Living in Winchester
Winchester is surrounded by hills so many of its best districts have homes with views over the city. Leafy St Cross to the south of the city centre is the premier neighbourhood. It has a mix of Regency, early and mid-Victorian houses which can sell for as much as £3 million. A stiff walk up to the top of St Giles Hill to the east of the city centre is rewarded with the best view of the city’s heart. The private estate is characterised by green verges and rows of severely pollarded trees; the large Victorian detached houses here sell for in excess of £1 million.
What can you get for your money when looking in Winchester?
Properties in Winchester are popular with families, students and commuters. Few cities outside London have such a great mass of historic properties. The city has a large centre, on a grid plan laid out by the Saxons, packed with buildings of all ages. It then follows the river south to St Cross, Christchurch Road and all.
Winchester is a city in the county of Hampshire, on the edge of England’s South Downs National Park. It’s known for medieval Winchester Cathedral, with its 17th-century Morley Library, the Winchester Bible and a Norman crypt. Nearby are the ruins of Wolvesey Castle and the Winchester City Mill, a working 18th-century corn mill. The Great Hall of Winchester Castle houses the medieval round table linked to King Arthur.
What’s going for it? I sense that Winchester has never fallen on particularly hard times – perhaps when the Romans left? These days, though, the town, lush and leafy in its hollow at the start (or end) of the South Downs, regularly cavorts in, if not tops, “10 most prosperous/gorgeous/popular/la-di-da places to live” league tables. It is lovely. Really lovely. The streets are lined with the homes of your dreams: all periods are represented from King Arthur (almost) to Grand Designs, spick and span and freshly painted, gardens fit-for-a-House Beautiful photoshoot. History pours from every stone, even fake history – from King Arthur’s round table (yeah, right) to the diver who stopped its immense cathedral from sinking into the mud. Never a dull moment in Winchester. The river Itchen, where John Keats once took afternoon strolls, tinkles away contentedly in its water meadows at the bottom of the hill. In Winchester, all is right with the world.