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In a recent survey by the Centre for Economics and Business Research commissioned by the Royal Mail, Sale was found to be the fourth most desirable place to live in England. Bebbington on The Wirral topped the list and was said to offer the best quality of life. You can see the full list here courtesy of The Telegraph:


The Centre considered a range of factors including the quality of the schooling, access to green spaces, good employment prospects, working hours, affordable housing and average commute times. The study highlighted that areas around large northern cities such as Manchester and Liverpool offer better work life balance.

This article in the MEN highlights those things that attracts those relocating to Manchester or those moving within Manchester, to Sale.


Whilst there is no denying Sale offers great housing and schooling, I lived there myself for many years for those reasons, the town centre is sometimes disappointing to those considering a move to South Manchester. Often the relocation process starts with a familiarisation or orientation tour which obviously includes Sale for the reasons discusssed but people often feel the centre lacks charm particularly when compared to Hale and the much improved Altrincham. We have had a number of clients relocating to Manchester who have moved to Sale despite being initially disappointed with the town centre and have not regretted their decision. More affordable housing than pretty Hale being the major factor

loads to do with kids - sports, theatre

as well as own great schools Altrincham schools AGGS AGSB St Ambrose Loreto aslo option

with places like cork of North/Mustard opening up hopefully soon will be full package.

Considering a move to Manchester need advice get in touch



Considering a move to Manchester? Thinking about living in Manchester City Centre? Manchester City Centre is particularly popular with those relocating from continental Europe, young professionals and those post children who want to enjoy their new found freedom! This recent M.E.N. article has lots of great information about the different areas within Manchester City Centre.

For a more personal approach to your relocation please get in touch. We can help you discover if Manchester City Centre really is for you or if your lifestyle is better suited to one of the lovely suburbs surrounding Manchester such as Didsbury, Altrincham, Bramhall and Wilmslow.

"More people are living in Manchester city centre than ever before.

The city’s skyline has changed dramatically in the last decade, with new developments seemingly announced every week.

So we have trawled the property market, grilled numerous estate agents and city centre residents and analysed property prices to bring you the ultimate guide to the best places to buy/rent a city bolthole.

Four neighbourhoods which came out top; Spinningfields, Northern Quarter , Ancoats, and Castlefield and we’ve also included neighbouring Salford Quays , another top pick for people wanting a slice of the high-life .

So here is everything you need to know if you’re thinking of taking the plunge into the greatest city on Earth.


Leftbank development, Spinningfields

Popular with footballers and soap stars, and boasting a whole host of swanky restaurants and bars, Spinningfields is the place to be...if you can afford it.

Lettings manager at Jordan Fishwick, Alex Stacey, said: “It’s about the reputation. It’s the amenities, there’s a wealth of bars and restaurants right on your doorstep.

“A lot of couples look for a one bedroom apartment there, when they could get two bedrooms a little further out, because they’re in a more desirable area.”

Where is the best place to live?

Leftbank development, Spinningfields

Let’s be honest, if you’re even contemplating living in Spinningfields then you’ve got a few quid to spend.

However, even with the longest arms and the deepest of pockets you will have to dig deep, depending on what you want.

As you can guess, popularity comes with a price and one of the most popular developments in Spinningfields is Bauhaus, which currently has a two bedroom apartment on the market for £495,000.

Or if that’s out of your price range try the very fancy Leftbank, where you can snap up another two bed for £339,950.


Spinningfields is not for anyone on a tight budget and prices typically vary anywhere from £165,000 to upwards of £1m.

If you’re looking to rent a property then you can expect to pay between £900 p/m and an astonishing £2,000 p/m.

What is there to do?

The Alchemist.
The Alchemist is one of many bars and restaurants in Spinningfields

When you’re not sipping on cocktails in Alchemist or chowing down with the stars at Australasia there is more than enough to keep you occupied.

In the summer, residents and office workers get out and enjoy the sun at the Maker’s Market which comes to town in July/August, with everything from tasty treats to vintage photography to hang in your penthouse apartment.

And when Christmas time rolls around, the stunning ice rink which returns to Hardman Square this year after having been moved briefly to London Road."

Here is a link to the article:


I am a big fan of the Lovin Manchester site www.lovinmanchester.com  because we are, lovin Manchester, that is. The site is informative yet lighthearted, packed with loads of great content, is current and is a great place to find out what is going on in Manchester. The site has loads of fabulous articles but the following article by Tori Attwood is particularly amusing. Enjoy!


Our latest testimonial is provided by Dan and Nikki Furrow who relocated to Prestbury with their two young sons and three month old daughter. Dan's job is based in Warringtom and the boys are going to school in Wilmslow. It was a pleasure working with them.

