In The Sunday Times’ definitive list of the best places to live in 2022, two Greater Manchester locations reigned supreme.
The newspaper’s annual Best Places to Live list is compiled through a number of factors that make for an idyllic neighbourhood, whether it be the number of pubs available or the accessibility to local beauty spots.
This year in the wake of the pandemic, the list took a focus on the health of the local high street, the performances from local schools and broadband speeds thanks to the new-found importance of working from home.
Ilkley in West Yorkshire was ultimately crowned as the best place to live in the UK, with Lancashire town Trawden coming in at second place.
And while they didn’t come out as the winners, two Greater Manchester towns made it onto the prestigious as two of the best places in the whole region.
Here’s what had to be said…
Altrincham’s now famed high street and market were two of the main factors for its place in the list, with the recent rejuvenation of the market transforming ‘a posh but dead dormitory suburb into a sociable place for the affluent families’.
The Times described Alty market as ‘the star’, pointing out that on most days of the week, there is no need for locals to look elsewhere for fresh produce.
Another one of Alty’s trump cards is its variety of great green spaces, which includes the ‘glorious gardens and deer park’ of Dunham Massey, Stamford Park and walking trails down by the River Bollin.
The town’s situation in the region was also noted, with trams reaching the city centre in twenty-five-minutes and a drive to Manchester Airport taking just fifteen minutes down the M6.
Altrincham also boasts some of the ‘best schools in the land’, with more than fifteen Ofsted-outstanding primaries being situated within three miles of the town.
However, the postcode does carry with it an expensive price tag, with the article admitting: “Money no object? Today, residents are more likely to be fancily paid footballers.”
Terraced houses on a more affordable scale can be found on the leafy streets near Stamford Park or the Downs, but still starting from a hefty price of £450,000.
The Sunday Times described Prestwich as ‘Manchester’s funkiest family suburb’ thanks to its interesting mix of old and new, no-frills joints and ‘star’ tram connections to and from the city centre.
Bury New Road gets a special mention in the piece, with the writer noting how you can ‘hardly move here for craft beers, cocktails, oat lattes and smoothies’, something that can give you an idea of the new demographic.
When it comes to food and drink, Keg, Cask & Bottle and Grape to Grain all get a mention, as well as Osma, ‘an upmarket Scandi restaurant’ which features in the Michelin Guide 2022.
They also commended the high street’s wonderful mix of old and new, which has with everything you need ‘from a Greggs’ sausage roll to sourdough and organic veg at the Village Greens co-operative’.
In terms of transport, ‘the tram is the star’, with it running from Prestwich and Heaton Park into the centre of Manchester in just twenty minutes. Cyclists can also reach the city in thirty minutes, which is about the same amount of time it would take by car.
If for those looking to buy with ‘big bucks’, the grand detached properties on Sheepfoot Lane will be first choice.
Otherwise, Prestwich proves to be a much more affordable choice than Altrincham, with the average house price for the area being a reasonable £246,000.
Read The Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live list here.
Boris Johnson was ‘not partying’ in photo of him drinking at ‘party’, Tory MP says
New photos show the Prime Minister raising a glass during an alleged leaving party in November 2020
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has defended Boris Johnson after newly-released photos showed him drinking during an alleged lockdown party.
ITV News published four photos showing the Prime Minister raising a glass with a group of aides around a table littered with alcoholic drinks and party food on November 13th 2020, when the country was in its second national lockdown.
The photos, which were reportedly taken during a leaving party, cast fresh doubt on Johnson’s claims that he was unaware of rule-breaking in Downing Street during the pandemic.
However, a number of Tory MPs have spoken out in defense of Johnson, including Shapps, who insisted that Johnson ‘wasn’t partying’ in the first place.
Speaking to Sky News’ Kay Burley this morning, Shapps said: “The question is, was he down there partying?
“No, clearly not. He’d gone by to say thanks and to raise a glass to a colleague who was leaving. And, you know, the answer to this of course, is the police have spent a lot of time with a lot of people and a lot of resources… And they’ve come to their conclusion.
“As we know, he wasn’t fined for that event.”
