Might be moving to Manchester in autumn. Any recommendations for where's good to live for access to climbing and good cycling? Would need to commute to levenshulme area 5 days a week, by motorbike.
North Wales haha
If climbing is your priority I'd probably say off to the east on the fringes of the Peak, e.g. Marple or somewhere like that? Cycling, well, you can do that anywhere, depends what sort of roads you like to cycle on, but that side of things is a nice part of the world (provided you don't mind it being hilly) and not quite as expensive as some of the nicer bits of the city proper. I'd also suggest Glossop but that might be a bit far out for your commute to not be a wear.
Depending on your budget you'd want to be around the north/eastern sides for access in to the Peak and Pennines. Stockport/Buxton, Glossop/Oldham sort of areas. You shouldn't have too many problems commuting by motorbike from anywhere around there.
Just look along the A623 Stockport, Disley, Chapel. Theres indoors climbing in Stockport move toward Disley and youre heading to the peak and Levenshulme is on the same side of Manchester. Just be aware some areas around South Stockport can be expensive.
New Mills? A6 into Stockport - some bits tricky on a bike but easier as you get in
Perma dry bouldering and bolted grit....
Im in Levy and being that extra bit outside mancehster makes a huge difference to travel times.
Marple, New Mills and even Hazel Grive all good shouts.
Anywhere east (Glossops, Staleyvegas etc) are a bugger to get to/from lev in rush hour
I've just bought a house in Sale (SW of the centre) but currently live in a flat on Salford Quays and previously lived in Castlefield. I personally prefer the SW side of the city for good transport links into the centre (Metrolink and Trains) and easy access to Cheshire for quiet country lanes which are perfect for bike rides, and since I'm close to the ring roads I can still get to the peaks in an hour on the weekends. As a general rule, the South/West sides of Manchester are more expensive and the North/East sides are cheaper (with the exception of Ancoats and New Islington). If you're after a house you'll likely need to go for one of the outer suburbs as it's mainly flats within the inner ringroad. Traffic heading into Manchester is horrendous during rush hour but if you've got a motorbike that should be less of an issue.
Good luck with your search.
Proximity to Manchester Climbing Centre in West Gorton or Stockport Awesome Walls if you want to train roped climbing indoors during the wk/when it's wet (a lot) might be worth considering. Other bouldering centres dotted about too, both good locations too to commute to Levy and get out into the peak from.
I currently live in SW manc as that's where i work, but it is a pain to add the extra 15 min journey time to get out into the Peak, plus traffic getting across Manchester (especially busy on motorway section past Stockport) to climb after work can make it impossible, best to live east side if you want to climb outside a lot.
Depending on your budget and balancing a commute with somewhere nice to live with access to hills/crags I'd say Hazel Grove or Marple.
I have lived in Stockport for 15 years. I work in South Manchester. I really rate Stockport as a base for biking and climbing. Yes you could move out to Disley or New Mills but the downside is the commute to work and the climbing walls. The upside is closer to climbing and (much) better biking. Marple is a good compromise but can be expensive and has traffic issues. I am currently moving house and decided to stick to the central Stockport area on balance. It would be different if I did not have a commute to factor in. If that was not an issue I would be thinking New Mills.
That's an easy answer, Darwen. Simply the best place in the world. 😄
Great thanks for all your info. Maple looks good but I was worried about the comute becoming a drag. Doesn't sound too bad from those comments though. Hard to tell what the comutes are like from Google at the moment given there's so should be less traffic than normal.
I will add Cheadle into the mix as a suggestion. It is a bit further from the Outside but still only a half hour (the airport link road is great) and the commute will be easy, even cyclable. As you go further South and West Cheadle gets expensive but further North and East is reasonable. Avoid being within 500m of the M60 if you can - the noise does travel and it grates on you after a while.
High Lane/Disley/New Mills are nice and good access to the outside but can be surprisingly expensive for what you get. The A6 commute is a fair way into Levenshulme and it does get jammed up at peak times. Would be too much for me, but OK if you are used to that sort of thing I guess.
I have a colleague who lives in Marple and commuted by motorbike into central Manchester until lockdown. Again, prices vary (particularly by proximity to stations) but tends to be more of an expensive area.
Stockport/Hazel Grove would be a great location and cheaper but a bit less nice (not proper rough, I think it just gets a bad rep because a lot of the surrounding bits are posher). Depends what you are used to to some extent.
I would avoid Ashton/Hyde/Reddish - they are not very nice.
I live in Hazel Grove and can confirm that the A6 is usually a linear car park. It's not that far to cycle to Levenshulme and would be quicker in rush hour.
Chorlton is on the end of an off road route to Levenshulme - the Fallowfield Loop, might be worth considering?
We're in Hayfield and work in Manchester... it's perfect in every way!
I would avoid Saddleworth/Stalybridge if getting into central Manchester is a must during the week. When I used to commute to the uni by any means other than push bike it was soul destroying, trains packed roads gridlocked and when city played on a week night it was just a no go. Some of the other areas suggested seem a much better bet.
