“So what is the commute really like?” This is a question that we often get asked by Londoners thinking of making that move out of the capital to Winchester.
Well, journey time is anything from 58 minutes to 1 hour 20 to get to Waterloo at peak time and from 53 minutes to 1 hour 10 to get back home at the end of the day.
The trains that originate in Winchester or Southampton Airport Parkway virtually guarantee you a seat – for example the 6:55am or 7:05am. On the way home, the busiest train is unsurprisingly the 5:35pm, so you do need to get to the platform early; but they leave every 10 minutes at peak time so getting a seat is rarely a problem. If you want a more rural lifestyle, the stopping services from Shawford or even Micheldever give you a good combination of countryside and commuting; and although they add to your journey time, many villagers say it’s worth it!
People new to Winchester are often fascinated by the unique etiquette that can be observed at the station in the early hours of the morning: if you see a queue forming on the platform – join it. Winchester commuters have developed the quintessentially British behaviour of forming orderly queues for the incoming train, in lines where the doors will open. You need to trust that the person at the front knows this exact spot, but for some reason it always works! It’s a self-policing arrangement too – queue jumpers are quickly reminded where the back of the line can be found. This system ensures everyone gets a fair chance of getting their preferred seat.
Final tip – get your coffee before you get on the train. Few of the trains have buffet cars so the savvy will come prepared!
To see where the station is in relation to the rest of the city, click here to check out the map and other great reasons to choose Winchester as your home.