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- December 14, 2021
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Midwinter dreams of summer: holidays at ‘home’
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The city of Preston is often overlooked. Not unlike its venerable but unglamorous football club, Preston North End! But it is actually becoming the perfect spot for professionals looking a residential base in the North West.
Its near-neighbours like Liverpool and Manchester are more celebrated. But the nation’s centre of gravity is shifting northwards. Thanks to the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, things are changing. It could be time to rethink what we consider the natural, go-to location for doing business in the north. Our favourite residential base in the North West is now Preston!
While the region’s big cities have plenty of attractions in themselves, they cannot compete with Preston’s unparalleled transport links. In 1958, the Preston Bypass became Britain’s first ever motorway. It can now be approached by motorway from five directions. This makes it one of the best connected cities in the UK.
As for rail, the West Coast mainline between London and Glasgow runs through the heart of Preston. This makes its station an important rail interchange. 32 direct trains to London each day, and the fastest journey time just 2 hours 10 minutes. And with Preston scheduled to become one of the main hubs for HS2, that journey time will soon be slashed. Meanwhile, trains to Liverpool, Manchester and Manchester airport take less than an hour.
Being that bit further north than its bigger rivals, Preston is also that much closer to the beautiful Lake District (an hour’s drive or train ride) and the Yorkshire Dales. Then there is the stunning Lancashire coastline. The bright lights of Blackpool just a half hour drive away. In the other direction is the Ribble Valley, famous for its excellent local food as its outstanding natural beauty. Preston is surrounded by the hugely popular 21-mile Guild Wheel route for cycling and walking. The National Cycle Network routes 55, 6, 62, 622, 90 and 91 all traverse the city.
So, Preston is more than a regional hub of connectivity for business purposes. It is within easy reach of many of England’s most attractive and appealing leisure destinations. More even that than, however, the city is increasingly a destination in its own right. Preston has all the attractions you would expect in a modern British city, from shopping and dining to arts and culture, all on a liveable – and walkable – scale.
Like other re-emerging post-industrial northern cities, Preston has also made the most of its industrial heritage. It has transformed its historic dock into a marina with shops, pubs and eateries, a museum and cinema. Another fine example is Union Lofts, a brand new suite of modern duplex apartments in a converted late Victorian carriage and auto-car manufactory.
Apartments in Union Lofts are available as short-term lets, ideal for companies looking for a temporary residential base for colleagues doing business in the wider region. These apartments offer far more space than one would expect in bigger cities. And luxury ‘loft living’ with all modern conveniences to satisfy the needs of any professional single, couple or even family. If Preston is not the first place to come to mind when considering a base in the northwest, Union Lofts could be about to change that.