A Winchester Weekend Escape
Find out why England’s ancient capital is well worth exploring
Winchester’s story stretches back to Roman times. Home to the world’s longest medieval cathedral, a walk through this compact city reveals two millennia of history along its historic streets, through its alleys and gardens, and around the Cathedral Close.
The sheer beauty of this city on the edge of the South Downs National Park, combined with its world-class attractions and vibrant food-and-drink scene, make it a wonderful destination for a weekend getaway. Planning a trip? Don’t miss these AA- and VisitEngland-rated recommendations.
Things to do in Winchester
The city of Winchester boasts some remarkable architectural treasures. Starting at the imposing bronze statue of King Alfred the Great, enjoy a stroll up the characterful High Street before reaching the Cathedral Close. The city’s magnificent cathedral was founded in 1079 and is home to a host of fascinating artefacts, including the 12th-century illuminated Winchester Bible and the tombs of early English kings.
A wander round the Cathedral Close will see you pass the entrance to the oldest school in England, Winchester College. Tours are available if visiting in the summer, allowing visitors to view the handsome cloisters and savour the unspoilt historic atmosphere.
There’s a beautiful riverside walk to be explored beside the College grounds – why not grab a coffee from the city centre before ambling along the Itchen. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, a climb of St Catherine’s Hill will reveal beautiful views over Winchester and the surrounding countryside of the South Downs.
To discover more of the city’s rich and diverse history, a visit to the Winchester City Museum is a must. The Great Hall, located at the top of the High Street, is the only surviving part of Winchester Castle and houses the 13th-century Round Table based on the Arthurian legend.
Recommended things to do in Winchester
Places to stay in Winchester
Whether you’re looking for city centre luxury or a peaceful retreat on the outskirts, Winchester offers plenty of choice to its visitors.
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Where to eat in Winchester
From modern French cooking served in a medieval house to quirky gastro-pubs, Winchester has plenty of options for the hungry visitor.