A cathedral city on the edge of the South Downs, Winchester is England’s ancient capital and former seat of King Alfred the Great. Today, Winchester combines the best of city life with the freshness of the surrounding countryside.
One hour from London, this is England as it ought to be. Popular for its shopping streets and architecture, its floral summer season and quirky open air events, Winchester is best known for its 11th-century cathedral and for the Great Hall, which for over 600 years has housed the mysterious Arthurian round table. Next to the Cathedral is the fascinating ruin of Wolvesey Castle: Queen Mary and Philip of Spain had their wedding breakfast there in 1554, and today it remains a popular wedding venue. Winchester College is believed to be the oldest continuously running school in the country, whilst the Hospital of St Cross – a medieval almshouse – still offers the wayfarer’s dole to travellers as it has done for more than eight centuries.
Home of good food, birthplace of cricket, resting place of author Jane Austen and inspiration to the many craft-makers and artists who live here, Winchester is truly a destination for all seasons.
Winchester’s central location at the heart of a good road and rail network makes it very easy to explore other parts of southern England. Portsmouth, Chichester and Salisbury are less than one hour’s drive away, the New Forest can be reached in just over half an hour and Southampton is only 20 minutes, making Winchester the perfect base for a touring holiday.
Blue Badge Guided Tours are available in Winchester.
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