy? Dreaming of a tranquil spot surrounded by rolling hills, charming villages, and welcoming communities? Well, you’re in the right place!

Here are some of the best countryside living spots near Manchester that offer not just a place to live, but a lifestyle to cherish.

Crawshawbooth

Directions

Crawshawbooth, tucked in the Rossendale Valley, is like finding a rare vinyl record in a car boot sale. It’s a treasure! It’s a bit of a secret, being relatively small, but it’s got great transport links. 

You’re looking at a 40-minute drive to Manchester, and the M66 motorway is just a skip away. Public transport fan? No worries, there’s a bus service running to and from Manchester and nearby Burnley.

The housing here is varied, with terraced homes nestled alongside modern semi-detached houses. Prices are kinder too, with the average house selling for about £190,000. Pretty good for a spot so close to the city!

Here’s a juicy bit of trivia: the village was a significant player in the Industrial Revolution, with several cotton mills operating here. Not a lot of cotton-spinning going on these days, but it does give the place a certain nostalgic charm.

Pro tip:

Make sure to check out the local cuisine. The Village Kitchen offers a proper British carvery on Sundays. Leave the Sunday cooking to them, eh?

Edale

Directions

Edale is a small gem of a village, the kind of place where the air seems a little fresher, the grass a bit greener. Nestled in the heart of the Peak District and just over an hour’s drive from Manchester, it’s the best place where you can genuinely escape.

When it comes to homes, the average house price in Edale is around £400,000, with many properties offering spectacular views over the valleys and peaks. Picture cosy stone cottages, hearty fireplaces, and gardens that roll into the hills.

But Edale isn’t just about idyllic country living. It’s also the start of the Pennine Way, making it a hiker’s paradise. Plus, the local community is strong, hosting events like the Edale Country Day and the Edale Bonfire and Fireworks Display.

Edale’s quaint railway station keeps it well connected, with services to Manchester and Sheffield. So, if you fancy country living with city links, Edale might just be your place.

Pro tip:

Swing by the Old Nags Head. It’s a pub that’s as traditional as they come, serving up hearty meals and locally brewed ales.

Marple Bridge

Directions

Just a 30-minute drive from Manchester, the charming village of Marple Bridge is where modern living meets countryside tranquillity. With excellent transport links, including a local train station, commuting to the city is as smooth as a country stream.

In Marple Bridge, the average house price is approximately £350,000. Properties here are diverse, offering everything from quaint terraced houses to spacious detached properties, many boasting stunning views of the Goyt Valley.

However, Marple Bridge isn’t just about picturesque housing. It’s a village that throbs with community spirit, with a bustling high street peppered with independent shops, cosy pubs, and enticing restaurants. 

And for those who crave outdoor pursuits, the nearby Brabyns Park provides an abundance of green space for all to enjoy. If you’re dreaming of a countryside lifestyle with the convenience of city connections, Marple Bridge could be your perfect match.

Pro tip:

Fancy an authentic Italian dining experience? Make a reservation at Libby’s. Their Tiramisu is truly bellissimo!

Lymm

Directions

Lymm is a quintessential English village just a 30-minute drive from Manchester. Its picturesque setting, combined with excellent road links and a direct bus service to Manchester, makes it a perfect spot for country living.

The average house price in Lymm is around £400,000, offering a mix of cosy terraced houses, semi-detached homes, and grand detached properties. 

It’s not hard to see why Lymm has become such a popular spot for those seeking a rural retreat without being cut off from city life.

The village is steeped in history, with Lymm Cross, a Grade I listed structure, at its heart. Plus, there’s Lymm Dam, a beautiful lake that’s perfect for walks, picnics, or simply watching the world go by.

Pro tip:

The Lymm Hotel is a great place to dine and unwind. With its stunning views and fantastic menu, it’s an experience not to be missed!

Rivington

Directions

Just a 40-minute drive from Manchester, Rivington is a picturesque locale steeped in history and laden with natural beauty. Well connected via road, it offers the idyllic rural lifestyle within a stone’s throw of urban conveniences.

The average house price in Rivington is around £300,000, and the village offers a variety of properties, from quaint cottages to substantial detached homes, all enveloped in the charm of this historical village.

But there’s more to Rivington than its appealing housing market. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Rivington is your playground. It’s home to the iconic Rivington Pike, an enticing hilltop area that provides stunning vistas of the surrounding countryside and beyond. 

And the area’s terraced gardens, Rivington Terraced Gardens, are a marvel of Edwardian design that’s ripe for exploration.

The village also hosts events like the Rivington Music Festival, making it a vibrant spot on the local cultural map. And let’s not forget the eateries – the local Tea Rooms are a must-visit for their delicious treats and cosy ambience.

Pro tip:

Feeling peckish after a hike up the Pike? The Rivington Pub is a great pit-stop. They do a mean fish and chips!

Worsley

Directions

Next on our grand tour, we’ve got Worsley. Known for its beautiful canals and leafy walks, it’s only a 20-minute drive to Manchester. 

And the good news doesn’t stop there. Worsley sits near the M60 and M62 motorways, making it perfect for those working in Manchester or travelling further afield. Property-wise, we’re talking an average of £275,000 for a semi-detached house. 

