TWO Cheshire towns have been named among the best places to lives in the North West of England.

Bollington and Knutsford appeared in the list of eight locations in the region chosen by The Sunday Times in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.

Altrincham has been named the Best Place to Live in the North West.

The Sunday Times’s expert judges behind the guide assess a wide range of factors, from schools, air quality, transport and broadband speeds to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.

They look for improving towns, villages or city centres, for attractive, well designed homes and locations bursting with community spirit - which the pandemic has shown to be the most vital quality of all.

A detailed breakdown of house prices has been supplied by data specialists TwentyCi and information on internet speeds has been supplied by, the UK’s leading independent guide to broadband.

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2021: Northwest of England

• Winner: Altrincham, Cheshire

• Arnside and Silverdale, Lancashire

• Bollington, Cheshire

• Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria

• Knutsford, Cheshire

• Liverpool

• Manchester

• Saddleworth, West Yorkshire

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times property editor said: “This guide has never been so important. The pandemic has taught us just how much we rely on our homes, our communities and our surroundings. With working from home now common, it’s no surprise that many of us are reassessing our priorities and thinking hard about where we really want to live.

“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 named The Sunday Times Best Place to Live in Britain last year. It 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.

“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.”

* Altrincham :The judges described Alty as where “suburbia meets utopia”. They particularly admired the schools: the selective girls’ grammar was named the Northwest state secondary school of the decade by The Sunday Times Parent Power guide — the boys’ grammar came second, the convenience of the tram route into central Manchester and open spaces such as Stamford Park, the River Bollin and the National Trust’s Dunham Massey. Most of all, though, they were impressed with the market and food hall responsible for the inspiring regeneration of the town centre. They love Tender Cow’s triple-cooked chips (£4) and the way that, even selling essentials only during lockdown, it has remained at the heart of life in the town.

Average sale price: £400,000

Average rental: £995 pcm

* Bollington: Cheshire’s “happy valley” kept a smile on its face thanks to an endless choice of country walks and helpful neighbours, said the judges. They love the views from White Nancy, the beehive-shaped folly overlooking the town, the walks on the Middlewood Way, and the spicy takeaways from the Indian Goat, a brilliant new food truck based at the immaculately kept recreation ground.

Average sale price: £285,000

Average rental: £725 pcm

* Knutsford “Posh Cheshire with a sense of fun and a love of the countryside,” is how the judges described the ancient market town that is a regular feature on the Best Places to Live list. “There’s no better example of its spirit than the Knutsford Hosts, a group of volunteer helpers whose efforts have been vital during the pandemic,” they said. They also liked the quirky buildings designed by Richard Harding Watt, the walks in Tatton Park, in Toft Wood or around Knutsford Moor - and the coffee from the Tatton Perk coffee van.

Average sale price: £445,000

Average rental: £1,100 pcm

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