I know this is like beating a dead horse but I thought I’d give my two cents, not being from England. To start off, I’m a 22 year old Canadian in the UK on a gap year. I was originally in London but I had a hell of a time trying to find somewhere to live. A friend of mine from the north recommended Manchester, so I initially went up for two just to check it out. I found a place in Salford (having only seen Media City prior to moving there) for a decent price.
I can only say now what a massive mistake that was. I’ve been fortunate enough to do a lot of travelling, but I’ve never witnessed anywhere as run down in a developed country as this. There’s garbage everywhere, I always feel like I have to be on my guard, I’ve seen someone get curb stomped (when someone throws someone on the ground and repeatedly kicks/stomps the back of their head to break their nose or teeth), and I’ve had someone attempt to break into my house. Hell, I thought chavs were just a stereotype until I moved here.
This is the only place I’ve been to in my life that I can say is a dump. It really astonishes me at the vast gap between the rich and poor areas of the city. Manchester itself is fine. The people are friendly, the Northern Quarter is awesome, and I always happen to meet new people when I go out for a pint. But Salford is a miserable hellhole. I’ve lived in one of the worst areas of Perth, Australia and Salford makes it look like Marylebone or Mayfair. I’m moving back to the south soon and don’t intend on ever returning. Central Manchester however, I will miss.