As part of our new Moving to… series we take a look at some of the most popular areas to live in. We’ll cover the local property market, food & drink, education, transport, culture & attractions and much more.
This month we head to the small but mighty city of Preston in Lancashire – home of the late Kenny Baker who played R2D2 in Star Wars and the first KFC outlet in the UK!
Property market at a glance
The overall average house price in Preston has increased steadily over the past three years from £152,829 to £164,116. This is a 7% growth in a time of economic uncertainty – showing that Preston is a promising city when it comes to property.
Semi-detached houses sold for an average of £160,041 during the last year, while terraced properties and detached properties went for an average of £107,283 and £265,397, respectively.
Property prices for surrounding suburbs and villages such as Ashton-On-Ribble, Fulwood and Penwortham are also prime hotspots for those looking for family homes. Ashton-On-Ribble, in particular, is one of the top places in and around Preston if you’re looking for lots of space for your money – the average property price is £123,876.
Overall, Preston and its suburbs offer a fantastic range of properties from apartments in vibrant urban settings, large detached homes in quieter suburbs and village cottages set in plenty of green space.
Image courtesy of The Ginger Bistro
Food and drink
Beer Brothers Brewery and Bar is one of the hippest places in the city – it features a popular craft ale bar, microbrewery and a specialist bottle shop. If gin is more your thing then the Plau Gin and Beer House will be your heaven – it won Preston’s Bar of the Year 2019! Here, punters can choose from cask ale, cocktails, wine, spirits, gin and craft beer all in the beautiful historic vaults setting.
If traditional pubs are more your bag, then the Stanley Arms could be perfect for you. It serves classic pub grub in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Preston also has the regular high street favourites such as Yates, Turtle Bay and Wetherspoons.
When it comes to food, Preston does it like no other. The sheer variety available ranges from authentic East Asian cuisine at the Kim Ji Korean Restaurant to fresh British and fusion dishes at The Ginger Bistro. Other culinary highlights in Preston include Mughali’s Central Asian offerings, the large Mediterranean selection from Totto’s Restaurant and the delicious sweet treats from the Lazy Cat Cafe (complete with felines!).
Around 77% of schools within a three-mile radius of Preston achieved a “Good” or “Outstanding” score in their last Ofsted report. With over 70 primary schools, 20 secondary schools and seven 16-18 colleges, this is an impressive standard of education.
Some 88% of primary schools alone received a “Good” or “Outstanding” score, while 71% of secondary schools also achieved the same. The colleges in and around Preston also have a fantastic reputation. Cardinal Newman College, for example, has invested in state-of-the-art facilities, offering a wide range of courses to students. Preston’s College provides apprenticeships such as business, dental and construction, as well as academic courses.
Culture and attractions
Preston definitely isn’t short of things to do. Wacky World, the UK’s biggest inflatable playground, only opened two years ago and it remains one of the most popular places in Preston! The play park is actually for adults and kids alike, with a climbing wall, a big wrecking ball, a drop slide, hungry hippos, an assault course and much more.
The beautiful Harris Museum and Art Gallery, built in the 1800s, is worth checking out as it offers something for everyone. From street fashion to fine art, the Harris regularly showcases a wide range of exhibitions, talks, tours and so on.
For military history buffs, the Lancashire Infantry Museum could be a great place to spend the day. Make sure you take some form of ID, as the museum is located on Ministry of Defence grounds.
If you enjoy going to the theatre or the cinema, then Preston won’t disappoint. The Preston Playhouse hosts musicals, plays, music gigs and much more. There’s a Vue Cinema, an Odeon Cinema and The Palace about 20 minutes up the road! The latter is a charming entertainment venue showing indie films and blockbuster hits, as well as live comedy, pantomimes and sing-a-long film showings!
For the avid shopper there is Miller Arcade and St George’s Shopping Centre where you’ll find popular high street stores such as H&M, The Body Shop, WH Smith and so on.
Sports fans can see a Preston North End FC match at Deepdale Stadium, a Lancashire Wolverines British American Football game and a Grasshoppers rugby match – and that’s only the pro teams!
Wild Discovery in Ribby Hall Village is just a quick drive away from Preston centre. It houses a whole host of interesting creatures such as crocodiles, bats, tree frogs, exotic birds and wallabies, as well as British wildlife like the pot-bellied pig and fallow deer.
Travelling in and out of Preston is a breeze – especially since you can get to so many different towns and cities in the UK! Preston is a fairly compact city, so it doesn’t take a lot of time to drive from place to place.
The public transport links are also extremely efficient. For example, it only takes just over two hours to get to London by train and Glasgow is just two and a half hours by train. Liverpool and Manchester are less than an hour away, while Blackburn and Wigan are both around 15 – 20 minutes away by train. If you fancy a trip to the seaside, Blackpool is just 25 minutes by train.
If you’re jetting off to sunnier climes then Manchester Airport and Liverpool John Lennon airport are a little less than an hour’s drive away. On a more local scale, there are plenty of bus services running in and around Preston and its suburbs, as well as taxi firms.
Are you thinking of starting afresh in a new city? Make sure you have a good conveyancer ready when you find your dream home! Request a callback today.