Winchester named one of the UK's top two cities

Winchester has been named as one of the country's top two cities in a nationwide poll to find the 'Best of British'.

Nominated by readers of Period Living & Traditional Homes magazine, Winchester beat off traditional favourites such as Bath, Edinburgh and even London to reach second place in the 'Best City' category, narrowly missing out to York for the coveted top spot.

Over 200,000 readers were asked to cast their votes for the aspects of British life that they love the best, from best city to best country pub. Their nominations were then whittled down to the top 10 by a panel of judges, who declared Winchester a "successful combination of city life and country charm".

Winchester City Council Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport Cllr Thérèse Evans welcomed the news.

"Winchester's recognition as one of the best cities in the UK is well deserved. Residents already know that the city has a lot to be proud of, but it's very satisfying when a national survey reaches the same conclusion, particularly at a time when competition from elsewhere has never been greater," she said.

The city's high ranking in the Best of British Awards comes as no surprise to Karen Brazier, Tourism Marketing Manager at Winchester City Council, who said more and more people are waking up to Winchester's charms.

"Traditionally known for its history and heritage, visitors also appreciate the city's contemporary galleries, public art and independent boutiques, as well as its beautiful setting on the edge of the South Downs. Add to this the city's growing reputation for quality local produce - showcased at the thriving twice-monthly farmers' markets - and you have a winning combination," she added.

Local people wishing to share Winchester's charms with friends and relatives from further afield are recommended by the City Council's tourism service to take a look at the official tourism website for the Winchester District.