"When we decided to accept an expat assignment we didn’t know where to start, but we searched online and found Gallica Relocation. After contacting several relocation agencies in the area, we decided Hilary was the best fit based on her professionalism and experience. 

Hilary is a good communicator, answering all of our questions in a timely manner, even following up on certain items to ensure we were being taken care of.

Hilary knew the area well and provided good options for rental homes to best fit our family She had a lot of good experience being an expat herself – she understood the challenges and had good advice. She also connected us with another expat couple in addition to recommending an American expat group in the area.

Hilary had good knowledge of the schools in the area and was familiar with their strengths. She scheduled appointments and attended visits with us to help us decide on the right school for our sons. 

The weekend of our move, Hilary went out of her way to facilitate the rental company drop off  to ensure everything was set in the right place and even put sheets on all the beds so when we arrived after over 9 hours of travel we could nap without having to do it ourselves.

Hilary checked in with us throughout the entire relocation process - and after - to make sure we were settling in well and that our boys were transitioning well to their new school. 

We enjoyed working with Hilary and would highly recommend Gallica Relocation"


Here at Gallica Relocation we don’t regard our job done once we have checked the inventory! We consider your ‘settling in’ to be crucial. In addition to helping you find doctors and dentists and other life essentials, we will help you to source clubs and groups where you and your family can pursue your hobbies and interests.

I know with children helping them to pick up their hobbies quickly is a factor in helping them to settle but I would recommend you wait until they start school if they have a popular hobby or sport, such as football. I have relocated with children and rushed into signing them up with local clubs but on starting school they have wanted to move to the clubs where the other children at school go.

Most people relocating to Manchester (or to any new area or country) want to meet and get to know local people, no one usually moves to a new country wanting to only mix with other expats but it can be reassuring to be put in touch with someone who has had a similar experience whilst relationships with ‘locals’ are established.

We spend a lot of time in the car with clients and can get to know them quite well over a short period of time. We are well tuned in to which clients will get along with each other and have established a number of unofficial ‘groups’, putting together likeminded people who help and support each other (and if the Facebook pictures are to be believed, have fun!).

We currently have three ‘groups’ running:

A professional women’s group in Manchester Centre and near suburbs Didsbury, Sale, Stretford and Timperley.

A family group in Wilmslow, Cheshire.

A family group in Prestbury and Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

We never consider our job done, we are always available to answer any questions or queries you may have during your time in the North West.

If you are relocating to Manchester, to Cheshire, or the North West and are seeking local, cost effective, flexible and caring relocation services and relocation support, just get in touch

I was contacted by Ricardo after a colleague recommended our services to him. She is also a professor at Manchester Metropolitan University and moved to Manchester at the beginning of this year.

Ricardo and his wife Cathy, an artist,  were looking for a quiet leafy neighbourhood with easy access to Manchester Metropolitan University by public transport. They like to walk but also like to be able 'to pop out for a coffee or a bite to eat.' They also wanted to be able to walk to an 'organic grocery store.' Chorlton seemed the obvious and best choice and we managed to secure a house within short walking distance of both the infamous Beech Road and the Mersey Valley's Ivy Green, and not forgetting Unicorn Grocery, the whole food co-op.

Ricardo was moving from California and I picked him up from Manchester Airport on an early Sunday morning at the end of May, on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far. I was slightly concerned when he called me in the evening to say that his heating did not appear to be working properly! Hopefully he will acclimatise before January!

Here is what Ricardo had to say:

'I have moved a week ago from the USA in order to work as a professor at a university in Manchester.  Everything went smoothly and easily thanks to the assistance of Gallica Relocation.  In just three days Hilary helped us to find a great flat to rent in a neighborhood that we love.  She put us in touch with shipping services that did an outstanding job.  More important of all, she is a caring and knowledgeable person, as well as a great listener who figures out what the client needs.  I heartily recommend her services to anyone moving to a new city.'

Update November 2016

Cathy and Ricardo invited me along with my family to join them for afternon tea and it was wonderful to see them settled in their new home in Chorlton. Their house, close to Beech Road, looked fabulous full of the precious belongings we had helped them to transport from California. Manchester folk have been their usual welcoming selves and Ricardo and Cathy were already feeling part of the Chorlton community and were going to the Beech Road bonfire later that evening to meet up with new friends. Cathy has a good friend who she initially met in Manchester City Centre when Cathy asked her for directions. Only in Manchester!

Ricardo is cycling to the University and was only caught out by the Manchester rain once. Waterproofs are now very much the order of the day. The weather may look fine but Ricardo learnt very quickly that Manchester weather can be very changeable. What is the saying, if you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes?

Here at Gallica Relocation we pride ourselves on providing relocation services that continue to help our clients to settle and do not disappear once a client has moved into their new home and the inventotry has been checked. Being local we are available to help with any issues that may arise in the early weeks or throughout a client's time in Manchester.

