Is Winchester getting it right? I’ve discussed the challenges to the nation’s high streets, however, it's also important to look at success stories of vibrant high streets and their essential qualities.

A case in point is Winchester which has a combination of historical charm, diverse amenities, and pedestrian-friendly layout which makes it a standout destination, with weekly farmers markets selling organic, homemade remedies. 

Winchester’s High Street has a large variety of independent shops, cafes, restaurants, and cultural attractions including the iconic cathedral.

You can find everything from small artisanal shops to traditional pubs that are over one thousand years old. This selection of attractions ensures there's something for everyone, whether you're an avid shopper, into public houses, a history enthusiast or simply stopping by as a tourist. 

Winchester, surrounded by ancient history, and once the capital of England holds architecture that goes back centuries, from mediaeval buildings to the cathedral which is over 1382 years old. Creating a picturesque and beautiful setting that attracts both locals and tourists alike.

Not only Winchester's natural charm attracts tourists, but its various markets - particularly the annual Christmas market, mentioned in previous articles, has helped support footfall to Winchester's high street.

It is common for foot traffic to increase during the market period, often by 50 per cent or more compared to regular days, and so the very popular market attracts a large number of visitors to the city centre.

This substantially benefits nearby high street shops and businesses as many visitors explore the area before or after visiting the market and by eating at local restaurants. This can lead to higher sales and exposure for retailers.

Cleverly, the town has a successful park and ride scheme, which encourages tourist visits through lowering costs of parking and providing easy access to the attractions. This also helps environmentally by cutting traffic numbers significantly. 

In summary, although high streets have evidently been struggling throughout the years, many high streets have many key factors which are keeping them alive and keeping people attracted to the sights.

Throughout these articles it has been an exploration of what our high streets need, and Winchester is a prime example of a bustling high street that is well supported by both the council and those visiting.

  • This article was written by Tess Green, from Peter Symonds College, as part of Newsquest's Young Reporter Scheme.