And let me tell you, these homes are pretty darn charming. Many of them overlook the Bridgewater Canal or the picturesque village green. A room with a view, anyone?

But Worsley isn’t just a pretty face. It’s got a fantastic sense of community. 

The local calendar is jam-packed with events from music festivals to Christmas markets. There’s also the famed Worsley Woods, perfect for a sunny day walk.

Pro tip:

Fancy a touch of class with your pint? Head over to the Bridgewater pub. It’s a Grade II listed building, offering a delightful backdrop to your evening drink.

Marsden

Directions

Marsden is a village where the magic of the countryside comes alive. Less than an hour’s drive from Manchester and well-served by local rail links, Marsden combines rural beauty with the benefits of easy commuting.

Affordable housing is a big draw in Marsden. With an average house price around £230,000, you can find properties ranging from charming terraces to grand, detached homes; all with unique character and stunning views of the hills.

There’s a vibrant spirit in this village. As host to events like the Marsden Jazz Festival and Imbolc Fire Festival, Marsden buzzes with cultural energy. 

For nature enthusiasts, the bordering Peak District National Park offers endless hiking, biking, and bird-watching opportunities.

Pro tip:

Feeling peckish? The Riverhead Brewery Tap is a local favourite, serving traditional Yorkshire fare with a modern twist.

Knutsford

Directions

Next, we’re heading to Knutsford. This is a place that manages to pull off being quaint and vibrant at the same time. Brilliant, isn’t it? 

It’s about a 40-minute drive to Manchester and a whisker away from the M6 and M56 motorways, which means you’re connected wherever you need to go.

As for homes, you’re looking at an average price of around £430,000. It’s a pretty penny, sure, but let’s not forget, Knutsford is a pretty place! And it’s not just about the aesthetics; it’s got some great schools, which makes it a fabulous place for families.

Fun fact: Did you know that Knutsford was the inspiration for Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Cranford’? You’re practically living in a novel here! There’s also the Tatton Park nearby, with over 1,000 acres of deer park. 

Pro tip:

The Courtyard Coffee House does a smashing afternoon tea. Their scones? Truly top-notch!

Ramsbottom

Directions

Ramsbottom, or Rammy as the locals affectionately call it, is an appealing blend of industrial heritage and rural charm. Just over a 30-minute drive from Manchester, it’s conveniently located near the M66 for easy commuting.

When it comes to property, the average house price here is about £210,000, offering a range from cosy terraces to grand Victorian houses.

Apart from housing, there’s a bustling high street with independent shops, bakeries, and, my personal favourite, chocolate shops. Not to forget the East Lancashire Railway; a fully operational vintage train line that cuts through the town. 

Ramsbottom also proudly hosts the peculiarly entertaining annual World Black Pudding Throwing Championships. Can’t get more uniquely British than that!

Pro tip:

Make sure to try a slice of the area’s heritage at the Irwell Works Brewery. They’ve been brewing up some local flavours since the 19th century!

Saddleworth

Directions

Over to Saddleworth, a collection of quaint villages nestling in the Pennine hills. It’s a bit of a trek from Manchester, around a 40-minute drive, but when you witness its natural beauty, you’ll see it’s well worth it.

Housing-wise, the average price is £300,000, and that gets you some strikingly beautiful homes, often with views to die for. When you’re not marvelling at your surroundings, you can enjoy the local pubs, eateries, and artisanal shops sprinkled across the villages.

And let’s not forget the Saddleworth Band Contest — an annual explosion of music and joy. With its picturesque setting and strong community spirit, Saddleworth is truly a countryside living gem.

Pro tip:

If you fancy a pint with a view, The Church Inn is your spot. The panorama of the Pennine hills is a sight for sore eyes!

Bollington

Directions

While it retains its cosy, rural atmosphere, Bollington doesn’t skimp on modern amenities, making it a great location for city workers who crave a countryside retreat. On the property front, Bollington’s average house price hovers around £280,000. 

The housing market is diverse, offering everything from characterful terraces to larger, detached family homes. Bollington is far from sleepy, with local attractions such as the Bollington Discovery Centre offering insights into the town’s rich history. 

If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, Bollington sits on the edge of the Peak District National Park, providing ample opportunities for hiking, cycling, and wildlife spotting. 

As for living costs, the average grocery bill in Bollington is comparable to the national average, making day-to-day living relatively affordable. 

And remember, Bollington isn’t all about quiet country life; the town has a vibrant music scene, hosting the annual Bollington Festival that attracts artists from across the region.

Pro tip:

Fancy a brew with your view? Make sure to check out the Vale Inn – it’s one of the few pubs in the UK to brew its own beer!

Poynton

Directions

Poynton, a lively and community-focused town, is less than a 30-minute drive from Manchester. With its own train station offering direct services to the city, commuting from Poynton is a breeze for working professionals.

In Poynton, house prices average around £350,000. The properties here vary from charming semi-detached houses to expansive detached homes, many surrounded by well-manicured gardens.

