The two northern cities claim 5 of the UK’s top 20 hippest neighbourhoods
As if being home to the world’s biggest band in rock history and the world’s first modern computer wasn’t enough, Liverpool and Manchester are now home to some of the coolest neighbourhoods in the UK.
TravelSupermarket recently published their 2018 Hip Hang-out Neighbourhood Index, a definitive ranking of the UK’s hippest neighbourhoods. Blogger Adam Groffman, from Travels of Adam, and UK travel blogger Emily Ray, from The Cosy Traveller, put together comprehensive guides for their top 20 trendy neighbourhoods in the UK and Europe.
Liverpool and Manchester, the two leading players of the Northern Powerhouse, dominated the UK list, spanning 5 spots out of 20!
The Hip Hang-Out Index covers up-and-coming neighbourhoods in the UK and Europe that will get trendy travellers excited in 2018 and beyond. Everything from quirky coffee shops and vintage fashion stores, to traveller value and creative culture was evaluated – anything that would set a destination apart from the rest of the pack.
Emma Coulthurst from TravelSupermarket said ‘Anywhere with ‘Peak Hipster’ status, such as London’s Shoreditch, didn’t make the cut – places like this are now overrun by chains. Instead, we wanted to find those areas where locals love to hang out due to the area’s independent creative spirit.’
The Baltic Triangle, Liverpool
Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle was ranked at number 11 and it’s not the first time the area has received recognition. In 2017, the Baltic was crowned number-one in The Times’ list of the coolest places to live in Britain.
The Baltic Triangle is at the heart of Liverpool’s independent scene – home to quirky bars, music venues and a number of digital and creative businesses. This trend of regeneration in the Baltic is both exciting and necessary to cope with the influx of students and tenants who want to live in the area.
The area is home to Camp and Furnace, a venue ranked second in The Times’ 20 Coolest Restaurants in Britain – characterised by open log fires, vintage caravans, bare bulbs and street food. Liverpool Biennial, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool Music Week and Liverpool Psych Fest have all hosted their events there.
Liverpool’s RopeWalks area came in at number 17 on the list of hip hang-outs. Once made up of ‘roperies’ that served the shipping industry, RopeWalks is now a thriving area of Liverpool, which has experienced over £100m of investment over the last decade.
Large 19th-century warehouse buildings have been given new life and are now home to a bustling community of design-led businesses as well as independent shops and galleries, such as the UK’s leading media arts centre, FACT.
At number 7 is Manchester’s Ancoats, named last year by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best places to visit in 2017. The newspaper described Ancoats as a place ‘where derelict mills and gritty street scenes have been transformed by a surge in unique cafes, bars and arts venues.’
Ancoats is an area still experiencing significant regeneration as beautiful red-bricked factory buildings are being renovated as flats and independent businesses – it may well look very different in just a few years’ time. In the meantime, it’s a cool area to explore, made up of historic churches, small cafés, an independent theatre and TV studios.
Northern Quarter, Manchester
Manchester’s Northern Quarter ranked at number 19. Since the area went through redevelopment in the past two decades it has been the city’s hipster neighbourhood with many young professionals living in the area.
Some of Manchester’s best independent bars and traditional pubs can be found in the Northern Quarter along with an eclectic mix of trendy independent shops, cafés and underground basement clubs – all within what was once a run-down area of industrialised warehouses.
Many Northern Quarter bars and clubs double up as restaurants, cafés or even art galleries during day, transforming into nightlife spots each night.
The trendy Manchester suburb of Chorlton is listed at number 10. Chorlton-cum-Hardy is a suburban area of the city of Manchester, located southwest of the city centre, and is rapidly becoming Manchester’s newest up-and-coming hipster neighbourhood.
Chorlton is easily accessed by bus and the Metrolink and Beech Road is the centre of a lot of the action, with cool bars serving up trendy cocktails and local grub. The area has a reputation as being more bohemian than other parts of the city – popular with students and young professionals alike.
In Chorlton, you’ll find a range of international restaurants and foodie hotspots like Unicorn Grocery or live-music venues like Dulcimer (popular for its folk music).
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Beth Thompson | 9th February 2018