EASTLEIGH strikes a commercial note after Winchester. It was built around the railway, still has a railway works, and has a clutch of companies such as Pirelli, Norwich Union Healthcare and B&Q. It also has the headquarters of the Royal Yachting Association. In the early days the social divisions between railway employees were underlined by their choice of address. Drivers and inspectors lived in the north; everyone else in the south. Today the north is still the better side of town, and properties here sell for slightly more. Its basic stock in trade is a mass of late Victorian terraced houses, fronting the pavement and selling at between £160,000 and £180,000. The new £25m leisure complex includes a nine-screen cinema, bowling centre and restaurants.
Bishopstoke and Fair Oak were once older villages, but they now behave more like comparatively prosperous suburbs of Eastleigh. Bishopstoke has modern estates where you might buy a three-bedroom house for less than £200,000, or a four-bedroom detached house with two en-suite bathrooms and double garage for £330,000. Fair Oak is slightly more up-market, with its village square still intact.