Beautiful village an hour from Manchester named best place to live in the North West


A beautiful village just an hour’s drive from Manchester has been named the best place to live in the North West. Trawden, based on an ‘unsung corner of Lancashire’, was chosen by judges in the prestigious Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.

The tiny hamlet features stone-built cottages surrounded by rolling hills of the scenic countryside. There is a great community spirit among residents there, who clubbed together to save their local pub, shop and library from closure.

Trawden, within the Pendle district situated at the foot of Boulsworth Hill, was ranked first place and scored highly on schools, transport, broadband, culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.

READ MORE: Two Greater Manchester towns officially named among the best places to live in the UK

The panel, which included Helen Davies and Tim Palmer from The Times among industry and local experts, also considered improving towns, villages or city centres, attractive and well-designed homes. An ideal commuter suburb for those working in Manchester or Leeds, Trawden scored highly for its location and for its “stunning countryside”.

The hard work from locals to stop the area from becoming a ‘ghost town’ impressed the judges, and has inspired other remote villages. It became the first village in Britain to buy its library, post office, shop, community centre, and pub – The Trawden Arms – which has been open for almost 130 years.



The Trawden Arms was saved from closure by the people who live there

Amid difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic, the owners of the pub put it up for sale last March, however failed to find a new landlord. Keen to not let the iconic landmark go, residents rallied around to raise £550,000 to save it.

Since 2018, volunteers have also been running the village library, which includes a post office, community center, and the eco-friendly village store. It has a ‘filling station’, where residents can top up on washing up liquid, laundry detergent, nuts, pulses, spices and herbs, without the use of single-use plastic.



A glance at the eco-friendly filling station in the village’s shop

The Times experts said: “Is this the most community-spirited village in the country? Trawden’s triumph in buying and saving its shop, pub and library – and running them to the highest possible standard – makes this unsung corner of Lancashire an example to the rest of rural Britain and a worthy ‘best in the North West’.

“The countryside is stunning, too, and Manchester and Leeds are both within manageable commuting distance.” According to Halifax, the village has an average house price of £186,000 – which is a 22 per cent growth since 2020.



The Trawden community library

Meanwhile, two towns in Greater Manchester were named in the list of the best places to live in the UK – Prestwich and Altrincham. It is the first ever year that Prestwich has made it onto the list.

Last year, Altrincham was named the best place to live in the North West, described as the market town where “suburbia meets utopia”. The Sunday Times favored Altrincham yet again for its ‘magical’ food hall and market that was transformed from ‘the worst high street in Britain’ into one of the region’s best destinations.

Prestwich, in north Manchester, made its debut thanks to a fast-improving roster of bars and restaurants including Osma, Keg, Cask and Bottle and many more. Overall, Ilkley, in West Yorkshire, was named as the Best Place to Live in the UK.



Trawden looking stunning in the snow

Best places to live in the Northwest

According to The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide, listed below are the top five places to live in the North West. Trawden came in top place, but the others are listed in no particular order:

  1. Trawden, Lancashire
  2. Altrincham, Cheshire
  3. Christleton, Cheshire
  4. Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria
  5. Prestwich, Greater Manchester

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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