Winchester still follows the Saxon street plan laid out by Alfred the Great. With strong historical and literary connections, the city is also the ideal base for exploring rural Hampshire and its two national parks.
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- The Great Hall of Winchester Castle, housing a 13th century Arthurian Round Table
- Winchester cathedral, Europe’s longest medieval cathedral
- Wolvesey Castle (also known as the Old Bishop’s Palace) – an atmospheric ruined castle
- The 14th-century buildings of Winchester College, Tatler’s ‘Public School of the Year’ in 2010
- The Hospital of St Cross (pictured) – a medieval almshouse only a short walk from the city centre
- Visit the Farmer’s Market, held on the second and last Sunday of each month
- Have fun at Winchester Hat Fair – Britain’s longest-running festival of street theatre
- Discover the story of Winchester at the city museum
- Marwell Wildlife, a 140-acre zoo housing 235 different species of animals
Location and getting there
Winchester is the county town of Hampshire, in South-East England, and is located around 60 miles (100km) to the south-west of London (see our interactive map).
The River Itchen, a fast-flowing chalk stream renowned for its clear waters, runs south through the city.
Travelling from London, direct trains from Waterloo take a little over an hour.
A cheaper but slower option is the National Express coach service. Coaches depart from London Victoria and take 1 hour 40 minutes.
Winchester was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Wessex, and then of all Saxon England. Alfred the Great was crowned in the city in 871, and Winchester remained England’s capital until after the Norman conquest in the eleventh century.
The Romantic poet John Keats wrote his famous poem ‘To Autumn’ while staying in Winchester in 1819. Visitors to the city can pick up a free ‘Keats’ Walk’ leaflet from the tourist information office to follow in his footsteps. The leaflet is also available online.
Winchester’s other main literary connection is with the novelist Jane Austen. Following her death in 1817 her funeral was held in Winchester Cathedral and she was buried in the north aisle. A ‘Jane Austen trail’ leaflet is also available from the tourist information office or online.
This mini-calendar shows events taking place in and around Winchester. For events at cathedral cities across the UK, please see our main Cathedral City Calendar.
Using an iPhone? Please hold your phone horizontally for the best results with our calendar.
- Visitwinchester.co.uk – Winchester tourist information
- Winchester on Google Maps
- City of Winchester photo group on Flickr
- Winchester hotels with Booking.com
- Winchester restaurants with Restaurant-Guide.com
- Twitter list for Winchester by Cathedral City Guide
Got Winchester stories, photos, events or recommendations you want to share?
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