‘Cosmopolitan, metropolitan, continental’: Didsbury named in Sunday Times’ best places to live in the UK

By John McDougall

Didsbury is officially one of the best places to live in the UK after being named in a Sunday Times ‘Top 101’ poll.    

The Manchester suburb was one of the ten best places to live in the Northwest, alongside fellow Greater Manchester locations Hale in Trafford and Ramsbottom in Bury.    

Pam Siddons, chair of the West Didsbury Residents Association, has lived in the area for more than 30 years and feels it means different things to different people.

“We love Didsbury, it’s great,” she said. “I love all the trees, the architecture and the feel of the kind of people you meet in it.

“Each person has their own area of activity which does something for everyone really. It does not feel like suburbia at all.

“For me, I have a different view of Didsbury and my son has a different one – it’s so many things to so many different people.”

The list was compiled by Sunday Times writers from across the country, who took into account information including crime statistics, school performance, life expectancy and house prices.

Community spirit, transport links, proximity to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and even the location of the nearest Waitrose also contributed to the placing of areas in the list.

Carl Ollerhead, a Labour councillor for Didsbury West, feels the news is positive for the area which retains a unique identity.  

“It’s great to see us on this list. It’s a very unique area,” he told MM. “You’re in a city but you’re not, you’re in a village but you’re not – it’s cosmopolitan, metropolitan and continental.

“The continental feel is what attracts people to Didsbury. It attracts business which is not just good for Didsbury but also for Manchester.

“A lot of it is down to the local residents and there is an active community with lots of social clubs and residents organisations. It has a great atmosphere.

“It’s quite a vibrant and multicultural area which is probably one of the reasons it’s been voted one of the best places to live in the country.”

Didsbury’s close proximity to Manchester city centre, the airport, the M56 and the upcoming opening of the Metrolink extension meant it rated highly with transport links.

The village also boasts two antique bookshops and the award-winning, Michelin guide recommended Rhubarb restaurant and recent generations feel less inclined to leave the area.

“West Didsbury has this groovy reputation now,” Ms Siddons added.

“It’s such a great place that I’ve noticed my son’s generation that they just don’t want to move away and there’s nowhere better. They just stay here because they love it.

“The great thing about Didsbury is all those lovely independent little shops. Didsbury village’s cheese hamlet and the butchers is just the best thing since sliced bread.” 

For more information about the West Didsbury Residents Association visit

Picture courtesy of Pimlico Badger, with thanks.

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