Yes, the NOrth West is lovely - close to Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds but also the Peak District and North Wales. Very friendly people !
If you're considering the north at all, Hebden Bridge is a really funky little town about an hour (by train) from Manchester. Winters can be fairly grim, but there are soooo many cool things going on. DH's aunts live there and it is one of my favourite places to spend time.
i live in the north west
i'm in lancashire, we have citys less than an hour away by public transport but there are fields and trees and lots of green where i live, there is a farm at the top of my street and people ride horses past my hourse every day, we have beautiful parks with ducks and geese and frogs and squirrles which the kids love
there are a few uni's in this are (preston, lancashire,central lancashire) and theres a college round the corner that does university courses
i dont think i could live any where else
i hope you can see this http://www.pals.org.uk/pan_acc.htm it was taken from the highest point in accrington (where i live) and shows a few towns, not just mine