Coastline, countryside, and exciting cities are all on offer in Hampshire. Whether you prefer golf, horse riding, water sports, cycling, or a gentle country walk, Hampshire has it - and in under an hour’s commute to London Waterloo. Almost all of the area is classified as rural, meaning that the views are unspoilt from the thatched country cottage or country estate you call home. The area also offers good employment and education opportunities, in addition to the opportunities provided by its good rail connections to London. Hampshire was rated the best place to live in the UK in Halifax’s 2014 Quality of Life survey, with residents reporting excellent health, high salaries, long life expectancies, and good weather.
Southampton, or Soton as it’s known by the locals, is a small coastal city with a lot to offer. Southampton has had city status for about half a century, and has a population of around 240,000 as of the 2011 census.
There are two universities in Southampton, and a student population of over 30,000. This means that there is a very large population of university-age adults living in this area, which tends to have an impact on the city – it is perhaps the students who can be thanked for the good shopping, dining, and nightlife options in Southampton.
However, the city has a lot to offer families. Relatively affordable family homes, lots of green space, and good schools all draw families to the area. Good transport links by road, rail, and even by sea and air make this a good place for commuters to live, too.
Southampton was named the sixth best place to live in the UK by the 2015 Good Growth for Cities Index.
Winchester, the once-capital of England, is a cathedral city in Hampshire.
The Sunday Times declared Winchester the best place to live in Britain in 2016 for its “food, festivals, and feel-good factor”. A Halifax survey concurred. Unfortunately, all this happiness comes at a price, with very high costs of living and property prices.
Still, residents will likely find the costs are worth it, with outstanding access to green and open space, a good community feel, and good schools and transport links among the many amenities for locals.