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Greater Manchester ‘utopia’ named one of the best UK towns to live in

A well-deserved win



Anthony O'Neil / Geograph

The Sunday Times has named the best place to live in the UK, as well as the best area in each region, and a Greater Manchester town made the cut.

While Manchester made the shortlist – especially the area near Piccadilly station which was commended for its redevelopment – it didn’t take the top spot.

Altrincham was crowned the Best Place to Live in the North West of England, chosen from a shortlist of eight different locations across the region.

According to the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide, Altrincham is where ‘suburbia meets utopia’.

Judges praised the market town’s schools, and The Sunday Times Parent Power guide named the girls’ grammar ‘the North West state secondary school of the decade’, while the boys’ grammar came in second.

Anthony O’Neil / Geograph

The area’s green spaces were ranked highly, including Dunham Massey, Stamford Park and the River Bollin.

Judges were very impressed with the market and food hall, which are seen by many as being responsible for the regeneration of the town’s centre, and the tram route into central Manchester was also taken into consideration.

While Altrincham was actually honoured as the overall winner of The Sunday Times Best Place to Live in Britain guide last year, Stroud in Gloucestershire took the crown for 2021.

Seven other locations were chosen from across the region for the North West shortlist, including Manchester, Saddleworth, Knutsford, Bollington, Liverpool, Kirkby Lonsdale, Arnside and Silverdale.

Rept0n1x / Wikimedia

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times property editor, said: “Our focus for this year has been community, countryside and convenience.

“It hasn’t been a year for big cities or small villages. Instead, it is small towns that have shone: big enough to have everything you need within walking distance and small enough for everyone to feel connected.

“Altrincham was chosen as our regional winner this year as it has everything you want in a suburb: parks, excellent transport links and top-class schools.”

She added: “The inspirational market and food hall that transformed the town centre from the worst in Britain to a favourite destination have continued to show their value, even during the pandemic.”


Get paid £24K to watch Netflix and nap in bed all day as part of dream job

We all know someone who’d be perfect for this…



Job role requires someone to nap and watch Netflix
David Balev / Unsplash & Andisheh A / Unsplash

A company is on the lookout for a professional Netflix binger and napper to apply for their new vacancy, which offers a handsome salary of £24K per annum.

In what could be the dream job for most of us, bespoke luxury bed company Crafted Beds are now taking applications for an official Mattress Tester to join the team.

The job role has been designed to ensure that customers are getting the absolute best quality mattresses for ultimate comfort, so will pay the successful applicant to try out a range of mattresses by, well, sleeping and napping on them. 

@entersge / Unsplash

The job is contracted to 37.5 hours per week and is completely remote, meaning the successful applicant will be able to do their work from the comfort of their own home (or bed).

The job’s official description reads: “You’ll be working core hours, 37.5 hours a week, watching Netflix and napping on a Crafted Beds mattress to assess its comfortability score. You’ll extensively review the mattress and let us know whether you believe the quality is high enough to distribute to our customers.”

Brian Dillon, Marketing Manager at Crafted Beds, said: “We’re extremely excited to launch this role as customer satisfaction means the utmost to us.

Andisheh A / Unsplash

“Whilst we have glowing reviews from our existing shoppers, we want to ensure that this continues, and hiring a mattress tester is a part of this strategy. This role will be an integral part of the Crafted Beds team.”

Applicants must be aged eighteen or older, UK based, able to test the mattress alone without disruption, and have strong written communication skills to fill out the review form. 

Is this the dream job for you? If so, you can apply here.

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Radio station playing non-stop Christmas music has launched in the UK

‘Tis the season for non-stop Christmas music…



Wham! & Vevo / YouTube

Scrooges, avert your eyes and your ears now: An annual radio station playing nothing but Christmas music has launched just in time for the festive season.

Heart Radio has brought back its annual Heart Xmas radio channel ten days earlier than it did in 2020 to lengthen the festive celebrations – because we all deserve an extra couple of days of Christmas music after the eighteen months we’ve had, don’t we?

Right up until December 27th, Heart Xmas will be dishing out all those nostalgic festive bangers such as Elton John’s ‘Step into Christmas’, Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’, and, of course, Mariah Carey’s classic ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’. 

Vevo YouTube

The radio station will also be belting out some modern bangers, such as Ariana Grande’s ‘Santa Tell Me’ and Justin Bieber’s ‘Mistletoe’ – though I’m just here to cry along to Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’ with a big bowl of pigs in blankets, personally. 

If you fancy listening to nothing but Christmas classics for the rest of the year, you can tune in to Heart Xmas via Global Player and DAB radio, or you can head straight to the Heart Radio website to listen from your web browser.

Though Heart Xmas isn’t the only Christmassy treat in store for us this year; last month, we reported that a TV channel dedicated entirely to Christmas films had launched in the UK.


GREAT! Movies Christmas boasts a very Christmasy line-up with their constant showing of all the Christmas classics, such as Home Alone and Elf. The channel also shows exclusive premieres such as A Christmas MelodyJust In Time For ChristmasCall Me Claus, and Crazy For Christmas.

And for those of you judging people who enjoy getting into the Christmas spirit early, a psychologist recently revealed that watching festive films and listening to the music can actually do wonders for mental health.

They said: “It does create that neurological shift that can produce happiness. I think anything that takes us out of our normal habituation, the normal day in, day out, signals our senses, and then our senses measure if it’s pleasing or not. Christmas decorating will spike dopamine, a feel-good hormone.”

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Mysterious abandoned tea-for-two found in Lake District woodland

‘The ultimate romantic gesture, trash a national park and world heritage sight, to show your partner how much you love them’



Ashley Cooper / Facebook

A photographer has slammed the litterers who left behind the remains of a full tea-for-two set up – complete with table, chairs and glassware – in a Lake District woodland.

Ashley Cooper, a climate change photographer from Ambleside, was walking in the woods to the north of the tarn when he came across a table and two chairs with the remains of what looked like a boozy afternoon tea party. 

As seen in the photographs taken by Ashley, half-eaten food remained on the plates and the dregs of champagne lingered in the glassware. 

Ashley shared his discovery onto Facebook, writing that after a ‘year of invasion by numpties’ in the Lake District, he truly thought he’d seen it all.

He wrote: “In the woodland above Blea Tarn, I came across the remains of a romantic meal for two. Still champagne in the glasses and chocolate cake on the plates.

“The ultimate romantic gesture, trash a national park and world heritage sight, to show your partner how much you love them. Is this the new normal!!!”

Ashley later spoke to the BBC about the incident, noting how the culprits must have gone through ‘a lot of trouble’ to get the table and chairs into the woodland. 

He said: “They’ve gone to a lot of trouble to carry the gear down there as it’s about half a mile from the nearest road – but it just looks like they finished their meal and got up and just left it all.”

Ashley Cooper / Facebook

Staff at the nearest hotels – all several miles away – have since said the set-up was nothing to do with them.

However, this isn’t the first time Ashley has come across litter being left behind in the Lake District – he said that since the pandemic, locals have been dealing with a rise in visitors leaving behind their rubbish in outdoor spaces, saying he himself has seen a number of tents, along with sleeping bags and cooking equipment, abandoned during the past eighteen months.

He said: “We’re seeing a very different type of visitor to the Lake District who has no respect for the place whatsoever. These people aren’t short of money but they are short of a conscience and social responsibility.”

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