Today's blog was written by 'Elizabeth' who relocated to Manchester from Mexico. She has introduced me to the delights of home cooked Mexican food and tequilla that you sip!

My experience moving to Manchester.

Changing location it's always an adventure!! There are so many exciting things to come! But also many things that could go wrong if you don't pay attention.
Let's think about the basics, finding the perfect house, I wanted to find a place I could see my self coming every day after work and feel like home. A place that was near to a park and preferably walking or cycling distance from work, in an area that is safe and friendly. Sounds easy, but here is the catch, I needed a pet friendly house, and not just any pet like a gold fish, a dog... A big one!!
That was the real challenge for my agent, a part from meeting my budget. Many people would've seen my requirements as constraints, but she saw them as specifications... And it was the way she narrowed the search, but only for the perfect house but the perfect place in general!
It's important to get your bearings in the city, it's small and easy to move around, but it's always better to have someone that explains you where to go, where to avoid, what to expect from the different areas; specially if you come from a different country.
The days that she dedicated to me showing around, weren't only about places, those days for me were more like understanding the culture in the city.
At the beginning I thought that it was going to be easier to settle down, but there are so many things apart from finding a house! You also need to find a doctor, dentist, get your national insurance number... The correct tax code! Oh my! I didn't even know I had one and that was incorrect!! If you are not European, get ready for a long process regarding your driving licence.
It's not easy, but it's exciting! And having someone to help you make things going smoothly makes the difference.
I've been in Manchester now for a year and I like it!!! So, welcome and enjoy!


In our recent blog 'Relocating to Manchester: Hale' we highlighted the quality of the schools in neighbouring Altrincham and Altrincham has been named as the second best place in the UK to bring up children with the quality of schools as a major factor.


If you are thinking of relocating to Altrincham contact us for school search and home search support.



Why is Hale so popular with those moving to Manchester?

Hale is a pretty town in Cheshire, known locally as a village, about 9 miles to the south of Manchester City Centre. What does distinguish a town from a village? It seems to have very little to do with what limited amount I can remember from human geography lessons and more to do with how attractive a place is. Using this logic (or non-logic), Hale is most definitely a village. When conducting an orientation tour of towns (and villages!) to the south of Manchester, I sometimes think shall we just go to Hale because more often than not, it ends up as the location of choice in the end anyway. Those relocating are charmed by the pretty village with its independent shops and boutiques and numerous bars and restaurants on Ashley Road. Houses sit on tree lined streets; period terraced and semi-detached houses close to the centre with larger detached, some extremely large, as you move out. Essentially a wide selection of housing is within walking distance of the village and to be close to a centre is often a search criteria for many of those relocating.

Hale is also a good option for those relocating to Manchester with children and in fact, many already living in Manchester look to move to Hale to be within the catchment for Altrincham Grammar School for Boys and Altrincham Grammar School for Girls.  Both are ‘state’ schools with entry subject to an entrance examination at age 11 and both are consistently amongst the ‘best’ schools in the U.K.

Hale and the neighbouring Bowdon and Altrincham also have a number of Ofsted outstanding primary schools: The Bollin School, Bowdon Church School; Altrincham Church of England School; Stamford Park (infant school is rated outstanding and the junior school is rated good). Often, due to the pressure on primary school places, those moving internationally seek independent school places and Hale has a number close by: Hale Prep; Altrincham Prep; Bowdon Prep. The independent primary schools are also quite often full with an odd space in a particular year group but the number of schools close by can help keep options open.

Also, all the large independent senior schools closer to Manchester operate bus services to Hale: St Bede’s; Manchester High School for Girls; Withington Girls School; Manchester Grammar School; Cheadle Hulme School.

Hale has good transport links with easy access to the M56 and M6 motorways. It is close to Manchester Airport but is not troubled by aircraft noise and has its own railway station with trains every hour to Manchester and Chester. The journey time to Manchester City Centre is just under 35 minutes. Those choosing to drive to Manchester will experience congestion during peak times.

The National Trust property, Dunham Massey, a grand 18th century hall set amongst 250 acres of woodland including a deer park is a short drive, or a walk or a jog away. Access to the grounds is free and is popular with local dog walkers, runners and small people on scooters and bikes. The Dunham Massey Ice Cream Farm, very popular with small clients who have behaved very well in the car (the wonders of Peppa Pig and an iPad!) is well worth a visit. Personally the Bailey’s ice cream is my favourite!

Hale also benefits from being a neighbour of Altrincham. Hale is actually an area within Altrincham but has developed a distinct identity of its own. Altrincham has a frequent tram service to Manchester with a journey time of 30 minutes to Manchester City Centre. It does, as you would expect, experience the usual public transport problems. Altrincham has many of the major supermarkets, Aldi, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose and more ‘chain’ stores as well as its own (increasing) share of bars and restaurants including the extremely popular Market House in the converted Market Hall.

