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The local area guide to living in Winchester

The city of Winchester is a lively area crammed full of sights and quirky things to do. It acts as the county town of Hampshire and lies in the centre of the greater City of Winchester.

From historical monuments, to the traditional markets held monthly, down to the independent selection of cafes and pubs, you'll certainly never find time to be bored in Winchester. The city itself offers an excellent selection of entertainment and food options, as well as cultural offerings in the preserved historical buildings scattered around the centre and the outskirts of the city.

Information about the local residents

The population of Winchester at the time of the most recent 2011 census survey was at an estimated 45,000 - whilst the wider City of Winchester district's population was at around 116,595. This increase in population since the 2001 census is a rise of approximately 8.7%; higher than the national average, suggesting a rapid increase in popularity over the years.

Approximately 66% of the population are Christians, other religions in the area include Buddhism (0.5%), Islam (0.5%), Hinduism (0.4%), Judaism (0.2%) and Sikhism (0.1%). Around 0.4% claimed to be 'Other' whilst 27% of the survey respondents claimed to have no religion.

The largest age group in Winchester are those aged between 45-49. This is closely followed by the 40-44 age group. The average age of the area is slightly older than the UK average. The average earnings are slightly higher than the UK average, with the percentage of those claiming jobseekers allowance lower than the national average.

Nearby schools

There are a handful of primary schools in the area, many of which are Church of England schools. St Peter's Catholic Primary School and Compton Primary School had the highest SATs results, and both achieved 'Good' or above in recent Ofsted reports.

The Henry Beaufort School and St Swithun's School are both highly renowned establishments, both boasting excellent exam results and high ratings. St Swithun's is an independent school which is split into 'Junior' and 'Senior' years; boys may attend the school from ages 3-7, however after age 7 only girls are admitted. It has consistently achieved 'Outstanding' in its Ofsted reports.

Winchester College is held in particularly high regard, and is one of the longest standing boy's schools in the UK. It boasts incredibly high exam results (92% of GCSE students receive A grades or above) and has a highly selective entry programme.

Getting around

The city is located very close to the M3 motorway, providing links into South West London, as well as the A30 and A303 roads, which are just to the south of the city. London is approximately 61 miles away with an estimated hour and a half journey time, whilst Southampton is just 13 miles away and takes approximately 20 minutes without traffic.

Winchester railway station offers links to London, Weymouth and the South Coast. The city has a regular bus service, as well as a Park and Ride service provided by Stagecoach. These travel to surrounding towns and cities, and along the South Coast.

For those who prefer walking, The Clarendon Way is a Roman Road which acts as a recreational footpath, and travels along the River Itchen and the River Avon; particularly beautiful on a sunny day.

Local shops

There are plenty of sightseeing opportunities around the city, and several street and bus tours to enable you to get a glimpse of them all. Those which are particularly well known are Winchester Cathedral, the city museum, and Winchester Castle - specifically the Great Hall, inside of which can be found the famous Round Table from the tale of King Arthur.

There are several pleasant walks and trails to enjoy, including the Jane Austen trail, the military trail, and the aforementioned Clarenden Way.

For those who are a little more into modern entertainment, there is a nearby zoo, and a planetarium; ideal for all ages. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities; The Brooks Shopping Centre is filled with high street stores, and surrounded by independent, locally established shops.


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