Moving to Southampton discussion

Negative reviews


Your question's unanswerable

I wouldn't move to either without spending a reasonable amount of time in the area. And since they're about 20 mins apart (by train, and sometimes by car if the M3's not clogged) seeing both isn't difficult.

Your choice depends entirely on why you want to move. Often, though, whereabouts in either town matters more than the town itself

Winchester's a generally pretty medieval town. Its boundaries have recently been bizarrely extended, so all kinds of odd suburbs and totally separate towns 20 miles away have street signs saying "City of Winchester". You've got a choice between living in a proper medieval town, its suburbs, the distant countryside, or some jolly pretty villages. Only the town itself is handy for railway commuting to London.

Southampton, in the centre, is a prime example of awful postwar redevelopment (ie, the city council destroyed more fine townscape than Hitler ever managed). Some Southampton waterside suburbs are lovely: pretty villages where almost everyone's got a yacht (however tiny) or a share in one, with great pubs. Other suburbs are almost as drekky as the centre.

In between are lots of other towns and villages: there really are no clear boundaries along what's almost one linear conurbation along the central south coast. There's lots of lovely rolling countryside every now and again .

None of that answers your question, because it really is unanswerable. Nowhere in Britain do places merge so much into each other (though this ISN'T just one huge urban sprawl) Few cities are as different as central Winchester and Southampton - but few people (apart from students and schoolboys) live in the centre of either anyway.

If one of you is moving for work, you probably need to start off by being clear how you intend getting to work (for some people the railway system round Southampton and Winchester is a kind of metro: for others, with jobs or houses only a mile or so elsewhere, it's a total irrelevance), what that might mean for everyone else's convenience, and where that dictates you live.

Then whether you want isolated countryside, pretty village, suburb or town centre.

I'd honestly say that WHICH town is practically the least important thing

Neutral reviews


One of Southampton’s main attractions is its proximity to New Forest, a 138,000 acres 560km2 national park, rich with all kinds of wildlife. The forest even has its own indigenous breed of pony, the New Forest pony, which are known for their intelligence and gentle nature.

Speak to any Sotonian about sports and you can expect “The Saints” to come up within seconds! Southampton’s Premier League football team have a legion of devoted fans and their home games are great fun to attend.

If you love to keep active, Southampton is a fantastic place to do it. Learn to sail, enjoy a round of golf, jog through Riverside Park, or get involved in team sports at the vast Outdoor Sports Centre, which houses everything from football pitches to a BMX track. Head down to The Quays Swimming and Diving Centre and you’ll find world-class facilities. You might even spot Olympic diver, Pete Waterfield, training there! There’s even a year-round skiing and snowboarding at the Alpine Snowsports Centre.


The city enjoys a maritime climate and is protected from the worst of the winter storms by the Isle of Wight, which lies across the Solent to the south. Temperatures across the region are mild throughout the year, ranging from just above freezing in the winter to around 20°C at the height of summer.

However, the UK’s highest recorded temperature of over 35°C was recorded at Southampton during the glorious summer of 1976. This was a year so warm and dry, the English still talk about it today with a mixture of awe and nostalgia. Generally, however, the climate is damper with around 33 inches of rain per year.



I live on the east side of the city not too far from Bitterne. There are excellent primary schools on this side of the water, but the choice of secondary schools is not that great imo, although that is also a city wide thing. Things will probably be very different by the time your children need to go to secondary school. Bitterne and Woolston both have good bus links to most areas of the city. There are also a lot of groups providing different activities for pre-school children.


Southampton schools are improving, but that is not saying much.

Central Southampton has no secondary school so is well worth avoiding until it does.

Southampton has a very high Polish population (around 10%) which can be a shock but as they and their kids work hard, it seems to have a positive impact on schools.

Heather R(106)

oh this will e interesting for me to read. I moved to southampton just over a yr ago. I dont know the areas well though.

I would stay away from the city centre though and st Marys, st denys, thornhill, weston they are quite rough with parents who are of an unsavory many. (not all though as i do know some nice people in thornhill).

We moved to shirley warren, it has a bad name here as it used to be a rough area but to tell the truth its not (at least anymore) Shirley Warren school is the best in the area (and just down the road from us) and the hospital is just there too. Shirley is a 10min walk and has all the basics. I like it and am happy here we are going to have to move next yr as it is a 3 bed and we have a special needs son who needs is own room and the other boys already share so no room for baby. We hope to stay in the same area ish and if not here we are looking at Lordshill (where partners mum lives) its quite there and has a big sainsburys plus a few other shops and takeaways near by. My oh said woolston is a lovely area (hes a local).

Hailey P

Hi, I've lived in Southampton all of my life and am currently living in Eastleigh with my hubby and baby boy. I'm kind if the same, need the social side of living as well as good schools etc for my son. You'll hear different things from different people about different areas. Hedge end is a lovely place to live, lots of lovely parks, schools, a big m&s and Sainsburys aswel as a small village of shops and a couple of nice local pubs. Also a train station and fairly good bus routes. Winchester is also nice, my hubby worker there last year as a bank manager and said its very snobby there and also expensive, but again has all the shops, bars, train station, bus routes and restaurants. Lovely scenery too

Colden common looks nice but in the midle of nowhere for me as I don't drive.