Hale and its other neighbours Bowdon and Hale Barns are popular with ‘celebrities’ and footballers from the local Manchester City and Manchester United, as well as the Merseyside and Midlands teams. The ‘Real Housewives of Cheshire’ are often shown walking through Hale Village and it’s not unusual to spot a Daily Mail photographer lurking about. This gives us a hint at a negative of Hale! Hale, Hale Barns and Bowdon (although located in Cheshire) are expensive suburbs to Manchester and along with ‘The Golden Triangle’ of Alderley Edge, Wilmslow and Prestbury, you will find the most expensive roads outside London and in general, properties are well above the national average.

If you want to know more about Hale, just get in touch.

Relocating to Manchester? Need help deciding where to live? Let us help. We provide local, cost effective relocation services in Manchester.

Relocating to Manchester: A Case Study

One of the things I enjoy most about being a relocation agent is meeting lots of lovely and interesting people; helping them to manage the stress of moving home and then catching up with them to find they are settled and happy and enjoying life in Manchester. Matt and Coral are no exception……….

Matt and Coral were relocating to Manchester from Paris. They were in a slightly unusual position in that most people relocating to Manchester do so because they have a new job role but Coral and Matt were moving to Manchester and going to seek new job roles once they had relocated.

Why Manchester? Manchester offers good job opportunities for both Matt who works in the financial sector and for Coral who is an artist and also means they can travel easily to visit family and friends on the Isle of Man, in York and in London. They are also keen indoor sky divers and the window tunnel at The Trafford Quays Leisure Village close to the Trafford Centre was an added bonus. The Chill Factore, the UK’s longest indoor ski slope is also located at the Village.

Many letting agents and landlords will not consider renting a property to those not working full time and even though Matt and Coral were able to pay a substantial period of rent upfront, many agents refused to even show them properties. Having worked with the local agents previously we were able to convince them to consider them as good potential tenants. Matt and Coral had some quite specific requirements: a semi-detached house with enough parking for 3/4 cars. Matt had had a ‘bad experience’ with parking and Christmas visitors and wanted friends and family to be able to visit and park easily. Matt was unable to join us on the home search and this requirement did keep Coral and I amused! We viewed houses in Prestwich, Urmston, Sale, Didsbury, Timperley, Altrincham and Hale over a two day period and Coral and Matt secured a newly refurbished and extended house in Urmston (with parking for at least 3 cars!)

Here is what Coral had to say

Hilary recently helped us to find a great rental property in an ideal location and I couldn't be happier with the excellent service we received! 

We were looking to relocate from Paris to Manchester but had very little knowledge of the area. Having discovered Hilary's website and spoken to her about our situation by phone, we decided to utilise her expertise. We discussed our requirements in depth, and when we met in person she had a full itinerary of potential houses for us to view. She had clearly taken on board all of our requirements and had a strong understanding of what would suit us, both in terms of house and location. This was reflected in the calibre of places she had to show us.

The overall house hunt experience was relaxed and enjoyable. Hilary was very friendly and helpful, and was able to answer the multitude of questions I had. She was attentive and honest, pointing out pros and cons of the various houses and locations, whilst also giving us time to process and discuss the options privately. She helped to give me an excellent overview of the area and even the places we were taken for lunch were well thought through. After our initial search she continued to assist us over the course of a few months, dealing directly with the agents on our behalf, and was on hand right up until we received the keys, which made an otherwise stressful move much easier.

I don't think I can stress enough the quality of service Hilary provided. She went above and beyond to assist us in our hunt for a suitable home in an unfamiliar area. She gave me all the information I needed, so that I felt I knew the area myself, she took the stress of communicating back and forth between different people upon herself, and even took us to places for lunch that I would go back to on a regular basis. Needless to say I would happily recommend her services!

Strolling through sunny Altrincham, a market town in Cheshire about 8 miles to the south of Manchester City Centre earlier today, it would have been difficult to believe that it does ‘always rain in Manchester’


Having been born and raised in Manchester I never really had cause to question the weather until attending university interviews. When other candidates asked where I was from, the reply ‘it always rains in Manchester’ came back (we will set aside the ‘do you live on Coronation Street’ and ‘does your dad wear a flat cap and keep pigeons’ questions!). My response was that it did not always rain in Manchester and it did not rain in Manchester any more that it did anywhere else in the U.K.

I relocated to London to study and realised that actually it does rain more in Manchester than it does anywhere else, or in London at least.

