Should I move to Manchester from London?

I have been contemplating a move away from London for a few months. Never really tried too much because my heart will always be in London (probably) but kept my eyes and ears open for opportunities in other cities (in the UK and Europe).
The main reason for me moving away from London is to improve the quality of my life in general. I am well paid and have a comfortable life but for so many different reasons and personal factors in London, we as a family are struggling to find time together. I have a and half years old daughter who is our main focus and we want to make sure we can spend more time her and give her best start in Life. In London, we are spending a lot on renting, childcare and travel.

Last week I was offered two really good opportunities, in Brussels and my preferred one in Manchester. Both are same or better in terms of salary, benefits and career than my current job. Both want me to start early next year and are flexible to wait for me till March.

I know there are a lot of people here with all sort of experiences.

So I would like to find out if anyone has actually moved from London to Manchester? What are your thoughts on Manchester in general? Will it be really cheaper in terms of living and travelling? Can life be better in your opinion by moving to a smaller city with less traffic and a bit quieter life?


Hard question to answer. It’s a different strokes for different folks kind of thing. Whatever floats your boat!

I can tell you this, I’ve lived in a few places up and down the country, but my favourite place is where I am now, Hull. It’s got absolutely everything I need, but without the hustle and bustle and the traffic. It’s a slower pace of life, but no less enjoyable. The wages aren’t as good, but I can pick up a large 3 bed semi for £150k in a tree lined lane. I can get home from work in 5 mins. In Reading, for example, I could just bout get a two up with down for £1400 a month, my commute was an hour long etc etc.

Manchester is still a very big city, it has everything you’d need and yet, whilst smaller then London, I think the less traffic and quieter life could we’ll end up being a bit of a myth. Rush hour will still be rush hour in every city.

You’ve got to decide what makes you happy, if there’s more of it in Manchester, then it’s absolutely the right decision to move! If not, you’re only a short train ride back.

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Manchester is cool, but as an ex Londoner/Essex man I moved to the west country (Gloucester) 25 yrs ago and love it. Once you experience the quality of life that can exist outside London, you’ll never go back.

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If your main focus is spending more time with your daughter, I’d suggest choosing the job which allows you to spend more time at home, whether that’s shorter hours, working from home, or shorter commute. In reality, your decision would be based on whichever combination comes out best.

You are in the enviable position of being able to choose, so make the most of it!


There’s definitely an unlimited number of reasons why London is a world city. But you need to use London. As soon as London begins to use you, it’s time to leave.

I’ve been in London 25 years, after I moved here from rural West Country and haven’t got to that point yet, but agree it’s different for everyone.


Really good point this. So the plan is that one of us will always be there for our daughter if the cost of living and commuting would compensate for the loss of earnings.
So my job offers are in 70 to 80k range and after this post, I have been looking at a few places and commute to would be offices and it’s much cheaper and shorter. In London on 70K I am not at all uncomfortable with life but starting to realise this money can go far a little more in Manchester.

Still there seems to be something in me not 100% convinced and I can’t put a finger on it.

this money can go far a little more in Manchester.

What about future opportunities? Maybe this offer isn’t that good but staying in London leaves the door open for even better opportunities in the future.

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Something I have given so much thought over the years and have always been convinced that London is the place for me to progress but I have sort of moved into an established phase of my career and work where thankfully work is chasing me and rightly or wrongly (time will tell!) I believe moving to North or even in Europe will not stop me growing.


Nothing stopping you moving back to London when she’s older. It’s good to have the time when they’re young. Just be careful what area you move to, some towns close are very dodgy.


Some towns further away in Greater Manchester are just as dodgy too :sweat_smile: .

My town might be very deprived, but there are nice areas within it as well as the rougher areas near my work or where I grew up. Research is key to making any move.

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You have to ask yourself if you want your daughter to grow up with a Manchester accent :wink:


It’s the best one in the world!

Seriously I’m manc for life, we hold doors open, we smile and say hi to people you don’t even know, we definitely know how to party, the city centre is going through a boom, new building flying upwards literally whilst keeping the heritage… Should I keep going?

I’m biased as I’m a manc and proud but yeah keep it up there on your list of choices!


Ha the best thing about the South is random folk I don’t actually know don’t talk to me.

Why would I want to have a chat to someone on the tube?

(I’d talk to @Dannytc, maybe just to chat him up :wink: ha)


Ha ha - I’m from Gloucester and couldn’t wait to move to London! I do love coming back for weekends though. What do you do there?

The best thing about the Manc accent is it ain’t Scouse :wink:

(Not telling you where my accent is from! :stuck_out_tongue:)

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That will be the Spice Zombies in Piccadilly Gardens.


As someone who commutes into Salford, I am aware of the awful road system we have in greater Manchester.
Public transport is variable depending on which direction you are coming from.
There are a number of towns & villages within greater Manchester where you will find good housing at a reasonable price compared to London.

How has no one mentioned the Peaks yet?
What about Snowdonia?

The parks are so much more accessible once you’re getting this far north and offer truly incredible experiences for kids growing up.

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I like Manchester but everyone who I personally know from London who has made the move has come back after a year or so. They were all eventually bored.

Also whenever I’m there I don’t find it massively cheaper than London, with the exception of rent. Even then by all accounts it’s likely to increase but without the possible extra pay you sometimes get being in London.

I love London, but I can see why people move away eventually.


Manchester is a lovely town to live in, it has incredible history, amazing places to go out for food! Great places all around to visit, every one is lovely (yes there is rough areas like every where) I’d recommend it.