Sturdy and imposing, Winchester’s Norman Cathedral dates back to 1070 and is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in England. It’s also one of the most important. King Canute and William II are buried here. Henry III was baptized in the exquisite stone basin. Mary Tudor married King Philip of Spain here.
Note the 14th-century carvings of dragons, owls and monkeys in the choir, the stained-glass windows (made from glass smashed by the Puritans in the 1640s), and the moving sculptures of Antony Gormley, voice twoin the cellar.
The atmospheric Holy Cross Hospital is a medieval almshouse and the oldest surviving charity in Britain. Worth a visit for its Grade I listed buildings alone, it’s known for continuing the age-old tradition of providing walker relief.
relief money for hikers It was a glass of beer and a small piece of bread, and any visitor who wanted it would get it. This custom was started by a monk in the French commune of Cluny. Visitors to Holy Cross Hospital can apply for unemployment benefits at the Porters Lodge while away.
Meticulously restored, the world-renowned Winchester Bible is back on display as the centerpiece of an exhibition celebrating the city’s cathedral and remarkable history.
Weighing 32 kilograms and beautifully illustrated with gold leaf and lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, the book is one of the largest and most beautiful 12th-century Bibles on Earth.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Canteen, set in a restored mill building in verdant Abbey Gardens, is one of Winchester’s most atmospheric dining venues. The sharing platters are legendary and the Sunday roast is considered the best in town.
Best of all, you can take a walk along the river after your meal. Foodies can also stock up at Winchester’s fortnightly farmers’ market. It is one of the largest in the UK.
The Arthurian legend’s iconic round table has dominated the historic halls of Winchester for centuries. Of course, this is not true. Arthur and Camelot is a myth, so technically it never actually existed.
But the table does date back to the medieval period and is later painted with Tudor roses The great man himself was Henry VIII. With a diameter of 5.5 meters and a weight of 1,200 kilograms, it is hung on the west wall.
Towering on the east bank of the Iegean, St. Catherine’s Hill is a rounded chalk hill that served as a fortress during the Iron Age. It is 97 meters high, located in the south of the city, and the earthworks from that time can still be seen today.
Today, it is surrounded by 58 hectares of nature reserve, blooming with wildflowers in early summer and home to more than 25 species of butterflies.
The view from the top is vast. Look east for the rectangular mound of Plague Crater Valley. As the name suggests, they mark mass graves during plague outbreaks.
Between 1809 and 1807 Jane Austen lived in Chorton, a small village 17 miles from Winchester. She wrote six novels there, including emma and Sense and Sensibilityher home has been turned into a museum.
In 1817 she fell ill and moved to Winchester, a leading medical center at the time. She lived her final days at 8 College Street (now a private residence, marked by a plaque) and is buried in the cathedral.
Her memorial tomb makes no mention of the fact that she was a famous writer, but in 1900 a stained glass window was erected in her honor.
In 1994, three otters were reintroduced to the Itchen River, and the creatures have since thrived, thrived, and repopulated the waterway. Although elusive and shy, they are often spotted around urban mills, with observation cameras tracking their every move.
Over the years, they have become more accustomed to humans and “city life,” and a few lucky visitors have seen them fishing or herding their young to safety under the mill.
This upmarket city center pub is housed in a 1755 coaching inn, a 5-minute walk from Winchester Cathedral. Lord Nelson is said to have stayed here on his way to Portsmouth, and in the 1900s it was part of the city’s notorious red-light district.
Today, Wykeham Arms is even more refined and lovingly restored, with lots of nooks and crannies, charming bric-a-brac and a walled garden that is especially lovely in summer.
Still need convincing? The food is great, there’s beer on tap and it was voted UK’s best town pub in 2018.
The South Downs Way, one of Britain’s great national walks, starts (or ends) in Winchester. St Catherine’s Hill is the westernmost point of the trail, a hundred miles of chalk hills, springy lawns and pretty villages ahead as you walk east to the white chalk cliffs above Eastbourne.
Of course, you don’t have to go all the way. Even the shortest of walks will allow you to see an abundance of wildflowers in bloom in spring and summer, including some rare orchids, and enjoy stunning views across the city.
The West Gate is the last of Winchester’s main medieval city gates and its architecture dates back to Anglo-Saxon times. It was rebuilt in the 1100s and has been modified over the centuries, including the earliest cannon muzzles in the country.
It was a debtors’ prison until the 19th century, and the graffiti on the walls can still be seen today. Today it is a museum with exhibits on Winchester’s Tudor and Stuart history. There is a box of old armor in the corner for the kids to play with medieval dress up.
A walk along Winchester’s Eagen River is a great way to learn about the town’s rich history and remarkable wildlife. Along the way, you’ll pass the statue of Alfred the Great, the Old City Mill and Wolfsey Castle.
As a chalky stream, the water is crystal clear and is home to otters, water voles, white-clawed crayfish, butterflies and kingfishers.A walk on the banks of the Eghen inspired Keats to write carol of autumn. Who knows what you’ll be inspired to do?
A stone’s throw from the cathedral, Wolfsey Castle is one of England’s greatest medieval buildings and was the palace of the powerful and wealthy Bishop of Winchester.
Now in ruins, once famous for hosting wedding breakfasts In 1554, King Philip II of Spain and Queen Mary of England went to the cathedral for their wedding. During the day you can walk through the atmospheric ruins for no fee.