Surprisingly, to me at least, a 2013 article in the Manchester Evening News suggests that actually my first view was correct and that ‘rainy Manchester is a myth’


Far be it from me to question those significantly more educated than myself but having lived in London and North Yorkshire (and Vienna and Milan), I do think we get rain on more days. When it rained in North Yorkshire it rained, really rained, but there were definitely more dry days. In 2013 Alfie Yarmouth, a Londoner living in Manchester, kept detailed records with the aim of proving ‘Mancs’ who claim that it doesn’t rain much in Manchester, wrong.


As a relocation agent supporting families moving to Manchester I am always honest about the rain as it is important that those relocating understand the good and bad about where they are moving to. I love Manchester – it’s a great city despite the rain.

The question is whether you believe the Manchester University academics or Alfie. Personally I’m with Alfie (on the weather at least) but you know what, it doesn’t matter, Manchester has much more to offer than the weather. Just bring an umbrella. According to Alfie, I’ll be minus an umbrella, looking like a drowned rat, a proper ‘Manc’!

Moving to Manchester? Our relocation services can help you find a home and schools for your children and then help you to settle in. We’ll find you a local football, tennis club (whatever interests you) and let know sessions will not be cancelled because it’s raining!

Council tax is a cost that tends to come as a surprise to those relocating to the UK. When discussing housing requirements with a client, budget is an obvious question. Most clients have considered utility costs such as water, gas and electricity (although may need advice on potential charges) but have not considered council tax charges which can increase costs considerably – up to £3,000 per year for larger or more expensive properties. Council tax is paid by householders or tenants (it is paid by landlords in some rare cases)

What is council tax? Council tax is a local tax collected by local authorities otherwise known as councils. Councils are local government bodies covering a distinct geographical area and locally we have, for example. Manchester City Council, Salford City Council, Trafford Council, Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council. Each council sets its own council tax across eight bands A to H; A being the cheapest band and H the most expensive. Each property has been allocated a band based on a historical value and it is possible to look up the band if you have the postcode of the property (https://www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands).

As an example, here are the council tax costs payable in Trafford this year. Trafford is a popular choice for families with school age children as it is consistently one of the best performing education authorities in the U.K. Trafford council tax charges are usually slightly lower than the surrounding areas.


Annual Cost 2016/17


















Having been made aware of council tax, most of those relocating want to know what is it for. What is it for? The council use it to pay for local services such as schools, rubbish collection, roads and street lighting.

There is probably no need to get bogged down in the detail of council tax. If you are relocating to Manchester, or anywhere else in the U.K. you have enough to consider (all of which we can obviously help you with!). The important point for those relocating to the UK is that it needs to be paid and to factor it in to calculations for housing costs. We will advise the council tax band and subsequent cost of each property you view during a home search.


This article written by Mark E Johnson published in the Spring issue of Relocate Magazine includes our thoughts:


Relocating to the 'capital' of the Northern Powerhouse, Manchester, we can help with area familiarisation, home search, school search and setting in. Our relocation services are tailored to your individual requirements and cost effective.

I moved into Manchester from Delhi while my wife was expecting a baby in less than 2 months. We were very anxious about finding the right hospital, getting my wife registered into the Health Services. This was on top of the usual issues such as finding the right home that will suit our need based on the expected addition to the family, and getting bank accounts, etc. In less than 2 weeks Hilary had everything sorted for us, even when we had indicated that we had a months’ time at hand. I can’t thank her enough for everything that she did. She kept checking on us well beyond her professional commitment and duty that this assignment called for. It therefore comes as no surprise that 3 years later when our time came to relocate back to Delhi, she was the one who handled it all for us once again. From doing things which we weren’t aware we should do such as helping me inform the Tax Authorities in case if there was a refund and informing the Visa agency about our leaving the country, to doing the usual things such as helping close utility accounts and sorting out our rent contract, Hilary managed it all seamlessly. I was also amazed by Hilary’s deep relocation industry knowledge. There are few logistics companies that specialize in India relocation, we obviously didn’t know this. Hilary negotiated a good deal with one of them and everything from Indian Customs clearance to delivery at our doorstep happened within 48 hours of our landing into Delhi. I can’t recommend Hilary enough for all kinds of end-to-end relocation related issues. If you are looking at relocating to Manchester or in the North West of England, look no further.

Anurag Yadav, Scapa


Over the last couple of weeks we have been working with two families from the U.S.A:

One relocating to Cheshire from Atlanta where the cost of living is relatively low and families tend to be moving from particularly large houses even by US standards. The drive to the office and the availability of school places has dictated that the home search areas lie within Cheshire’s ‘Golden Triangle’ namely Prestbury, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge. Our school search has been focused on independent schools as the 2 children are new to the UK schooling system and due to differences between the UK and US systems both children are essentially missing a school year and will benefit from smaller class sizes.

