"Why I love Winchester"

Winchester resident Paul Hynd explains why he is so passionate about this wonderful city.

Winchester composite shot

I've had the good fortune to have travelled a lot, and also to have lived in some beautiful, fascinating cities.

Why then do I love Winchester the most as a city to live in? Let me go back in time a little bit and think about it.

 
 My grandfather John McGhee, walking down Leith Walk in Edinburgh, with my brothers Alan and James; granny Helen is just behind.

My grandfather John McGhee, walking down Leith Walk in Edinburgh, with my brothers Alan and James; granny Helen is just behind.

Edinburgh, Scotland

After leaving my native Dundee, I spent some years living in the city of Edinburgh, capital of Scotland. Like Winchester, Edinburgh is an ancient capital city, with a fascinating history of characters, including Mary, Queen of Scots, Greyfriars Bobby, and Robert Louis Stevenson, creator of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. 

My grandfather John McGhee - a veteran of the Argyll & Southern Highlanders - was born in Edinburgh, a city he loved. He worked as a "boots" in the Conservative Club in George Street, so always had a plethora of interesting tales to tell of his life there.

So Edinburgh certainly gets close to the top of my favourite cities to live in.


Stockholm, Sweden 

While living in Edinburgh, I was given a heaven-sent chance to work on a consultancy assignment for a while in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. Built on an archipelago of some 30,000 islands, Stockholm is, to my mind, certainly one of the most beautiful cities in the world,

I found the locals very friendly, albeit with a slightly more reserved manner, until the Akvavit started to flow. While based there, I spent one Easter-time driving up to the university city of Uppsala, then across to Norway, down through the fjords to Oslo, then back to Stockholm.  

My Swedish evening class was a hoot , where the only language we had in common was Swedish which none of us spoke! I had French, Spanish, Italian, Scottish, German, & Hungarian classmates, and we had a ball.

My time in Sweden gave me a real wanderlust.

 Stockholm, capital city of Sweden, set amongst an archipelago of some 30,000 islands.

Stockholm, capital city of Sweden, set amongst an archipelago of some 30,000 islands.


 My Son Christopher, looking a bit trepidiacious, posing with a Yemeni donkey cartsman.

My Son Christopher, looking a bit trepidiacious, posing with a Yemeni donkey cartsman.

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Just a few months after leaving Stockholm, I ended up working and living in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia for almost 5 years, working for Saudi Aramco, the world's largest crude oil producer.

It was a bit of a culture shock to begin with living in an Arab culture - I worked with Arabs from all over, including Palestinian refugees from Beirut, Egyptians, Saudis, Kuwaitis, Yemenis, etc - all of whom were universally welcoming, very friendly, and great fun to be with.

In terms of history, you only have to look out on the three quarters of a million square miles of the Rub' al-Khali ("empty quarter") desert in the Arabian Peninsula to get a dramatic sense of historical perspective.


Winchester, Hampshire

Fast forward a decade or two, and now I live in the beautiful city of Winchester, ancient capital of England.

After all my world travelling, I can think of no other UK city in which I would rather live. Here we are surrounded by history - literally at every turn. You only have to take a leisurely stroll on a sunny afternoon around Winchester Cathedral, and nearby, to see this history writ large. 

This is why I love Winchester.

Join us on a relaxed stroll around Winchester on a sunny afternoon.

To find out more about Paul and his experiences in this amazing city - follow him on Twitter or Facebook.