3 reasons why you should move to Knutsford
PUBLISHED: 00:00 21 April 2020
A mixture of heritage, luxury and prettiness blend seamlessly to form a golden triangle all of its very own.
Knutsford ticks all of the boxes. Arguably one of the prettiest towns in the North West, its narrow pavements – designed that way by a prudish benefactor who didn’t want ladies and gentlemen to walk two abreast – eclectic mix of architecture and blue plaques telling of important people or events (think Elizabeth Gaskell and motoring company founder Henry Royce), Knutsford is a town that packs a punch.
Heritage is important here. The tiny Heritage Centre is always full and they’re gearing up for the birthday of the famous Millennium Tapestry. That doesn’t mean it’s preserved in aspic though. The town is packed with independent shops selling high-end fashion, antique dealers, interior designers, a cinema and a bookshop, not to mention luxury car dealerships.
The newest arrival, Cheshire Quality on King Street, has been opened by John-Paul Jeffs and husband, Sam. Their centre puts the work of 35 local artisans in the spotlight, with the chaps confident the Knutsford buzz makes it the perfect location. It’s also a hugely friendly town; maybe it’s those narrow pavements but it’s difficult to walk down the street and not swap greetings with those you jostle along with.
Knutsford ticks all the boxes: it’s probably why it’s a fixture on those best-places-to-live lists.
When people are asked what they love about Knutsford, a consistent answer is the many great places to dine, with the unusual bonus that many are housed inside beautiful buildings.
Giovanni’s, with great Italian food, is in the Grade II listed Old Post Office – the iconic red telephone boxes outside give a clue. The Courthouse, refurbished to echo its grand legal history, now houses, appropriately enough, Barristers Restaurant, with an elegant English menu.
The stylish Brasserie Blanc, owned by mega-chef Raymond Blanc, once counted highwaymen among its patrons and features heavily in the work of Mrs Gaskell. More-casual dining can be found under the thatched roof of The White Bear, while The Rose and Crown offers both restaurant and inn menus, in a building almost four centuries old. The must-visit Courtyard Café fills its quaint premises with penny farthings that hang from the ceiling and walls.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Just a little over two miles from the centre is Tatton Park, home to the RHS Tatton Flower Show and a host of events year round. The 18th-century mansion sits in 1,000 acres, with plenty to explore. There is the don’t-miss landscaped deer park, a rare breeds farm and Italian and Japanese gardens that have any budding Monty Dons reaching for their gardening gloves. It’s an environment to meet every mood; wander alone, commune with nature or have fun with friends and family.
Coming in at 14 hectares, The Heath is less grand but no less cherished by locals – including a committed Friends group who keep it looking fabulous. A five-minute walk from the centre of town, it’s where locals meet to exchange news, walk dogs or sit on a bench with a coffee and watch the world go by.
Horses used to race here; Royalist and Parliamentarian troops camped here; it’s where the May Queen is crowned and the annual circus comes to town.
BAG A PROPERTY
It’s not difficult to see why people want to move to Knutsford. With its charming mix of heritage homes, modern mansions and charming cottages, there is a home for every kind of buyer – be they young professionals, busy families or those planning their retirement.
‘The market in Knutsford is booming again,’ says Andrew Rogers, manager of estate agents Gascoigne Halman. ‘There had been some uncertainty around Brexit but this year we’re seeing properties fly. Some are attracting bids over the asking price.’
Andrew is also seeing a rise in what he calls ‘accidental purchasers’ – people who love visiting and enjoying all that Knutsford has to offer and, before they know it, they’re buying a house in the town. ‘People like the fact it has a great village feel with lots of ways to get involved with the community and great schools. It has lots of green spaces and it’s pretty convenient for the motorways and airports,’ says Andrew, who points out there are always more people wanting to move into Knutsford than move out – a very particular estate agent’s problem.
WHY I MOVED HERE
Davina Armitage - Owner of Cocaranti Boutique
I’m from Yorkshire but my husband and I visited Knutsford so much, we fell in love with it and moved. The great schools, community and events are fantastic.
There is nowhere better to have a boutique – Knutsford ladies love fashion.
WHY I’VE STAYED HERE
Harrison wild - Owner of Oliver Wild Menswear
I’ve lived here all my life and won’t be moving. Many of my contemporaries feel the same. It’s a real community and visitors add to the vitality. Everyone wants to stop and talk and I can’t resist the fabulous coffee shops.