|Homes sold in the last 12 months||186||145||178||240|
|Average house prices||£293,009||£409,668||£668,138||£413,401|
Few places are more drenched in history than the ancient cathedral city and Wessex's former Saxon capital, Winchester. Hampshire's county town lies at the western end of the South Downs on the banks of the River Itchen.
Boasting one of Europe's largest cathedrals, this well-heeled city's enduring historic and architectural appeal, low crime rates, rapid transport links and closeness to the south coast have combined to make the city one of the UK's most desirable areas to live.
And, as you'd expect, house prices in Winchester reflect this.
Property in Winchester tends to consist of houses rather than flats, and there is a lot of centrally based accommodation, especially in the form of rows of terraces in lovely old cobbled streets. There are also upmarket new developments to the west of the city centre.
Other sought-after properties lie within the cathedral precincts, and a short stroll from the city centre, including the Georgian architecture of Oram's Harbour or the huge Victorian homes in St Cross. There are also plenty of delightful outlying villages to choose from for larger family homes.
Jane Austen is buried in the magnificent medieval cathedral, and, from the majestic statue of King Alfred to the majestic Guildhall or the old city walls, the whole place just oozes history.
This city is incredibly well connected, with trains to London Waterloo taking just under an hour. Southampton is only 14 miles away, giving easy access to the Solent and Channel ports. Southampton International Airport is only 10 miles away.
In addition to its own university, Winchester also has three state secondary schools, all with outstanding reputations, while its sixth form, Peter Symonds College, is one of the best and largest in the country. King's is the top-ranking state school.
The city is also home to a number of independent schools, including the famous Winchester College.
Shops offer a beguiling blend of the familiar and unfamiliar; there's a popular farmers' market on Sundays and the Theatre Royal has a full programme.
The city has one independent cinema, and there is music at the cathedral and in pubs such as the Railway Inn.
However, you may need to venture further afield, perhaps to Southampton, if you like a really lively after-dark scene.
With cobbles galore, street markets, timber-beamed pubs, and narrow alleyways, Winchester has held on firmly to its character over the centuries. Join the friendly ranks of 'Wintonians' and you'll be warmly welcomed in this prosperous yet unpretentious city.
Source acknowledgement: House price data produced by Land Registry
This material was last updated on 30 July 2015. It covers the period from 03 January 1995 to 30 June 2015.
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