I spent most of summer in Marple and the surrounding area, albeit by boat. It's a lovely area, with great access to the entire Peak, and doesn't seem to suffer the rush hour traffic insanity that places like Glossop do. Obviously you and you only know how you feel about urban living versus being more out in the sticks (apparently some oddballs actually like living in cities!?), but if you can stretch to that far out, I'd say it's well worth it. I came through Ashton-under-Lyne and through Manchester not long after, and the difference is night and day.
So. Much. Nicer.
Edit: and you can even be a smug eco-climber and take the train into the heart of the Peak District from Marple, quickly and painlessly. Whether you still look smug having marched up the hill from Bamford or Hathersage with a rope and rack is a different matter, of course
And you could probably buy four adjacent terrace houses and pretend you're a Beatle.
I've never lived in Manchester so take my answer with a pinch of salt. I used to live in Derby (so did vast majority of my climbing in peak) and now live just north of Liverpool.
Nearly everyone seems to be suggesting areas with good access to the peak. I agree this is best if your priority is easy access to the peak for evening sessions. But if you want to climb at a wider variety of locations, is somewhere further west not better? From somewhere convenient for the M6, you could be in the peak, west Yorkshire, Lancs, south lakes, or NE wales all in about an hour, and the lakes/Snowdonia are easy day trips. If you lived in Disley or Oldham you'd probably never stray to any of those places...
> If you lived in Disley or Oldham you'd probably never stray to any of those places...
Not sure about Oldham but Disley, with the relief/bypass/airport road you can get to the M56/61 without going through Stockport so it's only an extra 15 mins to your Lakes/Wales day trip.
I'm in SW Manchester and moved within the last two years. We looked all over the GM area and decided to move 1 mile down the road! This was for a multitude of reasons, but one of those was an easy commute 5 days a week for both my wife and I. That seemed more important than a short "commute" to climbing, which would only be one or two journeys per week.
However, my commute is now two flight of stairs to the loft so.........
You've had loads of good info already (apart from the bit criticising Reddish - I live here and as a result it is a bohemian metropolis!) but as far as cycling goes:
In summary, you've great flat riding round Cheshire, acessed easily by places like Alderley Edge and Wilmslow. To the east there is obviously the Peak but also the very hilly Goyt Valley to the south, you've Saddleworth's massive hills to the north, and the riding around New Mills and Hyde is very good for hills. The riding in general round here is excellent, but riding up and down the same roads to access it can be a bit of a drag (e.g. if riding from Lev you'd spend a of time on the A6 as I do from Reddish).
You may also want to consider train line locations. Being able to get into the Peak on a train to Edale in 30 minutes from places like Romiley and Marple is great.
I wouldn't discount the Ashton/stalybridge area altogether- houses are super cheap, easy to get out climbing and cycling after work, and the commute from there to Levy is no worse than from anywhere else suggested (I.e. fairly bad but doable).
Just think spam fritters at the local market, not ice chai latte.
Another thing to consider is that Disley in particular has excellent road biking on the doorstep. I quite often drive my road bike to Disley and cycle a 2 hour loop from there just to avoid the traffic and rubbish roads heading out from Stockport. It also has brilliant running in Lyme Park.
The best local mountain biking is found around Hayfield. For me personally Hayfield is too far out to commute (but I know others who find it ok). You can mountain bike directly from Marple to Hayfield making Marple a decent base for mountain biking.
If is hard to find houses in Disley though. Not much on the market. I have been looking the last 6 months.
> I wouldn't discount the Ashton/stalybridge area altogether- houses are super cheap, easy to get out climbing and cycling after work, and the commute from there to Levy is no worse than from anywhere else suggested (I.e. fairly bad but doable).
> Just think spam fritters at the local market, not ice chai latte.
I live in Mossley which is the next town along from Ashton / Stalybridge (going away from manchester). think it's about 13 miles from the centre? Can be tricky driving so I always make sure I leave before peak times (job was quite flexible) and it's possible to cycle in all the way along towpaths / fallowfield loop.
Have lived in Hazel Grove, Bramhall, Prestbury, Macclesfield and Ringway. All ok, but the latter was brilliant for Wales as it was seconds to the M56. Macc was great for Windgather and the Roaches. Hazel Grove was good for the Peak. Prestbury was good for walking the dog on Hare Hill & Alderley Edge, and more importantly, spotting Premiership footballers in the bars!
Thinking differently, consider living somewhere close to the airport. Keep your eye on cheap flights and escape the weather every other weekend?
That's a good point actually, east of the city is great for the peak but not so good for the Lakes/Scotland/North Wales so I guess it depends on where you prefer to climb. As others have suggested, in and around Stockport could place you well for access to a number of areas - you can easily pick up the M60 and get quick access to the Wilton Quarries or Angelzarke for an evening session and you're also well placed to go further afield on the weekends
Stockport offers access to the M56 and M60 so pretty fast to N Wales via M56. I have climbed at Gogarth in a day trip from Stockport. M60+M61 quick enough to Lancs and the Lakes.
15-year-old French climber Oriane Bertone has climbed Super Tanker (Font 8B+) at Cuvier Rempart in Fontainebleau, France.