Chorlton has an effortlessly great vibe, and it’s not hard to realise why. Away from the busy city centre, it’s filled with independent restaurants, bars, cafés and shops (as well as a decent Wetherspoons), and has been named one of the coolest places to live in the region. The selection of bars and restaurants here is second only to the city centre – so if you love the social aspects of living in the heat of it but can't afford the sky-high rents, this one’s for you.
Chorlton covers a large area, so there’s plenty of housing stock – mostly in period homes and apartments. In the summer, residents spill out onto the streets to enjoy the sunshine or take strolls through the local nature reserve. It feels miles away from the city centre but hop on a tram and you’ll be at St. Peter’s Square within 15 minutes – a real 'best-of-both-worlds' situation.
On a Map
For somewhere nearly four miles outside of Manchester city centre, Chorlton has excellent transport links. Trams from either St Werburgh’s Road, Chorlton or Barlow Moor Road will have you in town within 15 minutes. There are also good bus links and a safe cycling route straight into the city.
It’s also conveniently placed to get out of Manchester, hop on the tram to Piccadilly or Victoria and then change for National Rail services. Chorlton is approximately 6 miles from Manchester Airport – easy taxi distance for those early morning flights.
Rent in Chorlton
Although rental prices are steadily rising in this area of South Manchester, you’ll generally get a lot more for your money in Chorlton than you would in any area of the city centre. Rent prices as of April 2019 show a 1 bedroom flat to be in the range of £550-£700 a month, and a 2 bedroom flat between £625-£750 a month.
The areas around Beech Road and Chorlton Green tend to be the most competitive for housing, however, Oswald Road and Corkland Road are also a good bet.
History of Chorlton
Throughout most of its history, Chorlton-cum-Hardy (try not to laugh at its slightly embarrassing full name) was a village in south Lancashire. After a steady population increase through the industrial revolution, the area went from having 146 houses in 1851 to 3,337 houses in 1909. The village was finally incorporated into Manchester in 1904 and is now one of the most sought-after areas to live in Manchester’s suburbs.
The Chorlton Community
Chorlton Library is a Grade 2 listed building that was funded by Scottish-American philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. Plans for approval were due to be sent from Manchester to New York via the Titanic, but for some reason, Carnegie didn’t receive them.
The library is a real community hub that has recently undergone redevelopment, and it’s a great place to find out what’s going on in the neighbourhood. The Chorlton Makers Market is held on the pavement outside each month.
The Unicorn Grocery in Chorlton brings people to the area from far and wide. This workers’ cooperative supermarket has been trading since 1995, and has a great reputation for fresh, sustainably sourced food. The best thing about Unicorn though, is their prices. Their produce is competitively price matched against the ‘Big 5’ supermarkets so you know that you’re always getting the best deal.
With a place like this nearby, it makes sense to shop local. On a sunny day, buy a sandwich, bagel, or pre-prepared meal to take away to the Chorlton Ees for a picnic.
Out of the Blue is a fishmonger for everyday shopping and special occasions. Stocking a range of fresh fish, they get deliveries 2 or 3 times a day – with most of their fish being wild catches. They also have on-site sushi chefs who select and prepare sashimi grade fish every day. The sushi here is the freshest around and can be prepared into a platter at a few hours’ notice – perfect for a Friday night treat.
Chorlton Restaurants, Bars & Cafes
The Creameries has achieved recent fame through a glowing review by Times food critic Marina O’Loughlin. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant aims to create sustainable and seasonally sourced food that is ideal for the whole family. Chefs pickle and preserve leftovers, make their own butter and bread, and their menu rotates to account for changes in crop-haul from their suppliers.
Bar San Juan is a Chorlton staple and has been providing Mancunians with some of the best tapas outside of Spain for years. This busy bar always manages to have a relaxed atmosphere, with friendly staff and locals enjoying excellent bar snacks in true Spanish style (even when the weather doesn’t match). In the summer, sit outside with a jug of sangria and don’t miss out on the pulled lamb parcels and the roasted vegetables with goat's cheese.
Brewski is known for its incredible junk food bar menu, with plenty of choice for vegetarians and vegans. It was also one of the first places to bring poutine – a Canadian delicacy of cheese-curds, chips, and gravy that rivals any chip shop sourced cheesy chips you’ve had before – to Manchester. If you’re into craft beer, this is the place for you. With 14 craft beer taps selling brews from around the globe, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Grab a big table and enjoy burgers with your mates.
Barbecue Coffee House
Barbecue may be a strange name for a coffee shop, but this is a really delightful little place that serves some of the best coffee in Manchester. Run by the people behind Passionfruit Coffee, the beans are roasted in-house – you’ll be able to smell them down the street on roasting day. In the winter months, take a book and grab a spot by the wood burning stove, and in the summer, soak up some rays on the outdoor patio with an espresso and a pastel de nata. What’s not to love?!
Famed for their incredible brunch menu, Love Thy Neighbour is relatively new to Wilbraham Road in Chorlton. They serve everything from smoothie acai bowls to full English fry-ups, served in their uber-trendy, Instagram-ready café. In the summer, sit outside and enjoy some cocktails, and the morning after, drag yourself here on a hangover for something healthy to restore your vitamin levels. Religious connotations aside, this is a really friendly neighbourhood café that will soon become a regular haunt.
The Beagle is a Chorlton mainstay. A cosy interior and sunny conservatory make this a great place to hang out all year round. There’s always a good atmosphere, with friendly locals and knowledgeable bar staff. Chorlton locals love Taco Thursdays, when £1.50 tacos and £5 margaritas get the party going. The Beagle also plays regular host to exhibitions, film screenings and brewery takeovers – there’s always something going on.
Things to Do in Chorlton
Ivy Green & Chorlton Ees Nature Reserve
The Chorlton Ees Nature Reserve is a stunning protected piece of land that’s dedicated as a Site of Biological Importance – meaning that it’s protected from development for the foreseeable future. There aren't many places in Manchester where you can truly get away from the city and enjoy a walk in the woods or by the river, so Chorlton residents are lucky to have this on their doorstep. Ideal Sunday: a walk with friends and then a pint at the Horse & Jockey on Chorlton Green.
Chorlton Makers Market
Chorlton Makers Market pops up outside the library once a month and showcases the best in local makers and craftspeople. Pick up vintage clothes, plants, jewellery and ceramics, and enjoy the atmosphere. This popular market has been running for years, so there’s always a great atmosphere and some interesting sellers. On sunny days, it’s nice to enjoy an iced coffee as you walk around.
This family run bookshop was established in 1983 and sells fiction, non-fiction and children’s books to Chorlton locals. The shop is beloved to nearby residents – when a bar opening threatened its closure, they organised a small protest to show how much they adore the place. Chorlton Bookshop is perfect for browsing or picking up a gift, and the friendly staff can order books in to the shop with next day delivery.
Moving to Chorlton
Chorlton has a long-standing reputation for being a liberal and bohemian place to live, with residents having a strong sense of pride in their community. Coffee shops, restaurants, yoga studios and independent shops make this part of Manchester the perfect haven for those who will be commuting into the city by tram, bus or bike.
Not for you? Take a look at our other Manchester guides.