The other is a University professor and his wife relocating to Manchester to take up a post at Manchester Metropolitan University. He wants to be in a quiet area with an easy commute into Manchester City Centre on public transport. His wife is an artist looking for local art classes, a gym, a community to become involved with and access to organic food stores. We are concentrating our search in Chorlton and Didsbury.

On the face of it both families have very different sets of needs/requirements but we are essentially considering many of the same factors:

  • Schooling

  • Commute times to work and school

  • Access to public transport

  • Proximity to shops, coffee shops, restaurants

  • Area type

  • House or apartment type

  • Leisure interest/hobbies

Schools are always the critical factor for those relocating with children.

If you are relocating to Manchester or Cheshire and need relocation advice and support get in touch.




A recent post on LinkedIn highlighted the subtleties of the English language; another thing for those relocating to the UK to get to grips with:





I hear what you say 

I disagree and do not want to discuss it further 

He accepts my point of view 

With the greatest respect 

You are an idiot 

He is listening to me 

That's not bad 

That's good 

That's poor 

That is a very brave proposal 

You are insane 

He thinks I have courage 

Quite good 

A bit disappointing 

Quite good 

I would suggest 

Do it or be prepared to justify yourself 

Think about the idea, but do what you like 

Oh, incidentally/ by the way 

The primary purpose of our discussion is 

That is not very important 

I was a bit disappointed that 

I am annoyed that 

It doesn't really matter 

Very interesting 

That is clearly nonsense 

They are impressed 

I'll bear it in mind 

I've forgotten it already 

They will probably do it 

I'm sure it's my fault 

It's your fault 

Why do they think it was their fault? 

You must come for dinner 

It's not an invitation, I'm just being polite 

I will get an invitation soon 

I almost agree 

I don't agree at all 

He's not far from agreement 

I only have a few minor comments 

Please rewrite completely 

He has found a few typos 

Could we consider some other options 

I don't like your idea 

They have not yet decided 


The original source is not known although it was suggested in the Telegraph that it could have been written by a Dutch company to help employees relocating to the UK. The table has been circulating for a number of years now but just today I experienced it personally. We had organised a driving lesson for a client who recently relocated to Manchester. They are permitted to drive on their foreign licence but must apply for a provisional licence, pass the UK driving test and apply for a full UK licence within twelve months. At the end of the lesson the instructor advised our client that they were not a terrible driver……..they heard I am a good driver!!

We need to give some thought as to how we handle that one, perhaps a chat over some Friday Fizz!!

What are the rules about driving in the UK? The answer depends on where the driving test was passed:

If you passed the driving test in Northern Ireland you can drive until your licence expires.

If you passed the driving test within the European Union you can drive for 3 years after becoming resident but must then exchange your licence for a UK one. If you obtained an EU licence by exchanging a non EU licence you must exchange your licence after 12 months.

If you passed the driving test in Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and the designated countries (currently Andorra, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Zimbabwe) you can drive for 12 months after becoming resident but must then exchange your licence for a UK one.

If you passed the driving test elsewhere you can drive for 12 months but must apply for UK provisional licence, pass the UK driving test and apply for a full licence within 12 months.

Here is a useful tool to double check your particular circumstances:


Our advice, should you need to pass the UK test, is to get started as soon as you can. Whilst you can already drive, the UK test has some peculiarities and ‘good’ drivers do not always pass first time.

A good place to start is to have a driving lesson with a qualified instructor – we can recommend one who will advise if he thinks it will be beneficial for you to have some lessons before the test. Hopefully he will actually say the words ‘you are a good driver!!

Relocating to Manchester, Cheshire or the North West? We provide relocation services in Manchester, Cheshire and the North West and can help with home search, school search and settling in.


Relocating to Manchester, not wanting to live in the City Centre but wanting to be nearby? Consider Didsbury.

Image result for didsbury manchester          Image result for didsbury village


Didsbury is a suburb about four miles south of Manchester City Centre and in my opinion offers the best option for those wanting to live in a suburb but to be close to the City Centre. Again, in my opinion, the areas closer do not offer the feel and facilities of Didsbury.

Didsbury’s population of just under 30,000 is a mixed one of young professionals, families and students divided between Didsbury Village, West Didsbury and East Didsbury. The village and West Didsbury being more desirable and hence more expensive. We have had a number of clients, both young professionals and families, who have chosen Didsbury as their home. All have secured homes, some houses, some apartments, within walking distance of either the Village or West Didsbury (or both) and have enjoyed being close to lovely shops, bars and restaurants without needing to travel to Manchester City Centre.

As well as a mixed population, Didsbury has mixed housing types, typically with terraced houses close to the centres with apartments and town houses added in available spaces. Both period and modern homes are sited close to the centres. Rental accommodation is in short supply and although not quite as fast paced as the City Centre lettings market, good quality properties let very quickly.

