With some of the country's most beautiful scenery on one side, and one of its most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities on the other, the town of Stockport can offer the best of all possible worlds.
With its variety of old and new architecture, the town both looks to the future whilst making reference to its past.
There are still many examples of Industrial Revolution-era buildings around Stockport, in fact one local council scheme is looking to convert some of the town's disused 19th century red-brick mills into either office or living spaces. One former factory building has now been revitalised in the shape of the new 'Hat Works' museum that plots the history of hat-making - a key local industry at that time - in the region.
If you seek the rarified atmosphere of a stately home, then you are in luck in Stockport, because there are several dotted around the edges of town. The picture-postcard wattle and daub manor house that is Bramall Hall was built over the 15th and 16th centuries, containing some spectacular fresco-work, as well as examples of early stained glass, and is surrounded by beautiful parks, woods and lakes.
Another point of interest in the town are its Second World War air raid shelters, which were dug into the soft local stone and could house several thousand people. At the time of their construction these shelters were fully equipped with electricity, running water and even a large canteen - all of which have been faithfully recreated to give that feeling of being there.
Music lovers might find Strawberry Studios of interest: set up originally by members of band 10cc, it was one of the first recording studios outside the capital and has since been graced by legends such as Paul McCartney, The Stone Roses and New Order.