Hannah T(229)

I'm from a place between Southampton and Winchester (quite near Eastleigh). I think the areas around here and really nice. Fair Oak is a nice area with good schools and is quite near to Eastleigh where there's lots of cafes etc. As pp said hedge end is lovely and Romsey is very nice too. Another one to look at would be north baddesley (can never spell it!). Very nice area.


Nice area's I would say in Southampton would include;

Highfield, as well as around the common, ocean village, bit's of bittern, swaythling, shirley, woolston is going though a large development.

I would say don't move to Thornhill, Shirley warren, Lordshill, Millbrook, and Western.Southampton is more or a mix to be fair I live in Woolston and been here 3 years and although not a 'posh' area, the people around are really nice and therefore a nice place to live.

Outside of Southampton there are loads of nice places I'd avoid parts of Eastleigh though and maybe part of Totton.

Good Luck, I genuinly love living here and have lived in quite a few places, you still get complete idiots here like anywhere but plenty of people you meet are generelly very nice.

For dan17, comments like yours show how difficult it is for somebody who doesn't know the area

You say avoid parts of Totton, but Totton's crime rate is considerably lower than Shirley & Bitterne (places you're recommending)

If you were asking Totton residents which areas to avoid, they'd almost certainly say Woolston & Sholing, or anywhere over the bridge (where you currently are)


All depends on your hobbies and interests really.

For generic touristy stuff we have the Southampton City walls, a collection of still standing medieval battlements and sea walls from well in the past dotted all around the city centre.

For group activities and such, if either of you are a crafty or creative persons, a maker of any kind, electronics or programming or costume or sewing or knitting is you can check out the local makerspace So Make It. They have a lot of regular meet ups and just generally do interesting things!

We've also got two large Universities in Southampton, so they each have a bunch of different societies that even as an outsider you can get involved in.


No-one is saying Southampton is perfect - if you've sat through a few cycles of the traffic lights on West Quay Road you'll know that only too well - but it's home, and you know what? It's quite a good place to be.



I am Southampton born and bred, but I moved to Portsmouth last year as my other half is from here. I also commute to Basingstoke daily for my job so feel free to ask me any questions.

I am hesitant to say good or bad places because I think it's personal preference a lot of the time. I am originally from Millbrook. Some people think it's quite rough, others don't. Places like Romsey and chandlers ford are particularly nice and close to the motorway. But Totten, millbrook and lordswood are too and maybe more affordable. All five are reasonable distance to town. Marchwood is a bit further away but with a more closer community, partly because many are military families.

Travelling between Portsmouth and Southampton at peak times on the M27 you can expect your journey to take around an hour. And about the same to get from Southampton to Basingstoke. But the M3 tends to be kinder than the m27. My other half is based in Poole and at non peak times the journey is pleasant taking about 50 minutes ish. Not sure about peak times but it could be a nightmare. I mention this because long daily journeys like this can wear you down, especially in winter. And sat nav times are unreliable because they are hotspots for accidents and delays.

I'm not familiar as far out as hedge end. And I would agree that you want to stay away from the town centre and probably places like Wolston, itchen, hamble.


I know Glasgow and Southampton well, having lived back and forth between the two for 20 years.

Glasgow's best assets are its friendliness, ease of meeting people, and amazing range of cheap, diverse stuff to do. It's the loveliest city in the UK and I miss it (sob).

Southampton has lots of nice people of course, but it won't be so easy as Glasgow, and there isn't the range of indoor stuff (museums, cafes, community events). The new wonderful thing is an outdoor life, the weather is a million times better and the access to the sun, sand and sea and some excellent schools is fabulous. But stuff is expensive.

House prices are way way higher. I would prioritise the garden as you/your child can live outside much more of the year. Take a smaller lounge or kitchen for a south facing garden and it can feel meditaranean.

I'd look at Hythe, but it might be too far from the motorway for you, some surprisingly good prices when I looked a few years ago. Its also close to the New Forest which makes up for losing the hills. When estate agents or others talk about dodgy areas in Southampton or Portsmouth, look at the maps of indices of social deprivation to compare to areas you know well in Glasgow to calibrate.

Parts of Poole are the most expensive in the UK. Hedge End is Newton Stewart, boring but family friendly with great access. Fair Oak and Colden Common are sleepy nice and safe with great schools (and if you end up working in Basingstoke give quick access to M3 north east). Basingstoke is Livingston. Romsey/Salisbury side you are cutting yourself off a bit if you dont know where you will end up. Eastleigh is central, cheaper, its a funny place but improving (I grew up there til 18), Bishopstoke/Fair Oak are quiet but nice. Bishops Waltham is Strathaven. Chandlers Ford is overrated and overpriced.

I'd like to live in lee on Solent cos I love the water. Get a little boat, the solent, itchen and hamble and sunshine almost make up for me losing the hills.

Positive reviews


As a port city located so close to two national parks, you couldn’t ask for a more picturesque location. Southampton Common also offers a lovely mixture of open areas and woodland plus a wildlife centre. If you tire of the views there is plenty to keep you entertained in the form of art galleries and theatres (notably the Mayflower) and a thriving pub scene. If you're a football fan, Southampton FC play at the iconic St Mary's Stadium.