8 great reasons we love Winchester

Winchester Bloggers was created because this incredible city deserves an equally incredible online community. But what makes Winchester so special? Here Kelly and James of Winchester Bloggers explain their 8 reasons why Winchester is great.

8 reasons why Winchester is great

Winchester is a deeply historical and beautifully preserved city - a unique portal to England's past. What do you expect from the former national capital? From the grand cathedral and grounds to the still operational City Mill and the Great Hall of Winchester Castle which houses King Arthur's round table, to be in Winchester is to be enveloped in history.  Winchester feels ancient, noble and important and this makes it such a rich and fulfilling place to spend time.   

The people
The sense of community in Winchester is incredibly strong.  It’s not an especially small place, but the friendliness, positivity and support of Winchester’s people make it feel like a lightly-populated, tight-knit village. It’s a combination that makes residents proud of their city and encourages visitors to stay.  

Busy enough to feel vibrant, quiet enough to feel relaxed, Winchester offers the best of both worlds. Mornings in the city centre feel idyllic. People have time and the pace seems relatively slow. But as the day unfolds, Winchester comes alive, with a bustle and energy that's larger than life. It feels like a London village without the urban sprawl.  

The location
As well as being a wonderful place to live and visit, Winchester is also perfectly located. It's surrounded by beautiful Hampshire countryside and characterful villages such as Stockbridge and Alresford are just a short car journey away. Head west to reach the uniquely beautiful New Forest while to the east, the South Downs begin. The rapidly expanding Southampton Airport is two stops from Winchester railway station, offering easy international travel. Just one stop further is Southampton docks where you can board some of the world's most luxurious and exciting ocean liners. And finally, London is less than an hour away by train. Catch the fast train and you'll be in central London faster than some residents living on the outskirts of the capital city can make it. Location, location, location indeed. 

The atmosphere
On those long, warm summer days and during special events such as the legendary Hat Fair, Winchester's dramatic setting and relaxed vibe perfectly embody everything that is great about England in the sunshine. Yet in winter, the medieval buildings, welcoming pubs, Christmas markets and warmth of the people make us feel like we're living in a story book Victorian winter. 

Food and drink
With fine restaurants, exceptional cafes, coffee shops, and vibrant gastro pubs, Winchester is one of our favourite places for food. It's not just the burgeoning restaurant scene that makes us love Winchester’s food. The exceptional vendors and produce sellers on the high street are a huge draw, as is the regular Hampshire farmers market. It's our foodie paradise.

Business diversity
From Kevin - the world’s greatest Big Issue seller® - to some of England’s largest and best respected corporate companies, Winchester is home to a dazzlingly varied range of businesses.  Our country's best-known retailers and restauranteurs live side-by-side with its finest independent traders, craftspeople, and cutting-edge service providers, making it a fascinating and energising place to shop, live and work.

Walking through Winchester is a treat. The city centre is pedestrian friendly and you’re never far from a friendly enclave if the weather turns. Whether walking along the river to St Catherine’s Hill, wandering around the Cathedral close and magnificent gardens, or exploring the narrow streets and park lands, we’re constantly spotting new sites and details. Do the same and you’ll be amazed how far you walk and how little you notice the distance. 

What do you love about Winchester? Tell us what makes Winchester so special, or even send us your ‘8 great’ list.  #Winchestergreat8