The town of Warrington in Cheshire is well located for travel to the bright lights of Liverpool and Manchester.
But unlike many towns, it continued to grow even when the industry subsided.
The picture-perfect villages that surround Warrington are particularly sought-after. As a result, average house prices in the wider Warrington area currently stand at £209,000, significantly higher than Manchester and Liverpool. (Take a look at the latest prices here.)
Living in Warrington: what to expect
Warrington has many reminders of its past business success. Grand buildings and Victorian terracotta-coloured shops, such as those on Bridge Street, are scattered throughout the centre. The town hall, built by a local businessman, is also testament to past achievements.
However, grand redevelopment plans are bringing the centre into the 21st century – £107m is being spent on updating the town, providing it with new shops and a market hall. Work is due to complete in 2019.
For a town wedged between two major cities, Warrington has a surprisingly large and varied choice of shops. It is also peppered with parks and green spaces.
Where to start your property search
Town centre: The town itself has a good choice of red-brick terraces, perfect if you’re a first-time buyer. Take a look along Wellfield Street for two-bedroom versions, or Hood Lane North or Arpley Street for a three- or four-bedroom home.
Knightsbridge Court is among the town’s modern purpose-built blocks. It boasts two-bedroom apartments, including penthouses, which overlook a large garden. More flats can be found on Central Way.
If you’re looking for a comfortable family home, take a look at the 1950s semis on Tilston Avenue and Paul Street. These properties have off-road parking, neat front gardens as well as decent-sized rear gardens. If you’d prefer a character property, check out the three-bedroom semis on Beresford Street.
Executive semis with four bedrooms and more modern homes can be found on Thorneycroft Drive and on the outskirts of the town. The Edgewater Park development in the east of Warrington is designed to have a ‘village feel’. Look here for contemporary apartments, two- to three-bedroom mews-style houses and spacious detached townhouses.
Grappenhall is very much an ‘old world’ village with cobblestones, pubs and even its own stocks. Look out for cosy cottages and barn conversions.
Victorian semis with arched doorways and bay windows can be found in Stockton Heath and quiet cul-de-sacs such as Algernon Street. For a terrace, search among the red-brick homes with bay windows on London Road.
Lymm’s properties are located on roads such as Stage Lane, which has elegant Georgian detached homes that sit in mature landscaped gardens. Whitbarrow Road and Rush Green Road also have handsome period properties dating back to the Edwardian and Victorian eras.
Exclusive detached homes are located on the fringes of Appleton, some of which have paddocks and swimming pools. And if you have a large budget, try Lumb Brook Road, which has substantial double-fronted Georgian villas.
Getting around Warrington
By rail: Warrington has two main stations. Bank Quay has services to London Euston, Liverpool Lime Street, Glasgow Central, Manchester Piccadilly and Llandudno, and Central station runs trains to Manchester Oxford Road, Scarborough, Liverpool and Norwich. Trains to Manchester typically take 20 minutes and Liverpool can be reached in 35 minutes. A journey to London will take just two hours.
By road: The town is practically boxed in by three major motorways. The M62 runs between Manchester and Liverpool and can be accessed by following the A49 out of the town. The A49 also connects you to the M6, which runs north to Carlisle and south to Birmingham. To reach the M56, simply head south from the town centre on the A49.
By air: You have a choice of either Liverpool or Manchester airports. Manchester has the largest offering out of the two, with planes flying to more than 200 international and domestic locations. Flight providers include budget airlines easyJet, Flybe and Ryanair.
Things to do in Warrington
History: Two churches in Warrington’s suburbs date back to the medieval period. St Oswald’s Church in Winwick was built in the 1300s, whereas St Wilfrid’s was constructed in 1120. Look closely at the stones to spot the Cheshire cat carved into the wall.
Uncover some of Warrington’s industrial past by visiting the Transporter Bridge. This steel bridge was built in 1915 and used to carry vehicles across the river without interrupting the shipping.
You can learn more about Warrington’s history by visiting Warrington Museum and Art Gallery. It has more than 200,000 objects and additional exhibitions on Egyptian history and natural history.
Cultural: The Pyramid and Parr Hall can be found in Warrington’s cultural quarter. You can see big-name performers in music, comedy, dance and drama, and improve your skills by attending one of its many classes and workshops.
Outdoors: Victoria Park is one of the larger local parks and boasts its own athletics arena. It also has a play area and skatepark for children and teenagers as well as sports pitches and a bowling green. If you’re a keen angler, you can fish here too.
Bank Park, which was first opened in the 19th century, is also popular. It recently unveiled a new playground and pavilion and has areas for ball games and bowls. Visit in spring to see the eye-catching floral display of daffodils.
There are several country parks on the fringes of the town, many of which are Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Risley Moss was once the site of a huge munitions factory in World War II, but it is now filled with wildlife. Sit in one of the bird hides to do some bird spotting or climb to the top of the observation tower to admire the views.
Shopping: Golden Square Shopping Centre is at the heart of Warrington’s retail offering. The centre has more than 100 shops, including favourites such as Boots, Debenhams, Next and River Island. It also has a good selection of chain cafés and restaurants.
For more high street shops and independent stores, head to Buttermarket Street, Horsemarket Street, Sankey Street and Bridge Street, or visit the Gemini Retail Park.
Warrington also has its own indoor market, with more than 130 traders. Everything from fresh produce to key cutting can be found here.
Food and drink: Join friends at Mr Lau’s. The restaurant specialises in dim sum, which can be either steamed or fried. If you want something more substantial, try a special such as panda chicken.
Combine food and wine at Las Ramblas, a wine and tapas bar. Choose from classic tapas such as black pudding croquettes, calamari and chorizo in red wine, or order a large paella to share.
Every summer, Warrington hosts a Walking Day. This is a local tradition that started as a Sunday School procession through the town on the last day of the Newton Races. It’s now accompanied by dancing and music.
5 reasons to live in Warrington
Situated between Liverpool and Manchester
Good road and rail connections
Lots of shops, restaurants and bars
Big redevelopment plans for the town centre
Plenty of parks and green spaces
Are you eyeing property in Warrington? Share your views on the town in the comments below.