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Best things about living in Romsey

PUBLISHED: 10:46 17 November 2014 | UPDATED: 10:46 17 November 2014

Market Place, Romsey

Market Place, Romsey

Emma Caulton

Emma Caulton tells why low-key Romsey should be on your property-buying radar

Romsey is somewhere you belong rather than simply live. This old market town is full of character and charm and a sense of community. It is filled with quality independents (browse Bradbeers department store for starters), gently busy with regular weekly markets, stuffed with good eateries, and has delightful, partly hidden green spaces (seek out King John’s Garden and the Memorial Park). The town’s location is idyllic: sitting alongside the River Test with the lush water meadows of the Test Valley to the north and Broadlands Park and the New Forest to the south and south-east respectively; at its heart broods the magnificent Abbey.

There is a decent programme of events throughout the year, such as the Romsey Show, Romsey Food Festival and the revellery of live music that is the Beggars Fair. Altogether there’s a comfortably old-fashioned feel that appeals to families – as seen in the queues mixing young and old outside Sundae’s Child ice cream parlour.

Schools at primary and secondary level are almost universally rated ‘good’ by Ofsted and private schools such as Hampshire Collegiate School are a draw. Facilities such as The Rapids and Romsey Sports Centre keep youngsters occupied and there is a thriving network of clubs and groups including Romsey and District Society. In fact it is largely thanks to this Society that Romsey retains much of its architectural heritage and individuality and didn’t end up going the way of Basingstoke back in the sixties.

But there is a feeling that Romsey is changing. Development is inevitable – the largest, Abbotswood, adjacent to Cupernham and Woodley, is substantial enough to be a village in its own right. The big names are eyeing up Romsey for size. Fat Face has just opened, although Tesco has pulled out (to the relief of many locals).

Hopefully Romsey won’t change too quickly. It is protected in part by not being too accessible. It doesn’t sit directly on top of a motorway junction (the M27 is both near enough for ease and far enough for quiet). Neither does it have a mainline station. The station serves the Portsmouth to Cardiff line and while it has direct access to important towns and cities including Southampton, Salisbury and Bristol, commuters to London need to change lines or drive to Winchester or Southampton.

One attraction for buyers is the sheer range of property with a house style to suit most tastes from Victorian terraced cottages through to mid-century family homes and modern townhouses. In the surrounding, well-cared-for villages there are some impressive country houses and cute thatched cottages. We think this is the place for investment now!

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Louis Powell Managing Director - Charles Powell, Romsey

“Romsey resembles a smaller version of Winchester; the striking Abbey is a draw and the town enjoys many lovely bars and restaurants.

Many of our clients are moving within the area. Typically they live in the surrounding villages with land. Having been there for many years they want to move closer to Romsey and its amenities, and are often particularly attracted to buying within the centre.”

We do sell to people moving from central London- who usually like to purchase in the villages. We sell many properties in West Wellow, Nomansland and Landford: the beauty of those villages is that you are only five minutes away from Romsey yet on the edge of the New Forest.

However there are many other attractive villages in the area. For families, all the village primary schools have generally gained impressive Ofsted reports, but we do find that villages to the west of Romsey, such as Whiteparish and Landford, are particularly popular as they are just over the Wiltshire border and 
within catchment for Salisbury’s grammar schools.”

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Read on

Emma Caulton visits The Dial House in the New Forest

Best things about living in Petersfield

Things to see and do in Overton

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