At a glance...
Our Southern Counties region comprises West Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset. It offers exceptionally beautiful countryside, with huge variety in terms of landscape and architecture. From the historic cities of Winchester, Salisbury and Bath, to its downlands and rolling hills, quaint villages and market towns to its Jurassic Coast – the Southern Counties offer an unbeatable lifestyle.
The east and northern parts are popular for London commuters and the westerly parts for those seeking a more rural and rustic lifestyle. It is well served by road and rail, with good access to Heathrow and Bristol airports. Home to some of England’s best schools, education is one of the many attractions that draws buyers to this region.
There’s so much to do in the Southern Counties, and active, outdoor living is high on the agenda. The North Wessex Downs offer stunning countryside around the market towns of Hungerford and Marlborough, as does the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs between Salisbury, Tisbury and Shaftesbury. For those interested in country pursuits, be it horse riding, racing, hiking, fishing, or shooting, it has the River Test and Kennet within its borders, along with some of the best sporting estates in the UK. Cultural centres are varied from the stunning Georgian city of Bath to the arty and more bohemian vibe of Bruton, with spectacular seasonal events such as Glastonbury or the Grange Opera Festival set within the idyllic surroundings of the Candover Valley near Alresford.
The New Forest National Park, offers a seemingly never-ending expanse of landscape to enjoy, especially for those wanting access to the sea and Isle of Wight from the famous sailing spots along the River Hamble and Beaulieu, or if you’re after something a little more sedentary, then you can enjoy a spot of fresh seafood in Lymington. Throughout the region there are many gastro pubs and “go to” destinations including The Pig in Brockenhurst, The Beckford Arms on the impressive Fonthill Estate, Babington House at Frome, Hauser & Wirth or The Newt at Bruton.
England’s Southern Counties are very well connected to London and other major cities in the South such as Bristol and Southampton. The area is well served by the major road network, including the M3/A303 and M4 which are the main motorways into London from the South West of England. For the City commuter, there are services to London Waterloo from popular stations at Basingstoke, Alton, Andover and Winchester, with journey times from 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes. For those wanting London Paddington there are services from Newbury, Pewsey, Chippenham and Bath within an hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. Further west you have Castle Cary on the Taunton and Exeter line from 1 hour and 50 minutes and Sherborne from 2 hours and 15 minutes.
There are many renowned schools throughout the region, with the most popular being Cheam, Farleigh, Pinewood, St Swithun’s, Twyford, Winchester & Marlborough Colleges, St Francis, Godolphin, Sandroyd, Port Regis, Bryanston, Canford, Sherborne, Millfield, Monkton Combe, Priors Park, Kingswood and Royal High School Bath.