The two leafy Greater Manchester towns named among top 20 places to live in England and Wales for 2024

Experts looked at 1,400 different towns, cities and villages in England and Wales.
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Two Greater Manchester neighbourhoods have been named among England and Wales’ best places to live in 2024 – and they are the only two Northern areas to make the top 20. 

The list has been compiled by Garrington Property Finders, the real estate company founded by Location Location Location’s Phil Spencer. Their experts looked at 1,400 different towns, cities and villages in England and Wales and analysed them based on natural beauty and flood risk, wellbeing, heritage, schools and employment plus value for money.

Garrington says that, according to their research, some of the country’s most desirable locations became better value as prices fell in 2023 and that the market is already off to a “brisk” start for 2024. What’s more, the average house price in England fell in value by £9,000 (2.9%) in the last 12 months from the end of November, according to official Land Registry data. 

Marple is the 15th best place to live in 2024 in England and Wales, according to Garrington.Marple is the 15th best place to live in 2024 in England and Wales, according to Garrington.
Marple is the 15th best place to live in 2024 in England and Wales, according to Garrington.

Which Greater Manchester areas are included?

The highest ranking Greater Manchester location is Bowdon, which came in at number five. Garringtons describes Bowdon as an “immaculate village near Manchester with tree-lined avenues that are home to well-heeled but discreet residents including a sprinkling of footballers and celebrities.”

Bowdon, located in Trafford borough, is one of the most expensive areas of Greater Manchester to buy in, with the average house price at £709,036. However, the village ranks second overall in terms of value for money due to a 5.9% fall in average house price in the 12 months to September 2023.

Bowdon is the fifth best place to live in 2024 in England and Wales, according to Garrington. Bowdon is the fifth best place to live in 2024 in England and Wales, according to Garrington.
Bowdon is the fifth best place to live in 2024 in England and Wales, according to Garrington.

The second Greater Manchester town to get a mention is Stockport’s Marple, which placed 15th. The average house price in Marple is £513,087. 

Garringtons said: “The town is within easy reach of the big city – it boasts two train stations and is just 10 miles from central Manchester – but offers a gentler pace of life. Marple’s rural location and famous canalside walks earned it 33rd place in the natural beauty category of our ranking.

Top 20 places to live in England and Wales

Here is the full list: 

  1. Twyford

  2. At Albans

  3. Epsom

  4. New Mills

  5. Bowdon

  6. Godalming

  7. Tring

  8. Cheltenham

  9. Farncombe

  10. Henley

  11. Guildford

  12. Woking

  13. Watford

  14. Bath

  15. Marple

  16. Harpenden

  17. Ewell

  18. Weybourne

  19. Wallingford

  20. Chinnor