Well hello lovely Levenshulme… Why, what nice parks you have!… All the better to pic-nic in. And what fancy cafés you have!… All the better to drink tea in. And what a big market you have…. All the better to chat and eat street food at!
Levenshulme has a lot going for it; truckloads of cultural offerings, its closeness to the city centre and a prolific amount of green spaces.
Here are my reasons for liking living in Levenshulme from an insider’s point of view. As well as a couple of minuses for balance.
What Manchester is famous for is also what Levenshulme is famous for: a buoyant concoction of culture; music, art, communities and most importantly; the many flavoured eating possibilities this brings, hashtag nom nom. I’ll tell you a few of my favourite Levy edibles whist I try not to dribble. Levenshulme is rapidly evolving. It is a playground of development. And if at all possible it is getting even more tastier. Big statement considering what is already on offer. Here we go… fat and juicy falafel wraps bursting with herby goodness, spices and fresh salad from Jandol, fragrant and transformingly tasty curries from The Little Srilankan, massive naughty noodly boxes from Waka Waka, vegan fish and chips from The Gherkin and last but not least takeaway Sunday Roasts from The Klondyke and Cibus. Is it just me or is a roast dinner that gets delivered to your door a revolutionary idea? Or you could say a Levolutionary idea!
And I can’t get away without mentioning the much loved Levy Market. The market promotes local independent businesses and gathers crowds on Saturday who enjoy an urban dip into a sensory fiesta. Sellers vary each week but you will always find something tasty whether you’re in a fresh green samosa with mint yoghurt homemade cake or pulled pork wrap kind of mood. Leaf through books and handmade gifts and people-watch the mass of residents chatting in their weekend apparel all soundtracked to a mix of laid back music.
People of South Manchester are largely lefty. They vote labour and they respect diversity. The rainbow painted pub and bee monument on Stockport road reflect this. We work hard like bees, we value freedom and we care about each other. More or less.
The tree lined Loop cycle path, The Secret Lake, Cringle Park, Greenbank Park, Birchfields Park, Highfield Park… you get the idea. Residents are treated to a blend of green spaces in which to walk the dog, jog and just chill. Not to mention Reddish Vale and Debdale Park; replete with a river and a lake a bit further along the famous Fallowfield Loop (Floop) which also connects up to Didsbury and Chorlton. The Loop is a way to successfully avoid the reality of travelling up a main road to reach your chosen destination.
Super transport links
There’s frequent buses to Manchester, Stockport, Chorlton and Didsbury but more interestingly, the train station is a 6 min stop from Manchester city centre and…. Drumroll….. A direct ride to Blackpool as well as Buxton. Yes, you can jump on a direct train to experience all the natural beauty the North West has to offer; sheep, hills, the sea, candyfloss.
But back to Levenshulme..
Cafés and bars
It is safe to say that Lev is undergoing an upsurge in new bars and cafés. You’ve got your boho bakeries like the beloved Trove and Bread, Isca who specialise in natural wines and seasonal food, your veggie and vintage hangouts like The Gherkin. And new interesting places are opening up all the time like the soon to be Station South, a friendly art infused hub on the cycle path. I also enjoy Inspire Café, spacious, cheap, cheerful and near the swimming baths- post swim baked spud anyone?
General friendly feel
This is a neighbourly town. Find parents chatting in the park, frequent community events including litter pics where residents literally muck in to make it a better place (is this not the definition of community?) and a proper sharing, caring vibe. Although am I biased in saying this as my neighbours bring me plates of biryani and rasmalai every Eid so maybe I am viewing things through rose tinted glasses?!
Here we go…
Pollution. Stockport Road is a main road with a busy bus route and streams of fast cars whizzing by. Hang out there a while and you will breathe in a vast waft of engine fuel. Fact. But walk along the leafy residential streets nearby and you will forget about the smog whilst admiring the Victorian features lavishing lots of Levy’s homes.
The main road: Stockport Road has a lot of discount shops and takeaways, depending on which part of the road you are standing it can look shabby. But if you stand near the historically elegant Antiques Village centre, the freshly designed Nordie bar and the entrance to the cycle loop it looks a lot nicer! The whole place it will look completely different in future of course, and subsequently house prices will keep rising. Another thing; unfortunately on certain streets there’s a litter issue. The conservatives being in power with their austerity measures and stripping back of council services really doesn’t help this, I imagine it’s meant less bins and less litter pickers. It can put a downer on things to see trash on the streets but its not on every street! And a lot of residents have cute pot-plant lined alleyways as a place to socialise outdoors. It really depends on where exactly you are.
So should you move to Levenshulme? If you want the vibrancy of being near a big city replete with its gigs, shops and shows, as well as having quirky hangouts, a community spirit and smatterings of nature on your doorstep then Levenshulme could be a contender. As long as you don’t mind the reality of lots of people and lots of cars!Go back