The Cabinet minister went on to say that Johnson is ‘completely mortified’ by the publishing of the photos, acknowledging that ‘it shouldn’t have happened’.
He said: “He [Johnson] has paid the fifty quid fine. That’s the right thing to do. He’s human, and sometimes humans make mistakes.”
Shapps added: “I don’t think the fact of the pictures, us seeing them for the first time, changes what the police and Sue Gray already know.”
Just one week ago, it was announced that Sue Gray’s highly-publicised report into government misconduct during the Covid lockdowns had been completed.
A source close to Gray and her team said she now intends to publish her report ‘as soon as possible’, adding that it could come as early as next week, according to The Independent.
Gino D’Acampo hits back at ‘haters’ who criticised him for kissing daughter on lips
The celebrity chef came under fire for being ‘too affectionate’ with his eight-year-old daughter Mia
Gino D’Acampo has hit back at ‘all the haters out there’ who criticised him for kissing his daughter on the lips.
The celebrity chef shared two photos of himself and his eight-year-old daughter Mia, one in which the pair shared a kiss and the other showing them laughing candidly together.
Gino captioned the post: “To all the haters out there……yes I still kiss my principessa on the lips, get over it and get a life”.
The famed chef was met with a wave of support from his followers for sharing the post, with his teenage son Rocco also commenting with a series of hearts.
Another fan commented: “Blooming Nora, please tell me this is a joke? My son is 20 and I still kiss and cuddle him!”
While another questioned: “How can anyone say it’s wrong to kiss your child?!?!”
Though Gino hasn’t always received this level of praise, with him recently dividing opinions after revealing his daughter gets sent to bed on an empty stomach if she doesn’t eat her dinner.
Appearing on the Sweat, Snot and Tears podcast late last year, Gino said he thinks children become fussy eaters as a result of parents who can’t be bothered to ‘fight’ over meal times.
He said: “When people talk to me about fussy children with food and ask me, ‘What do I think?’ I tell them there is no such a thing as a fussy child. There isn’t.
“But there is a thing of moron parenting. By moron, I mean idiots. A child doesn’t grow up fussy, it’s not possible. It’s the parents.”
Gino also likened his children to training a puppy, saying: “I’m not comparing a dog to a child, for God’s sake, but it’s the same as a when you have a little puppy.
“You only have to tell him off and pretend to smack him a couple of times not to do the wee on the floor. Eventually, he’s not going to do the wee on the floor, he’s going to go outside.”
An interesting perspective…
Manchester Airport described as ‘hell on earth’ with long queues and waits of up to four hours this morning
The airport has been plagued by lengthy queues and delays for months now
Manchester Airport has been described as ‘hell on earth’ as passengers were forced to queue for up to four hours this morning.
Frustrated travellers shared photos and videos of the carnage on social media, with the airport being described as ‘absolute and complete chaos’.
Huge queues at check-in desks and security were reported across the morning, as well as long waits for luggage in arrivals.
Passenger Amy McDonald wrote on Twitter: “Never seen anything like it before at Manchester Airport, queued for 2 hours and when our flight was called it was a free for all… hope our bag has made it”.
Mhari Oaks said of her experience this morning: “Hell on earth this morning @manairport – avoid it like the plague!!!
“Everyone missing flights despite getting there 3 hours before departure. Absolute and complete chaos. No check in staff.”
Marion Wolstenholme described customers as being ‘upset, anxious and frustrated’, writing: “Chaos @manairport this morning.
“Almost 2 hours queuing to drop of case and still no end in sight. Really really poor – No organisation, no communication.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham previously warned that the lengthy queues and delays – said to be a result of staff shortages and increased passenger demand – will continue for the ‘foreseeable future’.
Following a meeting with airport bosses last month, Burnham said that while the airport has made efforts to recruit, ‘more should have been done earlier’, and that its communication to passengers ahead of and upon arrival should have been better, as should the management of the queues.
At this, Burnham offered three pieces of advice to passengers planning on travelling from the airport in the next few months:
- Arrive at the airport three hours before your flight.
- Check your baggage into the hold in advance if possible.
- If you have to carry hand luggage please try to minimise it and ensure it is correctly packed before you leave home.