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Didsbury has excellent transport links. The East Didsbury to Rochdale Metrolink line runs through Manchester City Centre (offering options to change to other routes) with a station in Didsbury Village and two stations in West Didsbury (West Didsbury and Burton Road). The main road routes in and out of Manchester are congested at peak times but the distance is relatively short with three possible main routes. Bus travel to the City Centre, down Oxford Road, past the universities and the main Manchester hospitals, is another option hence the appeal to mature students and those working at the universities and hospitals. At the time of writing the cycle lanes into Manchester are being improved which is causing additional congestion. The M56 and the M60 are easily accessible so you are able to travel to other areas of the North West and beyond. You can be at the airport (Manchester International Airport) in ten minutes but Didsbury does not suffer with airplane noise.

Didsbury has a number of ‘outstanding’ state primary schools and ‘good’ state secondary schools. Some families do relocate to nearby Trafford for secondary education where there are grammar schools in Stretford, Sale, Urmston and Altrincham and other ‘outstanding’ secondary schools. At the time of writing it is possible for boys and girls living in Didsbury to attend the Altrincham Grammar Schools if they perform especially well in the entrance tests. Didsbury is an excellent location for those families choosing independent education with The Manchester Grammar School, Withington Girls School, Manchester High School for Girls, St Bede’s College and Cheadle Hulme School all close by.

Didsbury has much to offer those wanting to keep active (and the kids off the Xbox!) with its own rugby, cricket, hockey, tennis and lacrosse clubs and the Hough End playing fields has 27 football pitches (both Junior and senior) and 2 Gaelic football pitches along with a newly built leisure centre. The River Mersey is popular with dog walkers. The Parrs Wood Entertainment Centre includes a cinema.

Have a look at www.didsburylife.com to check out what is going on.

Relocating to Manchester? Want more information on Didsbury? Just get in touch. We offer personalised relocation services in Manchester, Cheshire and throughout the North West.


We were recently approached for help by Professor Gabrielle Ivinson who had just taken up a new role at The Manchester Metropolitan University. She was struggling to balance the demands of a new job with finding a home. Gabrielle was seeking a house or apartment within an easy commute of Hulme where she is based. Her office space at the University is open plan and therefore not a space conducive to thinking or writing so a light and airy work area was critical, along with a home for her motorbikes. Gabrielle was keen to get started quickly but was unable, due to diary commitments, to commit to a full day over the following few days. I suggested we planned two half days and thought this could work especially well anyway as it would allow me to judge her reaction to the work area as Gabrielle had consistently stressed the importance of this space and plan viewings for our second morning together based on her reactions.

I planned a morning of viewings and picked Gabrielle up at the University. We focused our search on Manchester City Centre, Didsbury and Chorlton and although we viewed a number of places that would work on our initial search, we did not view anything which made Gabrielle’s ‘heart sing’ – naff I know but still always our aim!!

Having watched Gabrielle’s reaction to the flats and houses, I was very confident that she would like an apartment new to the market in the Urban Splash Timber Wharf development in the Castlefield area of Manchester. Apartments in here go particularly quickly (especially those still owned and managed by Urban Splash as this one was) and there was a lot of interest but, having worked with the agent before, was able to arrange for us to be the first to view the apartment. I deliberately did not schedule another appointment until an hour afterwards to allow us the time to secure the apartment should Gabrielle like it. She immediately loved the light flooding in from the dual aspect windows on either side of the building (dual aspect balconies too) despite the fact the apartment was untidy and grubby. Urban Splash agreed to a full repaint and a deep professional clean and we immediately secured the apartment with the agent’s colleague while the agent went to tell the next viewers waiting outside that unfortunately the apartment had gone. He managed to get hold of the others on the telephone before they arrived.

Gabrielle moved in just over a  week ago and has said ‘I love the place, it’s like a dream come true…….and when we went out of the back of the building and found the canal we were enchanted……I just love watching the cityscape from the walls of windows…’

Gabrielle has also said

“Hilary at Gallica Relocation is a gem.  I was having great difficulty finding time to look for rented accommodation in Manchester while starting a new job.  I was finding it exhausting and frustrating trying to chase estate agents in the evenings after work and then traveling to disparate parts of a big city that I was unfamiliar with to view houses and flats.  Often a property was removed before I manage to get to it and sometimes agents did not turn up.  It was very stressful. Hilary brought calm, order and sensitive insight into the search. She listened carefully to my reactions to properties that she took me to view.  By doing this, she built a strong picture of what I really wanted.  She then proceeded to find properties that truly fitted the bill.  She removed the stress by managing multiple rental estate agencies and doing all the legwork.   I can't thank her enough.  She is worth her weight in gold.”

