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Living in Winchester – Is Winchester a good place to live?

Published Jan 16, 2021 – 4 mins read

Are you considering living in Winchester?

In recent years Winchester has received many honours, including ‘happiest place to live in the UK’ and ‘best place to live in the UK’ and it is one of the most sought after locations to live. Why?

It could be its illustrious history and the beautiful houses, or maybe the cobbled streets and lively markets, perhaps it’s the happy community feel, low crime rate and excellent schooling, for some, it will be the wonderful location with coast and country on the doorstep and London just an hour away.

Located in Hampshire, Winchester is a small city that punches above its weight, it has many positives and very few negatives.

There are a number of reasons why living in Winchester is so wonderful, below we highlight some of the key features and answer – Is Winchester a good place to live?

History and Culture

As the nation’s former capital, history, culture and heritage abound in Winchester.

The huge cathedral sits quietly in its close just a few metres from the High Street and is the most obvious example, but there are ancient, character buildings at every turn.

The main city shopping streets are pedestrianised and have retained their charm and are peppered with independent shops, cafes and restaurants.

There is a lively buzz to the city centre which is helped by the many regular food festivals, fairs and farmers’ market.

The Christmas market is one of the best in the country, while the farmer’s market is reported to be the largest in the UK.

Living in Winchester - History and culture

Location, Location, Location

Winchester’s location has long been one of its strong selling points. Capital, Country and Coast are easily accessible.

Rush-hour trains to London take just over an hour and a newly extended car park has helped ease some of the morning parking frustrations.

The city’s compact footprint means that escaping the city and accessing the beautiful surrounding countryside is easy.

To the east is the rolling hills of the South Downs, the UK’s newest National Park. To the west is the Test Valley with its crystal clear chalk streams and famous fly-fishing.

To the south is the unique landscape and nature of the New Forest National Park.

All these areas are wonderful to explore and are populated by charming villages and country pubs you could get stuck in for the day.

Winchester is just a short hop to the coast, and whether you are looking for beaches and walks, or water sports (sailing, paddleboarding, kayaking) all are readily on hand.

Schools in Winchester

Winchester is a major draw for families due to its excellent schooling options.

It has a number of first class private schools.

At prep school age it has The Pilgrim’s School for boys in the heart of the City, and Twyford School and Prince’s Mead at the edge of the city.

At senior school age it has the historic Winchester College (boys only) and St Swithuns (girls only).

The state school options are just as impressive with 47 of 48 schools in the City Council rated good or outstanding.

At senior school age, King’s School is outstanding and highly sought after, as is the ever-impressive sixth form college, Peter Symonds College.

Is Winchester a nice place to live?

It is not a wonder that Winchester features highly in happiness indices, as the quality of life is so good.

Unemployment is among the lowest in the UK and the average wage is above the national average too.

Life expectancy rates are higher than the national average – 82 for men and 85 for women.

Crime rates are among the lowest, and the number of pubs and leisure facilities are among the highest.

The consequence of these favourable metrics is a contented, friendly community where people move in and rarely move away.

Is Winchester a nice place to live?

Property in Winchester

Inevitably, with so much going for the city demand for housing is strong and prices reflect this  – smaller 4 bed detached houses start from £600,000.

The average price paid around £800,000 as of December 2020, you should expect to spend in excess of £1m for the larger 4-bed houses in the more popular neighbourhoods.

The most desirable locations include St Cross to the south of the city, which has a mixture of Regency and Victorian houses.

Also popular is the larger houses on the leafy streets of Weeke, such as Bereweeke Road or Hatherley Road.

Better value can be found in Oliver’s Battery to the south or in the northern suburb of Kings Worthy.

Best kept secrets about living in Winchester

If you’re visiting the city prior to buying here or have guests visiting for the weekend who wish to stay nearby book a room at the Wykeham Arms.

Set in the heart of the oldest part of Winchester, sandwiched between the eponymous college and cathedral, this old pub oozes character and charm.

Lunch in the garden of the Hotel du Vin.

Tucked away just a stone’s throw from the High Street, the Queen Anne-style hotel has a beautiful walled garden which is a lovely place to while away a hot summer afternoon.

Considering living in Winchester?

As Winchester property finders we assist clients searching for their perfect home in this idyllic Hampshire Cathedral city.

Whether you’re unsure about the exact part of Winchester to look for a property or are finding it difficult to secure a home in a competitive market, our property finders can navigate the local market, source and acquire a property on your behalf.

To discuss your plans to move and to learn more about our services please do contact us for a no-obligation discussion.