Sparsholt, Littleton and Crawley – what do the villages northwest of Winchester have to offer?

According to one local resident, “you can’t find a better archetypal village than Sparsholt!”

Beautiful setting, great sense of community, ‘outstanding’ primary school, local cricket team, village shop, post office, wonderful countryside and of course, a highly acclaimed pub serving excellent food, The Plough, which welcomes visitors from miles around. Sparsholt is also home to Lainston House, which not only is a Grade II listed 5-star hotel, but also provides a wonderful location for a spot of afternoon tea! In addition, it has also just started a cookery school for budding local chefs.

Commuters by car will enjoy the proximity to the A34 or M3 Junction 9, which is the same advantage for the nearby villages of Crawley and Littleton, all of which are set in countryside just 4-5 miles from the centre of Winchester.

All three villages are in the catchment for Sparsholt Primary, which as mentioned is rated ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED. When it comes to secondary schools, Sparsholt residents are in the catchment for Westgate School, whereas Littleton and Crawley have the choice of either Westgate or the Henry Beaufort School. Then there’s the much sought-after Peter Symonds Sixth Form College nearby, as well as Sparsholt College, an agricultural or land-based college which offers an excellent resource for further education.

Crawley and Littleton are both smaller villages than Sparsholt, with a good sense of community but less amenities than Sparsholt – apart from the fact that they both have great pubs. Not that we spend our life on a pub-crawl, but good locals do tend to indicate good locations! The Fox and Hounds Crawley offers a quaint, rustic experience whist Littleton’s Running Horse is a fine-dining pub with rooms to stay overnight. Littleton itself also has a long-standing tennis club that offers a wonderfully social atmosphere.

Most surprising about the quiet village of Crawley, is that it is home to the headquarters of one of Winchester’s major employers – Arqiva, a broadcasting company responsible for enabling communication across the world in the form of TV, radio, mobile phones networks and emergency services. Without them and their impressive satellites in this sleepy village, we would all live in a very quiet world!

Houses in these villages, especially Sparsholt, do tend to be in short supply and it’s worth having your ear to the ground to snap up opportunities before they reach the market. Currently the only properties available in the open market for Sparsholt or Crawley are in excess of £1.5million, however Littleton does have range of properties and price ranges.