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Discover: Winchester

  Why move to Winchester' Historic Winchester is picture postcard pretty with low crime rates, world-class schools, award-winning pubs and restaurants, a vibrant arts scene and interesting shops and markets, all in the midst of rolling English countryside and just an hour out of London. There are homes to suit all tastes, including the Georgian houses of Oram’s Arbor, the grand Victorian homes of St Cross, the quaint cobbled streets near Winchester College, the traditional period homes in Hyde and Fulfood and the up-market new developments west of the city centre. Not to mention the charming cottages of the surrounding villages. A little bit of history As the ancient capital of Wessex and a country town of Hampshire, Winchester is the burial place of many of England’s Kings, Queens and Saints, as well as being the last resting place of Jane Austen and Keats. The Domesday Book was put together here, as was the Winchester Bible and it is also the birthplace of common law. Today tourists take the chance to step back in time and explore our rich history by visiting The Great Hall, Winchester Cathedral and our military museums. Need to know Winchester is home to what some believe was King Arthur’s legendary round table. Shopping We are spoilt rotten when it comes to interesting markets to browse in Winchester, including Taste of the South on Wednesdays, a shabby chic, bric-a-brac and vintage market on Thursdays, a food and household goods market on Fridays and Saturday and Hampshire Farmers’ Market, on the second and last Sundays of each month. With over 90 stalls offering a wide range of produce from watercress to water buffalo steaks, organic products to ostrich meat, it’s officially the largest in the UK and has been voted best in the country. Finally Winchester’s Christmas Market in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral is world famous and attracts festive visitors from far and wide. Our city also boasts a great balance of big name national chains (often in period buildings, adding to the town centre’s character) and interesting, unique independent shops. Local supermarkets include Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. And a few of our favourite independent shops are The Good Life Farm Shop, Kingsgate Wine & Provisions, Toscanaccio, and butchers Barlows, Hursley High Class and John Robinson. Food shopping done, we love to browse the many clothes, book and gift shops on and around the highstreet, including Forme, Dinghams, Kingsgate Prints & Books, P&G Wells, The Hambledon, Woodruffs and Warren & Son. Things to do There is a thriving arts community in Winchester, thanks partly to the beautiful and inspiring surroundings, but also to the excellent Winchester School of Art, which has a world class reputation for textiles. In addition to the annual students exhibitions, we love wandering around local art galleries, with Bell Fine Art and The Minster Gallery being two of our favourites. In Winchester you can see a play at Theatre Royal or Chesil Theatre, enjoy films from the latest blockbusters to art house and rep at The Everyman Cinema and The Screen, or learn about the history of peace and combat at one our fascinating, famous military museums, including The Museum of the Adjutant General’s Corp, The Light Infantry and Royal Green Jacket’s Museum, The King’s Royal Hussars Museum, The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum and The Gurkha Museum. There is also City Museum and Westgate Museum to explore. And the Winchester Discovery Centre is an excellent library with state of the art facilities and a packed programme of events. Winchester is steeped in history, which you can explore at one of our many popular local landmarks. They include Winchester Cathedral, The Great Hall, Wolvesey Castle, The Kingsgate, Buttercross, Hospital of St Cross, St Lawrence in the Square, St Bartholomew's Church, Jane Austen’s House, City Bridge, The Westgate, Winchester College, St Catherine’s Hill and St Giles’ Hill. Kids will love the playgrounds at Abbey Gardens and Dean Park and feeding the ducks on the lovely river Itchen that flows through River Park. Other great family days out include meeting the animals at Marwell Wildlife, making discoveries at INTECH Science Centre and riding steam trains on the Watercress Line. Finally, there are many beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy in and around Winchester, perfect for picnics, dog walking or simply taking in the views. First on your list to explore within Winchester should be Dean Garnier Garden, Cathedral Close and Queen Eleanor’s Garden. Further afield, we recommend Farley Mount Country Park and serious walkers should check out St Swithun's Way (9, 21 or 34 miles), The Clarendon Way (24 miles) and Pilgrims' Trail (11 or 28 miles). Eating and drinking There are cafés, bars and restaurants to suit every taste and occasion in Winchester, whether it’s grabbing a fresh pasty from Pasty Presto to eat on the hop or enjoying a slap up meal at The Black Rat, Chesil Rectory or Lainston House. Our favourite local restaurants include Bangkok Brasserie (Thai), Bengal Sage (Indian), Brasserie Blanc (French), Buddies (American), Dim T (Asian), El Sabio (Tapas), Ginger Two For Tea (Café), Gurkha Chef (Nepalese) and The Bridge Patisserie. We’re not short of pubs either with The King Alfred and The Plough Inn being best for families, The Mucky Duck for sports, The Queen Inn and The Old Vine for a roast, Greens Wine Bar for late night drinking, The Hyde Tavern, The Wykeham Arms and The Chestnut Horse for a quite weeknight tipple, The Bishop on the Bridge for hanging out with friends and The Railway Inn and The Royal Oak for live music, comedy and quizzes. Schools Schools in Winchester enjoy an incredible reputation. Many people cite the quality of the local schools as a primary reason for making their home here. At time of writing Ofsted had named 6 Outstanding Primary schools, 14 Good Primary schools, 2 Outstanding Secondary schools and 1 Good Secondary school in the area. Hampshire County Council is also currently considering sites for two new primary schools in the area to meet the increasing demand. Transport By rail: There are five trains an hour to London from Winchester stations as well as hourly services from local Shawford and Micheldever. Basingstoke is 15 minutes by rail, London, 55 minutes, Southampton 16 minutes, Bournemouth 50 minutes and Weymouth 1 hour 40 minutes. By bus: Winchester is well-served by buses. You can catch a ride between the city centre and Winnall, Stanmore, The Valley, Olivers Battery, Badger Farm and Sainsburys, Harestock, Highcliffe, Fulflood, Teg Down, Hyde, Abbotts Barton, Harestock, Littleton, Sparsholt, Kings Worthy, Springvale and more. By car: Winchester Park and Ride is the cheapest and greenest way to park in Winchester for commuters, visitors or shoppers. Frequent and efficient buses serve all Park and Ride car parks, the railway station, hospital and Winchester City Centre along with many other destinations. By bike: There are plenty of places in Winchester and the surrounding countryside to discover by bike. Whether you want a short ride or fancy something a bit more challenging, you will be sure to find a scenic route. Winchester is a small city with lots of places of interest within cycling distance. It is also the start of the National Byway and the South Downs Way. Plus, in the near future there will be links to the National Cycle Network, creating a trail that will take you all the way to Southampton, the Isle of Wight, Alresford, Alton and beyond. By taxi: Reputable local taxi firms include Winchester Taxi Co, 07919 181403, Winchester Taxis, 01962 841212 and Wintax 01962 878727. For more information about Winchester, properties for sale and to let in the area and details about our Winchester office visit http://www.winkworth.co.uk/estate-agents/winchester

