Living in Fleet
What is life like in Fleet
Fleet is a thriving town in the heart of Hampshire, around 35 miles south-west of London. It has a population of a little over 30,000 and is renowned for its high quality of life and excellent local amenities.
Indeed, the Halifax Quality of Life study named Fleet as its number one place to live in the UK in 2011, 2012 and 2013, underlining just how popular it is with residents. This put it above some of the most luxurious spots in Surrey and Berkshire.
A highly affluent population, good health, plenty of leisure space and facilities, easy access to the countryside and above average weather are all factors that contribute to Fleet's status as an incredibly desirable place to live.
Among the highlights of the local area are Fleet Pond, which is the largest freshwater lake in Hampshire, and the beautiful Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the High Street.
The arrival of the Basingstoke Canal in 1792 was a key stage in the evolution of Fleet. While there were only a few inns to serve in the early days, the passing trade soon had an effect and resulted in the town growing.
Between the First and Second World Wars, there was a building boom in Fleet – just as there was in many parts of the UK – and this resulted in further expansion of the town. Shops and houses were quickly added and more people began to flock to the area.
In more recent years, new housing developments such as Elvetham Heath and Zebon Copse have been built and boosted the population of Fleet. The arrival of the Hart Shopping Centre in 1991 was another major advancement and has resulted in excellent retail facilities being on offer ever since.
The area has one incredibly famous local resident in the shape of professional golfer and US Open champion Justin Rose.
Entertainment, sport and days out
The Harlington is the main entertainment venue in Fleet, serving as a multi-purpose arts centre. A variety of shows, productions, courses and events take place at the building.
Hart Leisure Centre is the best place for those people in Fleet who wish to play sport, as it boasts its own swimming pool, dance studio, gym and squash and badminton courts.
When it comes to choosing the destination for a day out, heading into the nearby countryside is sure to be a good idea. Following the route of the Basingstoke Canal is one wise move, as this area is popular for walking, cycling, fishing and boating.
Alternatively, wandering around the ruins of King John's Castle, which is thought to date back to the 13th century, can be great fun, while Yateley Common Country Park is set over almost 500 acres and features breathtaking views and attractive heathland.
Eating, drinking & shopping
A wide range of restaurants are open in the town centre and serve a good variety of food from around the world. Among those with a prime location are Menu Thai, Zaal, the Water Sky Chinese Restaurant and Gurkha Square.
Fleet is also home to a number of cosy and traditional pubs that will cater for every need, so checking out venues such as the Oat Sheaf and the Emporium is a good move.
The Hart Shopping Centre is the main retail facility in Fleet and offers access to some of the most famous high street stores. The likes of Next, Boots, EE, WH Smith and Argos all run outlets at the mall, along with a number of smaller independent shops.
More shops can be found at the Fleet Walk Shopping Centre, adding to the choice experienced by all those who head into the town centre.
Schools & healthcare
Fleet Infant School is the obvious place for youngsters to begin their education, which has a high standard of teaching and is located in a beautiful setting. Another option for pre-teen children is Elvetham Heath Primary School, while for secondary education pupils should look towards Court Moor School.
Residents who require medical assistance can head to Fleet Community Hospital, where a team of expert staff are available to treat all patients. For more basic needs, people may wish to try the Fleet Medical Centre.
Fleet is just a few minutes from the M3, which provides easy access to central London and, in the opposite direction, the south coast. It is also not too far from the M4, allowing residents to head west as quickly as possible.
Commuters also have it easy if they choose to live in Fleet, as the town's train station is the starting point for journeys into central London that take as little as 40 minutes. Services run to London Waterloo, which lies just a few steps from the bank of the River Thames.
In Fleet itself, there is a comprehensive bus service that allows people to make local journeys quickly and easily. There are also taxis operating in the area, making getting around no problem at all.