Winchester and Isle of Wight named among top locations in Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide
TWO places in Hampshire have been named in the best places to live in the south east of England.
Winchester and the Isle of Wight were among the top 10 locations in the region chosen by The Sunday Times to represent the best of Britain in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.
Surrey Hills was ranked the winner by judges who assessed a wide range of factors from schools, air quality, transport and broadband speeds to culture, green spaces and health of the high street.
They considered improving towns, villages or city centres and attractive, well designed homes and locations bursting with community spirit - which the pandemic has shown to be the most vital quality of all.
Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property editor, said: ‘This guide has never been so important.
‘The pandemic has taught us just how much we rely on our homes, our communities and our surroundings. With working from home now common, it’s no surprise that many of us are reassessing our priorities and thinking hard about where we really want to live.
‘Our focus for this year has been community, countryside and convenience. It hasn’t been a year for big cities or small villages. Instead it is small towns that have shone: big enough to have everything you need within walking distance and small enough for everyone to feel connected.
‘With miles of ancient woodlands, panoramic views and timeless, picture-perfect villages such as Tilford, Shere and Abinger Hammer, life in the Surrey Hills is a gloriously romantic rural idyll - and it’s all within commuting distance of London.’
Referring to the merits of the Isle of Wight, judges said: ‘With cliff walks, saling, swimming and sandy beaches, the 60 miles of magnificent coastline are the ultimate playground for anyone who enjoys the water.
‘Arriving by ferry across Southampton Water feels like an exhilarating escape from the drudgery of life on the mainland over the past 12 months.’
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Judges said of Winchester: ‘Historic and hospitable, the former capital of England is one of our favourite places to raise a family thanks to its 12 outstanding schools and excellent train connections.’