1379585310_CH25_WinchesterCathedral_copyrightJohnCrook

 

Why move to Winchester' Historic Winchester is picture postcard pretty with low crime rates, world-class schools, award-winning pubs and restaurants, a vibrant arts scene and interesting shops and markets, all in the midst of rolling English countryside and just an hour out of London. There are homes to suit all tastes, including the Georgian houses of Oram’s Arbor, the grand Victorian homes of St Cross, the quaint cobbled streets near Winchester College, the traditional period homes in Hyde and Fulfood and the up-market new developments west of the city centre. Not to mention the charming cottages of the surrounding villages.

A little bit of history As the ancient capital of Wessex and a country town of Hampshire, Winchester is the burial place of many of England’s Kings, Queens and Saints, as well as being the last resting place of Jane Austen and Keats. The Domesday Book was put together here, as was the Winchester Bible and it is also the birthplace of common law. Today tourists take the chance to step back in time and explore our rich history by visiting The Great Hall, Winchester Cathedral and our military museums.

Need to know Winchester is home to what some believe was King Arthur’s legendary round table.

Shopping We are spoilt rotten when it comes to interesting markets to browse in Winchester, including Taste of the South on Wednesdays, a shabby chic, bric-a-brac and vintage market on Thursdays, a food and household goods market on Fridays and Saturday and Hampshire Farmers’ Market, on the second and last Sundays of each month. With over 90 stalls offering a wide range of produce from watercress to water buffalo steaks, organic products to ostrich meat, it’s officially the largest in the UK and has been voted best in the country. Finally Winchester’s Christmas Market in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral is world famous and attracts festive visitors from far and wide.

Our city also boasts a great balance of big name national chains (often in period buildings, adding to the town centre’s character) and interesting, unique independent shops. Local supermarkets include Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. And a few of our favourite independent shops are The Good Life Farm Shop, Kingsgate Wine & Provisions, Toscanaccio, and butchers Barlows, Hursley High Class and John Robinson. Food shopping done, we love to browse the many clothes, book and gift shops on and around the highstreet, including Forme, Dinghams, Kingsgate Prints & Books, P&G Wells, The Hambledon, Woodruffs and Warren & Son.

Things to do There is a thriving arts community in Winchester, thanks partly to the beautiful and inspiring surroundings, but also to the excellent Winchester School of Art, which has a world class reputation for textiles. In addition to the annual students exhibitions, we love wandering around local art galleries, with Bell Fine Art and The Minster Gallery being two of our favourites.

