There’s a buzz about living in Winchester – and that’s not surprising – as it has recently been named as one of the best places to live in Britain. Hampshire’s county town, with the magnificent cathedral at its centre, is steeped in history; from the cloisters enjoyed by Jane Austen, to the palace of King Alfred the Great, and the leafy walks which inspired Keat’s Ode to Autumn.
Winchester’s appeal is manifold, and its location is one of the keys. The easy one-hour commute to London attracts those looking to make the move out of the capital, whilst the proximity of the Solent for sailing and water sports, the South Downs and New Forest national parks for walking, cycling and riding, and the famous chalk streams of the Test and Itchen rivers for fly fishing means this is a city which offers a huge amount of leisure opportunities.
The wide variety of excellent schooling options in Winchester means that it is a much sought after location for families. Public schools include Winchester College, St Swithun’s, Pilgrim’s, and Twyford School. State schools at every level are mostly rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted with St Faith’s and St Bede’s primary schools, Kings’ Secondary School and Peter Symonds Sixth Form College among those awarded ‘Outstanding’.
The City itself is stunningly picturesque with quaint period properties and cobbled streets rubbing shoulders with the delightful water meadows. Winchester is home to all the quality high street names you would expect, as well as a wide range of eateries and an array of stylish independents boutiques. It hosts the largest farmers’ market in England, drawn from the abundant high quality food and drink grown and produced across the county, as well as a famous Christmas market in the lee of the Cathedral that attracts visitors from across the country.
Winchester is a wonderful city, small in size and big in atmosphere, and its attractions have not gone unnoticed. Recent house price performance (+7.1% in 2015) has bettered both London and the broader UK market, and we anticipate continued out performance in the future.