An ancient cathedral city and a popular destination for corporate travellers, Winchester holds an ideal central position within the southern half of England, never too far from ports, airports and the major cities of the south.
The City of Winchester is a district which covers much of the central area of the county of Hampshire. This covers many towns and villages from Micheldever in the north to Boarhunt in the south, and from Hursley in the west to West Meon in the east. This also means the district covers part of the South Downs National Park as well as, of course, Winchester itself. The small city actually sits on the edge of the National Park, with a population of around 50,000. This compares with the approximate 120,000 people who reside in the whole district. Despite being the country’s former capital, the city has still grown significantly to become what it is today. This includes an increase in the number of Winchester furnished housing.
Winchester has a lot going for it. London, the modern-day capital of England, is only about 60 miles away, while all the ocean-going connections of Southampton lie just 13 miles to the south. Winchester also sits on the train line to London Waterloo, as well as between Bournemouth and major cities in the north. Winchester corporate housing can locate guests within the close vicinity of the city's main railway station.
Furthermore, with so much green space nearby, Winchester is an attractive place to stay and is well known for its thriving community. For instance, as with many of the older towns and cities, Winchester enjoys several different markets on different days of the week. Moreover, visitors staying at Winchester short term accommodation will find that the city benefits from a variety of restaurants and traditional pubs, taverns and inns.
When it comes to describing the business climate and economy of Winchester, definitions usually reflect the stats and figures behind the district, as a whole. For instance, the Winchester City Council project that around 85,000 people are in employment across the district. The significant majority working in health, retail, wholesale and social sectors. In recent years, Gross Value Added (GVA) has increased by around 20%. Both resident and worker earnings are considerably higher than the national average too. The Council also suggest that the local community consistently rank higher than the national average regarding skill and qualifications. The stats behind business start-ups are promising too. One-year survival rates for new enterprises since 2010 have been consistently close to, or in excess of, 90%. This ranks higher than the likes of East Hampshire, Stratford-on-Avon, Guildford, Chichester and the UK, as a whole.
Evidently, the conditions for working and doing business in Winchester are both welcoming and profitable. After all, Winchester has previously topped the Royal Mail’s Happiness Index. This index assesses cities across the UK regarding aspects such as crime, earnings, inequality, access to health services and carbon emissions. The business climate is enhanced further by the council’s partnership with ‘Enterprise First’. They provide a first-class business support service, which includes one-to-one business advice, networking support and help regarding company expansion. With all this support, on top of an already existing strong business climate, visiting the city and staying in Winchester corporate accommodation is becoming more and more popular.
This beautiful little Hampshire cathedral city can be said to have ‘escaped’ being the English capital. It’s strange to think, but this tiny city was England’s political centre for about 250 years. Firstly as the capital of Wessex, then of a broader ‘England’ years after the reign of Alfred the Great. It was already old though when the Saxon kings ruled there, with the settlement dating back to prehistoric times. In fact, the supposed first residents of Winchester arrived around the Iron Age. They then established a hill fort and a trading settlement on the western edge of the city. Over a thousand years later, just like that, Winchester was the country’s capital headed by the King Alfred the Great.
The city was therefore at the centre of the country’s major historical events, such as the Norman invasions and the Battle of Hastings, with the number of royal births, deaths and marriages constantly taking place in the town. The fortunes of the city did however naturally begin to change as power and prestige were shifted to London. Thankfully the remains of the historic capital still exist and act as popular tourist attractions all year round. This means that the business traveller coming to stay in Winchester corporate housing have a wealth of historical landmarks nearby to enjoy during their visit.
It comes as no surprise that history oozes out of Winchester’s city walls. Walking through the city streets feels like walking back in time, and this is most reflected in the city’s attractions. A good starting point for an insight into Winchester's history is the ‘museum quarter’. Just off Romsey Road, is a collection of historic venues which illustrate the city’s history from a range of perspectives.
These are; Winchester’s Military Museum, the AGC Museum, The Rifles Collection, The Great Hall, Westgate Museum and The Gurkha Museum. Each of these sites are rich with stories of the past. These are all around Queens Court and the beautiful Peninsula Square. Serene, tranquil and away from the bustle of the city centre, this enclosed area charmingly compliments the array of historic sites on offer to visitors. Highly recommended is The Great Hall, a thirteenth-century masterpiece featured a King Arthur associated medieval round table.
Without doubt, though the most significant historical site in the city though is the Winchester Cathedral. Not only is it one of Europe’s grandest cathedrals, but it is also the lengthiest of any Gothic cathedral worldwide. It is also the burial place of some of the country’s great historical figures. These include Jane Austen, William II and King Cnut the Great. More than 1000 years of history is on display at this staggering building. It is worth taking a guided tour of the site to get a true grasp of the cathedral's history. It is accompanied by a stunning green and a great marketplace, which illuminates over the Christmas period. Right around the corner also is the Guildhall. The wonderful Victorian building stands in the heart of the city alongside the majestic King Alfred statue. Much like these attractions, our Winchester extended stay apartments are centrally located to enable guests to be at the heart of the city.
Whilst the historic sites are fantastic, Winchester also boasts wonderful landscapes and green space. The most well known is St. Catherine’s Hill, a wonderful part-nature reserve part-public footpath leading to the picturesque views at the hilltop. The huge area of heathland and coniferous forest can make for a relaxing day out, completed by a visit to one of the many vintage-looking pubs in the area. The most highly regarded pubs in the city are The Bishop on the Bridge, The Wykeham Arms, The Black Boy and The Queen Inn. The Bishop on the Bridge is particularly popular thanks to its great outside seating area overlooking the River Itchen.
All in all, the pleasantries and beautiful attractions in and around the city are countless, and booking a stay in Winchester serviced apartments gives guests the best chance of being close to it all.
Easily the closest to Winchester’s town centre is Southampton International Airport, only around ten miles away and no more than twenty minutes away by car.
According to Southampton Airport’s website, by train, Winchester, Bournemouth, Reading and London Waterloo around 10, 35, 50 and 70 minutes away respectively.
Despite a large number of flights going to-and-from Southampton Airport, those visiting or leaving Winchester may wish to utilise London Heathrow (LHR), Gatwick (LGW) or Bournemouth (BOH) airports, which are all around an hour’s drive or train journey from Winchester. From many of our Winchester furnished short lets taxi transfers can be arranged to the airport guests' choosing.
Based just on the corner of Station Road, Winchester’s primary railway station lies along the South Western Main Line. Cross Country and South Western Railway trains enable simple train travel to the likes of Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Reading and London, but its closest railway stops include Southampton (Airport Parkway), Basingstoke, Shawford and Eastleigh.
The next stations along the line from Winchester, from north to south, are Micheldever and Shawford train stations.
The wide-ranging availability of bus services and routes in Winchester are a valued addition to the city. By far the biggest bus operator in Winchester is Stagecoach, who offer around the clock transport throughout the city and the surrounding areas such as Winnall, a popular destination for corporates.
Internally, Winchester also has a practical Park & Ride bus service which enables travel to and from the Guildhall, the train station and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital.
Bluestar Buses also run convenient services which follow routes from Winchester to Southampton and Eastleigh.