But Poynton offers more than attractive housing. It’s a town that enjoys a strong sense of community, reflected in its thriving local events like the annual Poynton Show and the Christmas Fest. 

The town centre offers an array of shops, cafes, and restaurants, ensuring you have everything you need right on your doorstep. The verdant Poynton Park, home to the beautiful Poynton Pool, offers ample space for outdoor activities. 

For the more adventurous, there’s the Middlewood Way, a 10-mile trail perfect for cycling, horse riding, or a leisurely stroll. 

As for groceries, the cost is on par with the national average, contributing to an affordable cost of living without sacrificing the perks of a vibrant community.

Pro tip:

For a truly unique dining experience, pop into Tom Yam Thai restaurant. Their green curry gets rave reviews!

Prestbury

Directions

Next, we’re off to Prestbury, one of the most sought-after locations in the North West. It’s a touch further from Manchester, about a 40-minute drive, but the Macclesfield train station is just a short drive away.

When it comes to housing, Prestbury doesn’t do things by halves. The average house price here is around £820,000, and homes often feature larger plots, high-spec interiors, and luxury amenities. 

The village itself is picturesque, with its historic church and traditional timber-framed houses. Prestbury isn’t just about plush living, though. It’s got a thriving community, plenty of green spaces, and a selection of high-end restaurants and boutiques.

Pro tip:

If you’re a golf enthusiast, Prestbury Golf Club is a must-visit. Their course is truly top-tier!

Whaley Bridge

Directions

Next stop, we visit Whaley Bridge, a lively town nestled in the High Peak. It’s about a 40-minute drive to Manchester, with good rail connections via the town’s train station. As for housing, the average house price is about £290,000. 

The properties in Whaley Bridge are varied, ranging from terraced houses to more spacious detached homes, many offering beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. The town is vibrant with a selection of shops, pubs, and local businesses.

In terms of outdoor activities, you’re spoilt for choice with the nearby Peak District National Park and Toddbrook Reservoir, great for a weekend ramble or a picnic.

Pro tip:

Fancy a meal out? The Bridge Bakehouse serves up delicious treats and heart-warming dishes. Don’t miss their Bakewell tart!

Alderley Edge

Directions

Alderley Edge is one of those places that feel as though they’ve been lifted straight out of a storybook. 

Nestled just about a 40-minute drive away from Manchester and equipped with its own train station for a hassle-free commute, this village is nothing short of charm and sophistication.

The real estate market here leans towards the higher end, with an average house price around £650,000. But when you look at the expansive gardens, incredible views, and exquisite architecture, it’s easy to see the allure. 

Even though it’s known for luxury, Alderley Edge maintains a warm and inviting village-like charm. Its high street is a shopping lover’s dream, sprinkled with high-end shops, stylish boutiques, and upscale restaurants.

The village is not all about posh living, though. There’s a hint of enchantment here, with myths and legends woven into the local culture, like the famous Wizard of Alderley Edge. 

Plus, the eponymous Alderley Edge, a breathtaking sandstone escarpment offering panoramic views, is perfect for scenic walks.

Pro tip:

For a gastronomic treat, head to The Alderley Bar & Grill. Their eclectic menu and expertly mixed cocktails will surely make your evening!

Hale

Directions

Let’s head over to Hale, a prosperous village about a 30-minute drive from Manchester. Its well-connected transport links, including a local train station with direct services to the city, make Hale an appealing spot for commuters.

In Hale, the average house price sits at around £700,000, reflecting the area’s desirability. The village boasts a mix of luxurious detached houses, stylish semi-detached homes, and contemporary apartments.

Beyond its attractive real estate, Hale shines with its top-rated educational institutions. Both Hale Prep and Stamford Park Junior School have received outstanding Ofsted ratings, making the village a popular choice for families.

For renters, a one-bedroom flat in Hale costs around £800 per month on average, while a three-bedroom house is around £2,000 per month. The cost of groceries is slightly above the national average, consistent with Hale’s upmarket status.

Hale’s high street offers a range of boutique shops, upmarket restaurants, and cosy cafes. Additionally, the village is home to Halecroft Park, a beautiful green space perfect for relaxing walks and family picnics.

Pro tip:

For a gastronomic treat, book a table at the Hale Wine Bar and Grill. The steaks are cooked to perfection!

Wilmslow

Directions

Next on our trip, we have Wilmslow. Situated just a 30-minute drive from Manchester, this town is the perfect marriage of countryside tranquillity and city convenience. With a direct train line to Manchester, commuting is as smooth as a breeze.

The average house price here is around £460,000, with a rich offering from charming period houses to sleek modern apartments. 

Wilmslow is synonymous with quality living, showcasing a range of chic boutiques, stylish restaurants, and hospitable pubs; there’s always something to do or see here. 

Wilmslow isn’t just a shopping and dining destination; it’s surrounded by the stunning Cheshire countryside, ideal for those leisurely Sunday walks. And for history buffs, there’s the Quarry Bank Mill, a local heritage site telling the tale of Britain’s industrial past.

Pro tip:

If Mediterranean flavours tickle your fancy, make sure to visit Heddy’s. Their mixed grill is a must-try!

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