We'll be straight up with you - we might be a little biased. But Andover is a great place to live.

Nestled to the north of the county of Hampshire, it has much more to offer than first meets the eye.

This is why we love Andover. Share your views on what you like about the town below. 

Friendly faces

Andoverians are friendly folk. Whether it’s a stranger wishing you good morning in the street or someone at the bus stop pausing to have a chat, our town isn’t short of cheerful people.

For those new to the area, there are plenty of ways of meeting new people from sports groups to social societies. 

Basingstoke Gazette: There is lots to love about AndoverThere is lots to love about Andover

Great places to eat and drink

Coffee lovers are spoilt for choice in Andover town centre with a number of independent businesses. Whether you’re popping in for a brew at Bruno’s Coffee Shop, dying for a decaf at Blue Onion or meeting friends at Café Bridge, there are a plethora of places to enjoy.

Basingstoke Gazette: A selection of Andover's pubs A selection of Andover's pubs

And it’s not just hot drinks either. Andover has an impressive selection of pubs, many within stumbling distance of each other, making it a good venue for a night out (bring on June 21).

In terms of cuisine, there are plenty of takeaways in the town centre though the selection of dine-in restaurants is admittedly smaller than other towns. But the villages make up the shortfall, with an array of character pubs and gastro eateries to tickle your fancy.

Best of both worlds

One of the greatest things about Andover is having all the benefits of town life while being close to the countryside. Within minutes, you can find yourself deep in nature.

There are hundreds of walks to enjoy and not mention beautiful parks or lakes to relax and wander around in. 

Basingstoke Gazette: Ali Lansley's photo of Longstock Water GardenAli Lansley's photo of Longstock Water Garden

The Harrow Way, which runs east-west through Andover is arguably described as the oldest road in Britain. And it is a perfect spot if you fancy a run or a cycle in the sunshine.

Proud of its history

While Andover may be a small town, it has a mightily impressive past. Its first mention in documented history was in 950 when the Saxon King Edred was recorded to have built his royal hunting lodge there.

When its population was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book, Andover had around 500 inhabitants and six watermills that ground grain to flour. Remnants of this tradition still stand today albeit in a more modern form with the McDougall’s flour factory while a Norman arch, the remains of the Old Church of St Mary can be found next to Willows coffee shop.

Basingstoke Gazette: The Rank Hovis/ McDougall's building from the Hatherden Road. Photo by David Yelf The Rank Hovis/ McDougall's building from the Hatherden Road. Photo by David Yelf

Andover has a long and proud association with the armed forces. In 2012, it became the home of the British Army headquarters. The town’s largest employer is the Ministry of Defence. RAF Andover was opened to the south of the town during the First World War and became the site of RAF Staff College.

Basingstoke Gazette: Andoverians celebrating the coronation in 1902Andoverians celebrating the coronation in 1902

It is these links to our past that make our town so special.

Community spirit

A sense of community is something that seems to run through the veins of people living in Andover. There are a large number of charities that operate in Andover which aim to improve the lives of people who need help. Andover Neighbourcare has been running for 25 years and helps the less-able. Meanwhile, Andover Mind has been operating since 1984 and has grown into a major provider of mental health services. And Andover Foodbank, which opened in 2006, gets food and supplies to struggling families and individuals. In 2017 alone, they fed 4,300 people across the Test Valley region.

There are so many amazing charities doing great things in Andover, a real reason to be proud of our town. But it isn’t just organisations.

Each week at The Advertiser, we are fortunate enough to hear of stories of everyday townsfolk doing something for the greater good.

Basingstoke Gazette: Charlotte Reid cut her hair in honour of her late fatherCharlotte Reid cut her hair in honour of her late father

Amport pensioner Angela Silverman spent her 77th birthday strapped to the top of a Stearman Biplane to raise money for Naomi House hospice in Sutton Scotney.

While Charlotte Reid, aged 12, cut her hair in December to raise money for a charity close to her heart after she lost her father to cancer.

And in July, four Andover men Derek Wright, Martin Ruddick, Kevin Rush and Craig Mellor will be running the 66 mile coastline of the Isle of Wight in just 12-16 hours to raise money for worthy causes.

Basingstoke Gazette: These four Andover men will be taking on a big challenge in JulyThese four Andover men will be taking on a big challenge in July

The seemingly constant flow of stories of individuals desperate to make a difference goes to show just how selfless and community-minded our residents are.