Need help finding your perfect place when relocating to Manchester, give Hilary a call on 0161 951 7865



Thinking about where to go to for a drink or a bite to eat this evening? Some of those living close to Altrincham will no doubt wander down to Market House in the converted market hall at Altrincham market which offers a great selection of drinks (wine, beer and coffee) and food served in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. A recent article in the Manchester Evening News highlighted all that Market House has to offer.


One word of caution Market House is now so popular that at busy times, most lunchtimes and evenings, it can be very tricky to find a seat with many people standing. Breakfast and between the lunch and dinner (or is it tea as we are in the North?) rush are quieter and perhaps a good time for a first visit. Those clients considering a move to Altrincham, Hale or Bowdon are always happy to enjoy a mid morning coffee at the Market and we have been known to return to the evening for a glass of fizz to celebrate a succesful home search!

Relocating to Cheshire. We offer relocation services to those considering a move to Altrincham, Hale and Bowdon.


Apparently the cast of Cold Feet have been spotted filming scenes for the long awaited new series in the Northern Quarter, a lively vibrant area of Manchester City Centre very popular with young people moving to Manchester. In the original series the close group of friends lived in Didsbury (well they pretended they did!), a suburb south of the centre and we will look at Didsbury in a future blog.

There is nothing to say that the characters have moved into the City Centre, perhaps they are just taking advantage of the independent shops, cafes, restaurants and bars the area has to offer. Visit www.northernquartermanchester.com to see what’s going on.

The area is not for everyone; some find it just too noisy and lively. A recent client loved the light and open plan feel of an apartment in Jewel House on Thomas Street. We returned in the evening and asked for the music in the bar below to be turned to the highest volume………..she chose an apartment in Castlefield!!

Since the City Centre expanded, with new development to cope with the increasing numbers moving in, the Northern Quarter extended into the area north of Great Ancoats Street which forms part of the inner ring road, originally with mill conversions such as Royal Mills and more recently into newer developments such as NQ4, the Ice Plant and Flint Glass Wharf. Royals Mills remains popular with residents in rented apartments staying there for long periods. This area is mainly residential although new cafes and shops are popping up, so is good for those wanting easy access to the shops, cafes, bars and restaurants in the heart of the Northern Quarter but preferring to live somewhere quieter. The disadvantage is that the streets can be quiet especially at night but I have had a number of clients who have lived and moved freely in the area without any issue at all.

Being close to Piccadilly Station the area is also popular with those wanting to live in Manchester City Centre but working outside. The Holt Town and New Islington Metrolink stops on the East Manchester line between Manchester Piccadilly and Ashton Under Lyne offer a quick route to the station for those not wishing to walk – it does rain a lot in Manchester after all!!

New Islington bridges the gap between the Northern Quarter and Ancoats. New Islington is a regeneration area within Ancoats and Urban Splash, the property developers with their head office in Manchester, have been at the centre of development in the area with, for example, the Chips building. Ancoats too has seen much redevelopment in recent years such as the Nuovo apartments on Great Ancoats Street. Actually I have to admit to not being entirely sure where the Northern Quarter, New Islington and Ancoats begin and end!!

Until recently parents have tended to move out of the area once children were starting school but the New Islington Free School (  http://newislingtonschool.com/ ) has offered the possibility of primary school places but since their outstanding Ofsted rating in July 2015 places have been at a premium.

The Rochdale canal with recent improvements to the towpath surface offers opportunity those wanting to walk, jog, run or cycle.

Where are your favourite places in the Northern Quarter?

Relocating to Manchester? Need help deciding where to live? Let us help. We provide local, cost effective relocation services in Manchester.

Manchester and Liverpool listed in the top 10 happiest places to work courtesy of The Guardian


Relocating to Manchester, relocating to Liverpool, we are a local cost effective relocation service in Manchester.

A weekend in Manchester courtesy of the Times Newspaper

A weekend in . . . Manchester


Relocating to Manchester, we provide local cost effective relocation services in Manchester.

For those relocating with children, accessing school places in ‘good’ schools (considered ‘good’ using the usual measures but also good for the child) is likely to be the most stressful aspect of the relocation. Many parents moving to the Manchester area seek school places in Trafford which is consistently one of the best performing education authorities in the UK. Trafford is one of the few authorities where the grammar school system remains and whilst offering excellent educational opportunities, can add to the stress. If you are relocating with primary school children, whether to Trafford or elsewhere, try to also consider catchment areas for senior schools when buying or even renting properties. Even if you only plan to be in the area for a specific period of time, things change and the move to senior school is here before you know it. You do not want to have to move again.

Manchester has been included in a recent New York Times list 'The 41 places to go in 2011′ Nothing more needs to be said!