Tuesday 27 December 2011

Fleet is the best!

The town in which I live is called Fleet. It is in the district of Hart, in North-East Hampshire. The Council's logo features a hart - this word being an old English one meaning a mature male deer.

 In a recent survey Hart District emerged as the most desirable place to live in Britain! The survey looked at the factors of health, crime, jobs, schools, weather and housing. On Christmas Eve many of the national newspapers ran a story about the survey, and most of them used it to emphasise the so-called North-South Divide, since none of the places in the top 50 list were in the North of England (do you reckon that the survey was perhaps conducted by a Londoner??)

Emma, please note that Wokingham is only in the No.3 spot... So there!

It was good to see that The Guardian gave a mention to one of my favourite shops - W.C.Baker and Sons, the ironmonger's shop. This old-fashioned shop is a real treasure. In it you can literally buy just one nail if you want to, and it is very seldom that they don't have what you want. The Guardian describes it as "Tardis-like" in that from the outside it looks tiny, but inside it seems to have EVERYTHING you might need.

Fiona; if you happen to read this during your time with the Folks in Panama, you just show them this picture of the Basingstoke Canal, and remind them that sometimes "Less is More"!

From my point of view, Yes this is true. Hart is a good place to live. For me one of the main attractions is its physical location. On the railway you can be in London in 50 minutes (sometimes less); it's 25 miles from Heathrow airport, London's biggest; 50 from Gatwick; it's right on the M3 motorway, and only 12 miles from the M4. In my job I have to travel around a fair bit, and these convenient transport links count for a lot. Despite this, Fleet is far enough "out of town" to have a rural rather than a suburban feel to it, and in just a few minutes' drive you can be genuinely away from it all in the depths of the beautiful Hampshire countryside.[e.g. The New Forest, less than 50 miles, approx 1 hour travelling time.]

OK, so now I'm just off to verify the assertion that "Hart residents enjoy incomes 40% above the UK average."...


  1. We have an ancient iron monger, started in 1740 and still owned and run by the same family, they too will sell you one nail or screw and you can get a ring for your pig's nose! I love it in there.

    Your area sounds absolutely lovely. I'm in the Aylesbury Vale...

  2. Looks lovely! I've never been to England. Must be on the list.

  3. Well that would be nice to hear about the town you live in. Unfortunately, I don't think I will hear it about Thomson, but when my husband left me it was the 'home' that I wanted to come back to (lucky for Phil he lived here, lol).

  4. Looks great, and by association I live in a county next to the county with the best place to live!

  5. Must admit to being a bit miffed when they said "It's grim up North" on the report. There are lots of beautiful places near to us and we are within easy reach of major cities, rolling countryside and the coast. As for weather being in the shelter of the Pennines we don't do too badly. I guess there is more prosperity in southern areas which affects some things. Northern areas have been given a certain image that it is hard to dispel - we're not all cloth caps and whippets!

  6. Must be fab to be No 1!!!! Your town looks lovely and I have 'a thing' about ironmongeries ... I think it's the smell and all that rummaging that can be done! I was glad to see that Richmond came in at No 11 - all of my family stem from Richmond and having done our family tree back to 1878, it played a big part in our history! God bless Hart and all that sail in her..... xxx

  7. Really nice to know about Fleet. And to think that it's one of the most desirable places to live in...in your country!


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