3 reasons why you should move to Stockport
PUBLISHED: 00:00 18 December 2019
Haven't stepped into Stockport for a while? There's more to this thriving borough than you might realise - with a new clutch of neighbourhoods becoming more desirable by the day.
Stretching from Manchester's boundaries into Cheshire's leafy heartland, the borough of Stockport encapsulates all that is diverse about the county - concrete centres, suburban streets and country lanes all have their place here.
So while it's impossible to afford the borough one identity, the fun comes in discovering its hidden hinterlands. Yes, you have the well-trodden, well-to-do corners that are at the top of most potential move-to lists; lovely little Marple, buzzing Bramhall and Cheadle. But Stockport town centre's much talked about transformation - it has received millions towards its regeneration in recent years - has inevitably had an impact on its surrounding property pockets as well as becoming a draw in itself. The signs of gentrification are everywhere; from its globally-recognised restaurant openings to the likes of the new Mercedes-Benz flagship showroom.
The Produce Hall has been at its heart, a family-friendly feasting hall similar to Altrincham Market and, more recently, Macclesfield's Picturedome. It is perhaps still finding its feet but it's symbolic of what is happening on a wider scale; an influx of young professionals and families hunting out affordable options and exciting prospects. And so neighbourhoods like Davenport and the Heatons (Moor, Chapel and Mersey) are increasing in desirability daily.
Overlooked Stockport in the past? Time to take a second glance.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
If you're after an unpretentious paradise for foodies of varying palates and wallet weights - this is the place. The opening of Where the Light Gets In was a gamechanger. Opened in a restored Victorian coffee warehouse, chef Sam Bradley's tasting-menu-only concept has garnered rave reviews globally.
Marco Pierre White's latest addition to his Steakhouse Bar & Grill collection at the prestigious Bredbury Hall Hotel is earning impressive plaudits, too. But fabulous food isn't restricted to fine dining. One Friday each month Foodie Fridays turns Stockport Old Town into a heady mix of independent food traders (think stonebaked pizza to Asian dumplings) and a festival atmosphere.
Meanwhile the Heatons - Chapel and Moor - contain plenty of visit-worthy independents. We love Heaton Hops for keg and cask ales, wine shop and bar, Cork of the North, and all-day eatery, the Spanish-inspired Pokusevski.
GRIT & GLAMOUR
The regeneration of Stockport's town centre has made way for a wonderful mix old-time, faded glamour - the kind that comes with glorious architecture - and the new wave of development already happening and on the horizon.
Take Staircase House, Stockport's oldest townhouse full of rare Jacobean treasures, and the rather wonderful 1930s art deco Plaza Movie Theatre, still a working cinema and place to see some great shows. Both are well worth a visit.
For music fanatics, Stockport is steeped in musical history, too. The former Strawberry Studios had the likes of Paul McCartney, Joy Division, The Smiths and The Stone Roses laying down tracks within its walls. You can lose yourself for an afternoon too in Reddish Vale Country Park. Once the site of a calico printing works, these 161 hectares are now home to a butterfly park and an abundance of flora and fauna - and the recognisable Stockport Viaduct built in 1875.
BAG A PROPERTY
With lovely suburbs to suit every income and excellent transport links, it's no wonder Stockport has the golden ticket for some buyers.
'There is something for every budget including a diverse mix of period properties - Victorian terraces and grandiose detached homes - to quaint coach houses and cottages,' says Adam Sibiga, branch manager at Gascoigne Halman estate agents. 'Part of the charm and appeal is plenty of good quality shops, trendy boutiques, upmarket cafes, bars, delis, traditional pubs and restaurants. 'The location and excellent road and rail networks are another reason why people are choosing to live here. Manchester is just a stone's throw away and London only about two hours on the train.'
'Reddish, Davenport and Heaton Norris are suburbs which hold a lot of appeal to young professionals. The price bracket is lower than other areas and for those who are looking at getting on the property market it's much more achievable whilst still being near the major cities and countryside,' he continues. So there's something to suit everyone.
WHY I MOVED HERE
I've lived all over the UK and abroad but I moved back to Heaton Moor recently and I can't see myself moving anywhere else. There's plenty of things to do and places to eat and drink.
WHY I'VE STAYED HERE
It's true what they say, it's very hard to leave Heaton Moor. For a small place, it's really lively and having worked all over the town, I've made so many friends, I don't need to move to the city; there's enough happening here.