In Winchester you can see a play at Theatre Royal or Chesil Theatre, enjoy films from the latest blockbusters to art house and rep at The Everyman Cinema and The Screen, or learn about the history of peace and combat at one our fascinating, famous military museums, including The Museum of the Adjutant General’s Corp, The Light Infantry and Royal Green Jacket’s Museum, The King’s Royal Hussars Museum, The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum and The Gurkha Museum. There is also City Museum and Westgate Museum to explore. And the Winchester Discovery Centre is an excellent library with state of the art facilities and a packed programme of events.

Winchester is steeped in history, which you can explore at one of our many popular local landmarks. They include Winchester Cathedral, The Great Hall, Wolvesey Castle, The Kingsgate, Buttercross, Hospital of St Cross, St Lawrence in the Square, St Bartholomew's Church, Jane Austen’s House, City Bridge, The Westgate, Winchester College, St Catherine’s Hill and St Giles’ Hill.

Kids will love the playgrounds at Abbey Gardens and Dean Park and feeding the ducks on the lovely river Itchen that flows through River Park. Other great family days out include meeting the animals at Marwell Wildlife, making discoveries at INTECH Science Centre and riding steam trains on the Watercress Line.

Finally, there are many beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy in and around Winchester, perfect for picnics, dog walking or simply taking in the views. First on your list to explore within Winchester should be Dean Garnier Garden, Cathedral Close and Queen Eleanor’s Garden. Further afield, we recommend Farley Mount Country Park and serious walkers should check out St Swithun's Way (9, 21 or 34 miles), The Clarendon Way (24 miles) and Pilgrims' Trail (11 or 28 miles).

Eating and drinking There are cafés, bars and restaurants to suit every taste and occasion in Winchester, whether it’s grabbing a fresh pasty from Pasty Presto to eat on the hop or enjoying a slap up meal at The Black Rat, Chesil Rectory or Lainston House. Our favourite local restaurants include Bangkok Brasserie (Thai), Bengal Sage (Indian), Brasserie Blanc (French), Buddies (American), Dim T (Asian), El Sabio (Tapas), Ginger Two For Tea (Café), Gurkha Chef (Nepalese) and The Bridge Patisserie.

We’re not short of pubs either with The King Alfred and The Plough Inn being best for families, The Mucky Duck for sports, The Queen Inn and The Old Vine for a roast, Greens Wine Bar for late night drinking, The Hyde Tavern, The Wykeham Arms and The Chestnut Horse for a quite weeknight tipple, The Bishop on the Bridge for hanging out with friends and The Railway Inn and The Royal Oak for live music, comedy and quizzes.

Schools Schools in Winchester enjoy an incredible reputation. Many people cite the quality of the local schools as a primary reason for making their home here. At time of writing Ofsted had named 6 Outstanding Primary schools, 14 Good Primary schools, 2 Outstanding Secondary schools and 1 Good Secondary school in the area. Hampshire County Council is also currently considering sites for two new primary schools in the area to meet the increasing demand.

Transport By rail: There are five trains an hour to London from Winchester stations as well as hourly services from local Shawford and Micheldever. Basingstoke is 15 minutes by rail, London, 55 minutes, Southampton 16 minutes, Bournemouth 50 minutes and Weymouth 1 hour 40 minutes. By bus: Winchester is well-served by buses. You can catch a ride between the city centre and Winnall, Stanmore, The Valley, Olivers Battery, Badger Farm and Sainsburys, Harestock, Highcliffe, Fulflood, Teg Down, Hyde, Abbotts Barton, Harestock, Littleton, Sparsholt, Kings Worthy, Springvale and more. By car: Winchester Park and Ride is the cheapest and greenest way to park in Winchester for commuters, visitors or shoppers. Frequent and efficient buses serve all Park and Ride car parks, the railway station, hospital and Winchester City Centre along with many other destinations. By bike: There are plenty of places in Winchester and the surrounding countryside to discover by bike. Whether you want a short ride or fancy something a bit more challenging, you will be sure to find a scenic route. Winchester is a small city with lots of places of interest within cycling distance. It is also the start of the National Byway and the South Downs Way. Plus, in the near future there will be links to the National Cycle Network, creating a trail that will take you all the way to Southampton, the Isle of Wight, Alresford, Alton and beyond. By taxi: Reputable local taxi firms include Winchester Taxi Co, 07919 181403, Winchester Taxis, 01962 841212 and Wintax 01962 878727. For more information about Winchester, properties for sale and to let in the area and details about our Winchester office visit http://www.winkworth.co.uk/estate-agents/winchester

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