#MyStrataStory - Choosing the right location

How to choose the right location for you.
We asked two couples with Strata homes what they enjoy about where they live. featured image
Choosing the right location: Featherstone or Ackworth?
We asked two couples with Strata homes what they enjoy about where they live.
Featherstone and Ackworth are just 2.4 miles apart, but they’re very different places to live. Location is a vital consideration when you’re choosing a home, so we asked two couples with Strata homes at Origin in Featherstone, and Elegance in Ackworth, what they enjoy about where they live.

Lucy and Adam weighed up the pros and cons of each area before deciding that Featherstone made more sense for them, in both financial and practical terms. But Nichola-Kate and Lloyd had always wanted to live in Ackworth. While their hearts might have ruled their heads a little during the decision making process, the couple’s choice is one that has paid off both in terms of the lifestyle they’re enjoying and the practicalities of their location.

The key differences

One of the main differences between these two West Yorkshire areas is that Featherstone is classed as a town, whereas Ackworth is a village. When the last census was carried out back in 2011, Featherstone’s population stood at 15,244, while Ackworth was home to 7,049 people.

Some people – like Lucy and Adam – are attracted to the wealth of amenities a town has to offer. “We are closer to bigger shops, and Aldi, Lidl, and B&M are all within a few minutes’ walking distance,” explains Lucy. “We also live closer to Farmer Copley's than we used to and we do like to buy ingredients from there when cooking a nice meal.”

But for Nichola-Kate and Lloyd, village life was more of a draw. “We chose Ackworth because we love the feeling you get from a small village,” says Nichola-Kate. One of the main attractions of Ackworth is its proximity to Wakefield, which lies just 8.9 miles away. Travelling up the A638 allows them to get into the heart of the city in around 25 minutes by car, while regular bus services also connect the two locations.
Featherstone may be significantly bigger than Ackworth, but its status as a small town still means there’s still a close community feel that appeals to many home buyers. And while the idea of town-life might conjure up pictures of hustle and bustle, this isn’t something Lucy and Adam have experienced so far living on our Origin development.

“Even though Origin is more of a town area, it is quite set back. You don’t feel like you are living in a busy environment, because it’s pretty quiet here,” reveals Lucy.
While its facilities might be more diverse than Ackworth’s, Featherstone nevertheless offers similar benefits in terms of its proximity to other local towns and cities. The 7.1-mile drive to the centre of Wakefield takes around 21 minutes, or there’s a local train station with regular services that will get you there in around 15 minutes.
  Featherstone Ackworth
Population (at 2011 census) 15,244 7,049
Distance to Wakefield city centre 8.9 miles 7.1 miles
Distance to Leeds     15.2 miles 15.2 miles 19.1 miles
Distance to Doncaster     15.8 miles 15.8 miles 13.4 miles

Consideration for commuting

For both couples, commuting was a major factor when they were choosing where to live. They fell in love with their homes and the areas they had their hearts set on, and soon realised that their journeys to work would be simple.

“Getting to work is a lot quicker for my partner Adam who gets on the motorway at Normanton,” explains Lucy. Junction 31 of the M62 is just 6.2 miles from their home in Featherstone, giving easy access to other northern towns and cities such as Leeds, Bradford and Manchester.

Lucy, on the other hand, drives just 3.8 miles to Fitzwilliam train station, where there’s a direct link to both Wakefield and Leeds city centres.
Nichola-Kate and Lloyd went through a similar thought process when they took a closer look at Ackworth.

“Lloyd worked in Leeds when we first moved in so it was easy access to the M62 without getting stuck in all of the Pontefract traffic,” reveals Nichola-Kate. For Lloyd, the 13.6-mile journey to Junction 31 of the M62 avoiding the centre of Pontefract would take around 20 minutes.

Nichola-Kate notes that she’s had to make a compromise on her commute to Doncaster, but has managed to make the journey work for her. Doncaster is well connected to the A1(M), and by travelling via the A638 and the motorway, the journey can take less than half an hour. Nichola-Kate describes her commute as “very straightforward”.

Lifestyle factors to consider

While there are all sorts of practicalities for you to consider when deciding where to live, there’s also your lifestyle to consider. Local facilities such as gyms, restaurants and bars can all have a bearing on why you choose one location over another.

As we’ve already mentioned, Ackworth has a very village feel about it, but that doesn’t mean it is lacking in facilities.

“Ackworth is very much peaceful by day and lively by night,” Nichola-Kate reveals. A new cocktail and tapas bar has recently opened down the road from the couple, while there’s no shortage of pubs with live music for them to enjoy.

“As well as pubs and bars we have nice places to eat too, all within walking distance. We are always bumping into neighbours if we go out on an evening – it's such a social place to live,” she continues.

Featherstone, on the other hand, has all the amenities you’d expect from a town of its size – the choice of supermarkets, places to eat and drink and local high-street amenities like a Post Office and market. You’ll also get a local rugby league team to call you own – the Featherstone Rovers.