Winchester: Is it really the best place to live?

As you may have seen in the news the last few days, my current hometown, Winchester has been named as “the best place to live” in the UK. Seeing as I’ve lived in Winchester for the last four years, I thought I would do a post about my personal experience living here and whether it really is that greater place to live.

Why did I move here?
I came here four years ago in September when I started university. After I finished uni last year, I decided to stay here, moved in with Greg and found a job. I’ve experienced living in Winchester as a student and a young professional.

Living in Winchester as a student
There’s a list of pros and cons i could collate about being a student in Winchester, so I’ll start with the pros.

Pros:

  • It’s safe to walk around late at night as there’s very little crime (trust me, I used to walk home alone late at night and never had any issues).
  • There’s lots of history so if you’re a history geek like me you’ll love it.
  • Although it’s a small city, you can walk a short walk out of town and you’re in the countryside.
  • You have plenty of stunning scenic views.
  • Trains and buses run frequently to all the local towns/cities and London, so if you fancy a day out.
  • If you go out to the SU, quite often they run a mini bus as a “taxi service” to take you home.
  • The uni’s pretty small so you get to know your lecturers’ pretty well rather than just a name on paper.
  • It even has its own festival in the summer called Boomtown.
  • It has a very welcoming, homely feel to it.
  • You get to graduate in the Cathedral (read my previous post here about my graduation).

Cons:

  • The city is more of a town size and not a particularly big one at that. If you came to Winchester expecting a huge nightlife, there really isn’t. Most places tend to shut at about 12 AM (or there’s Alfie’s that’s open until 2 AM and occasionally Vodka until 4AM) so if you want a variation in clubs that don’t shut until some ridiculous hours, you’re better going for a night out in Southampton.
  • If you live in Stanmore, you might have next door neighbours that aren’t particularly accommodating to students.
  • Regardless of how much student loan you get, you will need a job regardless as rent is just so expensive!
  • Unless you go to Spoons, don’t expect to get a pint for cheaper than £4.50 and a double spirit mixer at about £6.50.
  • Looking for jobs is pretty hard as you’re competing against so many other students also wanting jobs.
  • Hills! Literally so many hills!

 

Living in Winchester as a Young Professional

 

Pros:

  • It’s a lovely city to live in and a lot of my uni friends still live here
  • You are within easy access for jobs in Southampton, Portsmouth, Basingstoke, Reading and London, etc.
  • Good transport links
  • Again, it’s safe, has a nice, homely feel and if you wanted kids it would be a nice place for them to grow up and there’s also plenty of good schools and colleges locally.
  • There’s so many beautiful walks you can go on.
  • There’s a really nice Farmer’s Market on every other Sunday where you can pick up cheap vegetables, meats and cheese.
  • There’s plenty of restaurants to choose from for whatever you fancy.
  • It has it’s own Christmas Market (see my previous post  here on the Christmas Markets) that has plenty of food and gifts to offer that you are unlikely to buy in the shops. Also likewise with the Antiques Market.

Cons:

  • Housing is expensive! There’s a mansion for sale in the middle of town for about £6.5 million, so unless you win the lottery or luck out on a really good job, don’t expect to buy a nice house here anytime soon.
  • Students. Not that I personally have a problem with students but a lot of people do when they get so drunk and cause so much noise at God knows what times of the night! (Regardless of whether you are or not, you will get tarnished with this reputation by some people).
  • Some people can be incredibly snobby and treat you like dirt working in the hospitality sector. I used to work for Costa and despite cleaning the toilets at least once every half an hour, we had the most complained about toilets (in the whole company) in the country!
  • If you’re not from Hampshire, you probably don’t get the rivalry between Southampton, Winchester and Eastleigh…

But despite it’s flaws, I do love living in Winchester! Here’s a selection of photos I’ve taken over the last four years that I’ve lived here that show just how lovely it really is…

 

 

 

 

What do you think of the place you live or where you’re from?

 

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