” Trafford shares its borders with the buzzing city of Manchester in the north and the beautiful Cheshire countryside in the south, allowing locals the best of both worlds”
Moving to Trafford
The Metropolitan Borough of Trafford may be most associated with Old Trafford, home of the famous Manchester United football club since 1910, but there’s much more to this appealing area than just football. Covering 41 square miles, Trafford shares its borders with the buzzing city of Manchester in the north and the beautiful Cheshire countryside in the south, allowing locals the best of both worlds.
There are a number of large towns in the area including Sale and Urmston, whilst Altrincham, the largest town in the area, is a particularly popular urban centre here with plenty of young working professionals, an excellent market and speedy access to Manchester via the Metrolink. Another major highlight of Trafford is the renowned Trafford Centre in Trafford Park, offering a myriad of restaurants, entertainement and retail opportunities for both local residents and visitors.
House prices in Trafford
Trafford has become an increasingly desirable place to live over the last decade, with prices up 10% year-on-year since 2014 and a current average price of around £280,000 – higher than the national average. The towns of Sale and Urmston are generally more affordable, whilst Timperley, Altrincham and areas closer to Manchester tend to be more expensive. A range of properties, from family-friendly Georgian houses to contemporary apartments can be found throughout the borough.
“A big draw for parents with school-aged children, Trafford was ranked second best out of all Local Education Authorities (LEAs) in the UK in 2014 with 72.2% of all students in the borough achieving 5 GCSE’s at A*-C”
Trafford is served by the Manchester Metrolink, which runs through the borough from Altrincham into the heart of Manchester. Various bus routes also serve the towns within the area, and for drivers, Trafford is particularly well-served with the M60 crossing through the northern end of the borough, and the A56 passing directly from the south to the north through Altrincham, Sale and Stretford.
While the endless restaurants and bars of Manchester are just a short ride on the Metrolink away, Trafford has plenty of it’s own restaurants, shops and bars to offer – including the famous Trafford Centre. The second-largest retail centre in the UK, this grand, dome-roofed building boasts nearly 300 shops and services spread across 207,000 square metres and sees a staggering 35 million visits annually. Shops here range from high-street favourites such as John Lewis and Apple to luxury designers including Selfridges and Lacoste, whilst for diners, the centre is home to The Orient, Europe’s largest food hall with restaurants including Nando’s, Cathay Dim Sum, Yo! Sushi and La Tasca.
Aside from the Trafford Centre, Altrincham offers a growing food scene, with the locally-sourced produce at Altrincham Indoor Market leading to it being dubbed one of the area’s most ‘exciting foodie destinations’ by Manchester Evening News. Sale is also home to a wealth of cuisines and places to eat, including he award-winning Bean and Brush Café which is a hit with local families. Shops are in good supply here too, with The Square Shopping Centre housing major retailers such as New Look and Specsavers, as well as a thriving high street with a combination of local shops and big brands like Argos and Carphone Warehouse.
Branches of all major supermarkets are located here, including an Asda superstore in Trafford Park, and a large Waitrose in Altrincham.
Health & Sport
Various gyms and sport facilities can be found in Trafford, particularly around Stretford where branches of David Lloyd, Anytime Fitness and Puregym are located. There are a number of good council-run leisure centre in the borough, including Urmston Leisure Centre, and for something a little different the Cill Factor indoor ski slope in Trafford Park offers hours of fun for both young and old.
When you’re ready to take a break from shopping, there’s an array of historic and cultural venues to be found throughout Trafford, including over 230 Grade I and Grade II listed buildings. Highlights include the Sale Waterside Arts Centre, where you’ll find exhibitions, film screenings, workshops and more, while the award-winning Imperial War Museum North is located in Trafford Park. History buffs will enjoy the three medieval sites in the borouhg, such as Dunham Castle and Timperley Old Hall, whilst the Odeon Trafford Centre is perfect for catching all the latest blockbusters.
“…there’s an array of historic and cultural venues to be found throughout Trafford, including over 230 Grade I and Grade II listed buildings”
Schools and Education
A big draw for parents with school-aged children, Trafford was ranked second best out of all Local Education Authorities (LEAs) in the UK in 2014 with 72.2% of all students in the borough achieving 5 GCSE’s at A*-C. Seven of the ten top schools in Greater Manchester alone are based in Trafford, and all eighteen primary schools in Altrincham have been rated either outstanding or good by Ofsted. Top schools in the state primary sector include Lime Tree Primary School and Park Road Primary School, while Altrincham Grammar School for Boys and St Ambrose College are among the best selective secondary schools in the area.
Overall, Trafford has a lower crime rate than the national average with around 58 crimes per 1000 people as of 2016, and the majority of crimes taking place in the town centres such as Sale Moor and Urmston. The area also has a significantly lower crime rate than neighbouring Manchester, adding to its popularity with families.
Despite not being a particularly green area, a number of good parks can still be found in Trafford, especially around Altrincham and Stretford. Leading green spaces in the area include Stamford Park and Sale Water Park, as well as the 18th century Dunham Massey Hall, a stately home surrounded by a 250 acre deer park.
It wasn’t until the extension of the railway to Trafford in the late 19th century that Trafford truly became part of Greater Manchester. Before then, it had largely been untouched by industrialisation and today, parts of Trafford still have a rural charm that is indicative of its agricultural past.