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.
Winchester is a relatively small city, with a close-knit and upbeat feel. It is home to the largest farmers’ market in the country, and there is also a renowned festival of street performance. There is a perception, based in reality, that there are not many young adults living in Winchester – partially because they may be priced out.
The crime rate in Winchester was higher than the average crime rate across similar areas in the year ending March 2017. Winchester had slightly less crime than Guildford, but more than Chichester.
In Winchester Central, the most common crime type – at about a third of all crime between August 2017 and July 2017 – is anti-social behaviour, followed by violence and sexual offences at about 20% and shoplifting at about 10%.
Parking in Winchester can be difficult, and the narrow, cobbled streets can be charming to all but drivers. There is, however, a Park & Ride bus service for those who don’t need to drive into the centre. Just 14% of households in the 2011 Census reported having no cars or vans. Road links, including the M3, are good.
Winchester has a range of nightlife options that includes bars, restaurants, cinemas, and theatres. Southampton is nearby and easily reached, and adds more of the above, plus a wider range of bars and nightclubs.
Winchester has a wide range of property that includes a good supply of family homes – from Georgian townhouses and Victorian terraces to Sixties semis and more modern homes, there is a lot of choice.
Winchester offers outstanding access to green and open space, with several smaller parks and playing fields dotted through it, but most notably it is surrounded by the South Downs and near the New Forest. The River Itchen also runs through the city, creating lovely meadows and waterside walks.
Schools in this area are generally very good. There are many primary schools, with ‘outstanding’ options, as well as good state comprehensives. Winchester College is a famous private school. About 18% of residents are children aged 0-15.
Property in Winchester varies widely, but includes a good supply of homes that would be suitable for pets.
There is also very good access to green and open space in Winchester, which has several smaller parks and playing fields dotted through it, but most importantly is surrounded by the South Downs and near the New Forest. The River Itchen also runs through the city, creating lovely meadows and waterside walks.
Winchester is served by a National Rail station that offers South Western services to London Waterloo in around an hour, and shorter train journeys to nearby Southampton and Portsmouth.
Travel around the city is easy with a main bus station and regular local services. There is also a Park & Ride bus service for drivers. Road links, including the M3, are good.
Southampton International Airport is less than 10 miles from the city.