It is impossible to begin an area guide about Old Trafford without mentioning Manchester United, arguably the biggest football club in the world. Their 75,000 seater stadium, named after the area, dominates the M16 postcode, yet there is so much more to Old Trafford than the team it is most famously known for.
Just a few miles from Manchester City Centre, Old Trafford has solidified its status as a favourite with families, thanks to good-quality schools. Younger professionals also have their eyes on Old Trafford, as a thriving bar and award-winning food scene, coupled with helpful travel links, is making the M16 postcode somewhere that appeals across the board.
Old Trafford is an area in the Metropolitan Borough of Manchester and is 3.2 miles southwest from the city centre.
Residents of Old Trafford have access to the Metrolink, which provides services to Altrincham, Piccadilly and Deansgate in around 25 minutes. Vehicle owners also have plenty of options with the M60, M52, M6, and M62 motorways, which are easily accessed from the area. You could argue that Old Trafford is well placed to get virtually anywhere in the country.
Initially, Old Trafford was a crossing point of the River Irwell during ancient times, and likely gets its name from when there were two Trafford Halls: OLd Trafford New Hall and New Trafford Hall. As a result, the area around these halls ended up becoming known as Old Trafford.
Thanks to its cleanliness, Old Trafford was selected as the site for a Royal Horticultural and Botanical Garden in the 1800s. The gardens’ popularity led wealthy people to build houses in the area, giving Old Trafford an affluent reputation.
During the late 1890s, Old Trafford expanded to become an urban area, with the development of the nearby Trafford Park Industrial Estate playing a significant role in its expansion. By the mid-eighties, employment at Trafford Park had fallen, and the area fell on hard times up until its most recent regeneration project.
During the 1960s, many of the Victorian homes were demolished, yet there are still plenty available today. The area is known for its many large houses, though there is a fair number of flats and converted apartments available.
A one-bedroom home averages £590 per month and two-bedroom properties fetch in the region of £750. Those looking for a three-bed-and-up property - families and shares - can expect to pay between £1,000 and £1,500 per month.
As fun as dining out can be, sometimes a takeaway is just what you need. Gi Foo is a Chinese takeaway restaurant in Old Trafford with authentic tastes straight from China. There is a selection of chicken, beef and pork dishes, as well as favourites such as roast duck and dumplings.
Address: 621 Stretford Rd, Stretford, Manchester M16 0QA
The official restaurant of Manchester United, the Red Cafe is located at Old Trafford stadium. The menu is vast, with a selection of snacks and lunches on offer. There is even a VIP section reserved just for members on match days. However, it is open to the general public every other day of the week.
Address: Sir Matt Busby Way, Stretford, Manchester M16 0RA
M&M’s Carribean Cafe offers a fusion of flavours from authentic Carribean cuisines. It’s one of Manchester’s best-kept secrets, with a menu that has jerk chicken, dumpling, aki and saltfish and more - all cooked by owner Mike Hylton, who is a qualified chef with over 30 years’ experience.
Address: 127 Stamford St, Stretford, Manchester M16 9LT
It’s no surprise that our selections are football-heavy - after all, Old Trafford is the home to Manchester United. Cafe Football is a restaurant that has been donned by heroes past and present of Man Utd and serves up a tasty selection of treats. Their motto is ‘Love food. Love football’.
Address: 99 Sir Matt Busby Way, Stretford, Manchester M16 0SZ
A little over a mile away from Old Trafford is Matchstick Man, a pub for all occasions. Whether you want to watch the latest sporting event, have a few drinks or fancy a full dinner, Matchstick Man goes big on the comfort food as well as deserts and, of course, a selection of ales and alcoholic drinks.
Address: Capital Quay, Salford M50 3WL
The Toll Gate is a local pub that serves traditional pub grub and ales. Known for its friendly staff, head to the Toll Gate for a warm and welcoming experience that is served up with home cooked food and a thirst-quenching drink or two.
Address: Seymour Grove, Stretford, Manchester M16 0TG
The mixologists at The Alchemist create every cocktail with an obsessive eye for detail, making sure that you’re not disappointed. A full menu and bar nibbles are available for those looking for a bite to eat.
Address: The Bund The Quays Media City M50 3AB
There are over 280 stores at the intu Trafford Centre, which is the UK’s third largest shopping centre and is located around three miles from Old Trafford. The city centre is also under four miles away and features shopping favourites such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
The Science and Industry Museum is a little over two miles from Old Trafford and is devoted to science, technology and industry. There are many displays, from cars, aircraft and railway-related themes in the world of transport to electricity, steam and gas exhibitions in all things power.
Old Trafford has many desirable qualities, but it’s impossible to talk about the area without mentioning the sporting history. As well as being home to Manchester United, one of the most successful football clubs in the world, it’s also the location of Lancashire County Cricket Club.
But it’s the football stadium, also named Old Trafford, that is the centre point. It has a capacity of 74,000-plus and is visited by people from all over the world. With a museum, restaurants and local tours, there’s much more to Old Trafford Stadium than football.
Moving to Old Trafford
If you don’t fancy paying city centre prices, Old Trafford is a viable alternative with affordable rents and excellent transport links. The period properties add to the charm, and the local vibes create a neighbourly feel. Just make sure that you’re ready to embrace the behemoth that is Manchester United.