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Living in Winchester: The Local Area Guide

The bustling town of Windsor can be found in the heart of Hampshire; a beautiful county for which it acts as the county town. Packed full of medieval history and timeless culture, it contains important historical spectacles such as the Gothic Winchester Cathedral - one of the largest cathedrals in Europe.

Voted by the Sunday Times as the ‘Best Place to live in Britain’, it certainly strives to uphold that reputation with the idyllic views, the bounty of things to do and indeed the highly pleasant sense of community life.

Demographics

Winchester’s population as of the last census was approximately 45,000, whilst the wider City of Winchester has a population of around 116,600– with the average age being fairly young at 41 . The majority of the population have identified as being religious, with most of these claiming a belief in Christianity.

Owing to the highly sought out location, Winchester’s house prices do tend to reflect this and it has made it into the Top 5 Least Affordable Cities. Whilst there are less affluent areas as with any town, the average house price costs nearly 10 times the average local wage. For those willing to work for it, however, Winchester certainly won’t disappoint. With its stunning views and housing options available, it’s not hard to see why the prices have inflated.

Of the population, approximately 1.3% are unemployed and claiming benefits. This is far less than the national average, and a drop of almost 8% since the previous census. Of those employed, the average salary was estimated to be approximately £55,000 by the Barclay's Premier Bank Wealth Survey - ranking them 37th in the country for high earners.

Education

There are a few Church of England primary schools in the area; Western C of E school and St Bede C of E school are two renowned establishments, with the latter achieving an 'Outstanding' in their Ofsted report. Other schools include Weeke Primary School which received a 'Good' Ofsted rating.

There is an excellent selection of secondary schools in Winchester; St Swithun's is an independent preparatory school with extremely high exam results and a very selective induction process.

One particularly renowned establishment is Winchester College; an independent boy’s boarding school established in 1382. It has existed in Hampshire for over 600 years and as a result boasts the longest unbroken history of any English school. The results are, as one would expect, impeccably high, with 92% of the GCSE students achieving an A grade or above. As a result, admission to the school is in extremely high demand.

Transport

The city is served by two regular bus services offered by Bluestar and Stagecoach - these run at least every 10 minutes between the hours of 8am and 5pm. There is also a Park and Ride service running from Mondays to Saturdays which can also be used by those without a car as a regular bus service.

Winchester operates a Loan Bicycle scheme, as well as a 'Bikeabout' daily hire. For a small fee, you can hire a bike to get around - the city is fairly compact and full of cycle paths, so for that reason the scheme is particularly popular.

Winchester also has a train station, served by the South Western Main Line. Regular trains can be caught between Portsmouth and London Waterloo.

Amenities and Shopping

The Brooks Shopping Centre has a multitude of high street stores, from HMV, to Argos, to clothes shops such as Primark. There are several fast food establishments from which to grab a bite to eat. Surrounding the shopping centre are various independent and chic stores for an assortment of trinkets and vintage goods.

There are several monuments and sights to see. Winchester Cathedral is home to over 1000 years of history, including the Winchester Bible, and 12th Century art exclusive to the majestic structure. Similarly, The Great Hall has been listed as one of the 'finest surviving' examples of 13th Century architecture, containing the famous round table from the tale of King Arthur.

Other things to do include the nearby Marwell Zoo; a 140-acre park containing hundreds of animals and a great day out for all the family.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

p>All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith

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