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What's your favorite LIVABLE city or town in UK?

Travel Forums Europe What's your favorite LIVABLE city or town in UK?

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1. Posted by michael_us (Budding Member 19 posts) 9y

michael_us has indicated that this thread is about England

I'm looking for an affordable and pleasant place to live (with my girlfriend) on the weekends between trips to customer locations in London and northern Europe. I've been to London a few times, and always felt ripped off by the prices there. For example, a bottle of "London Pride" costs more in London than it does in Seattle, and everything else (taxi, haircut, accomodations) seems about twice the normal price. Is this true of all of the UK? Also Heathrow Airport is always a nightmare.

I'm looking for a place to live that's reasonably priced, fun, and not too far from an airport or railway. Would Manchester be a better choice? I really don't know that much about England.

I'll be there from about January-May of 2008.

2. Posted by Ulvova (Budding Member 39 posts) 9y

I don't know Manchester well but don't worry, the prices are not all like London's. I live in the Lake District, not that far from Manchester on a map but still a long way to go. The prices in the region are pretty good and most cities in Cumbria are really beautiful. If you look for a place IN a city near an airport, there are many places in the UK, although Manchester seems to be quite good. If you look for something not far from an airport but with a bit of countryside, try the North-Western area from Manchester. But I'm sure there are plenty of places closer to London (and if its closer to London, travel is cheaper too). It depends what you're really looking for. Just a place to relax and rest, do you want activities to be available too? Do you like nightclubs? etc

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 9, 2007, at 12:21 PM by Ulvova ]

3. Posted by PeteW27 (Budding Member 50 posts) 9y

Quoting michael_us

I'm looking for an affordable and pleasant place to live (with my girlfriend) on the weekends between trips to customer locations in London and northern Europe. I've been to London a few times, and always felt ripped off by the prices there. For example, a bottle of "London Pride" costs more in London than it does in Seattle, and everything else (taxi, haircut, accomodations) seems about twice the normal price. Is this true of all of the UK? Also Heathrow Airport is always a nightmare.

I'm looking for a place to live that's reasonably priced, fun, and not too far from an airport or railway. Would Manchester be a better choice? I really don't know that much about England.

I'll be there from about January-May of 2008.

Alright Michael! The most important if obvious thing to remember is just how small England is, so you are never going to be that far from an airport or a railway. e.g. Manchester maybe in the North West of England, yet that is still only 2.5 hours away by train to London at the diagnally opposite end of the country. The only part of the country that is off the beaten track is the South West (Devon and Cornwall.) Places like Nottingham and Leicester, 90 mins from London are reasonably cheap to live in and have an International Airport between the cities. Another massive bonus about England is that whilst it is ridiculously overcrowded, you are never very far from utter peace and quiet...so for Manchester it would be the Lake District (ok...not exactly quite but still stunning!!) the Midlands have the Peak District, the North has the Pennines and the North York Moors etc etc. Anymore tips, just write us an e-mail.

Cheers. I hope you enjoy living in England. Pete

4. Posted by crwalker (Budding Member 13 posts) 9y

I don't know how livable you think it would be appropriate to you. I would say Scotland(Aberdeen or Edinburgh) is good indeed if you prefer a quiet place, but sometimes do have a lot of traditional celebrations, dancing, singing-wise. Bournemouth or Poole in the very south of England are good places to live though, very relaxing indeed. Personally, I'd live in Aberdeen.

5. Posted by Jerrycrow (Full Member 165 posts) 9y

try bristol. maybe BATH, i heard it is infested with americans

6. Posted by michael_us (Budding Member 19 posts) 9y

Thanks so much for these responses!

To clarify what "livable" means for us: In Seattle I like to go out salsa dancing, take improv acting classes, while my (Japanese) girlfriend wants to get back into playing the cello. So we probably need to be near a university or reasonably sized city. But we're unusually sensitive to cigarette smoke. Does that change any of the answers? In the US I also take motorcycle trips and helicopter lessons, which I'm happy to put on hold while we explore Europe.

7. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 9y

I say Brighton, a very pleasant and cosmopolitan place to live and you'll be able to do the salsa/cello/acting etc, 50 mins by train from London (unfortunately the beer is almost as expensive, though accomodation is mostly a fair bit less). You can fly helicopters from Shoreham Airport, right next to Brighton.

8. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 9y

in Manchester you will be able to live a better lifestyle than you would ever be able to afford in london. for example, i live in manchester city centre, so very convenient for everything, but this would be completely out of my (and most peoples) price range in London. the general cost of living in manchester is much less than london and even if you don't live in the centre your commuting distances and costs are likely to be much less. many budget airlines fly out of manchester and liverpool, so this region would give you plenty of options for short breaks to Europe. In my opinion manchester has everything you need from a city, with plenty of options for visiting the countryside within an hour or 2 - eg lake district, peak district, yorkshire dales.

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 10, 2007, at 2:56 AM by bex76 ]

9. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 9y

also michael - re the cigarette smoke issue that you mentioned- smoking is now banned in all restaurants, bars pubs etc in the uk.

10. Posted by michael_us (Budding Member 19 posts) 9y

This is cheering me up.

In case you know anyone, or know where to look, I'm in the market for a non-smoking sublet in any of the places mentioned (Manchester, Brighton...) from Jan-May.