Winchester Hants

Winchester Hants, the ancient capital of Wessex and of England. An attractive and ambient city of historic streets that were laid out in a grid pattern by King Alfred the Great upon the even older Roman design. His statue stands where the East Gate once stood and the King faces his High Street guarding the city as he once ruled it.

Nowadays the city may be old in story, but it is a bustling place of locals and visitors alike. Upper High Street is a pedestrian mall full of shops of every kind from antiquities to clothing, chemists and books via upmarket shops and the ubiquitous Marks and Spencers. All in buildings that have seen centuries of customers.

Look up now and again as you shop. Those intriguing buildings were built by craftsmen centuries ago. Admire the carvings, the stones, the building itself. All hand tools then. The skill of those craftsmen is incredible.

Cross streets, parallel streets, laneways all have their own atmosphere and character, their ancient buildings. Have a coffee in a place that was first built at least five centuries ago. Take time to explore. Wander around. High Street, Jewry Street, St George's Street, Chesil Street, amble into The Square and visit the Cathedral. Stroll along the River Itchen to the ruins of Wolvesey Castle and Palace. Visit the City Mill. So many places to shop and to see.

Winchester Cathedral
The iconic Winchester Cathedral
Photograph © Copyright M Temple

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This city is a shopaholics paradise!! There are so many unique shops as well as the run of the mill shops expected in every city. Here it is not only the wonderful High Street, but try the Brooks Shopping Centre in Upper Brook Street, a pedestrian mall. The Market is in Middle Brook Street. Then there is St George's Street, a narrow, busy street that parallels High Street. Plus lots of other hidden gems near the Cathedral and hidden away here and there. Explore – you will love it shopaholics!

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Exploring the City

(Requirements – time, your eyes, good feet, camera, camcorder. Credit/debit card or cash optional!)

There is so much to see and do in Winchester that it is impossible to include it all in one page!!!!! So lots of extra pages have been added for your pleasure. Enjoy the links for each attraction.

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The Central City

Middle Brook Street
Middle Brook Street
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Peter Facey and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. . www.geograph

High Street

From the bridge over the River Itchen, through Broadway and King Alfred's Statue to the Castle at the other end. An ancient street with centuries of footsteps by the ordinary and the mighty from the Romans to the present. Take your time.

The Square

This is one of the ancient parts of the city. Here you can find Winchester Cathedral and the City Museum. Fancy a bite? Alfresco cafe? Certainly!

Winchester Cathedral

The iconic site of Winchester, its wonderful Cathedral. Wander in and around the lovely old architecture. There is a charge for admission except for services but what a lot for your money!

Before you go read this page on the history of Winchester Cathedral it will give you an insight. Such a beautiful place with the ambience of the history of the ages. Yet it is a living, breathing Cathedral with so much going on.

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One of the best kept secrets of the city. Kingsgate is one of the two old gates, the other being Westgate. Visit St Swithun's Church above the gate. A hidden shopping area and Winchester College.

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Eastgate and Beyond

Walk along by the River Itchen
Walk along by the lovely River Itchen
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. www.geograph

Beyond Eastgate

A small attractive area behind and beyond King Alfred's statue.

Wolvesey Castle aka Old Bishops's Palace

Amble down the river footpath that can be found at the side of the B3404 opposite The City Mill. The Castle is a delightful ruin that Cromwell knocked about a bit. Was the residence of the Bishops of Winchester for hundreds of years and saw the history of England made.

City Mill

Can be found near King Alfred's statue. A delightful place to visit, a working flour mill alongside the chuckling River Itchen.

St Mary's Abbey

There is little left of the Abbey that once looked out on to Abbey Park, that pretty little park on the Broadway. Just what is now the Mayor's residence and some exposed foundations in Abbey Passage. Once called Nunnaminster it was built by King Alfred's wife.

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Westgate and Beyond


At the end of Upper High Street, the old gate in and out of the city. Was still used in living memory as such. The area of the Castle and the Regimental Museums.

Winchester Castle Great Hall

The only part of the Castle that now exists. It is an interesting museum as well as an example of fine architecture, it was the 'edge' when it was built! A replica of Arthur's Round Table is housed in the Hall.

St Cross Hospital and Almshouses.

A serene place in the water meadows. Can be found by travelling down Southgate St that becomes St Cross Road.

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North Walls and Beyond

Hyde Abbey

Only the old gatehouse and the crumbling arch over the old Abbey millstream now exists. Nearby is Hyde Abbey Park, North Walls Park and the Winnall Nature Reserve. Lovely area for a day out.

Winnall Moors Nature Reserve.

One of the two nature reserves here and within half mile of the city. A quiet, serene and beautiful water meadows area. No need to get your feet wet either! Run by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

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Other pages that may be of interest

Winchester Mint

With Winchester once being the capital of the country it is not surprising that there was a mint near the Royal Palace. Nothing exists of it now, but at one time it was very important.

Domesday Book

aka The Book of Winchester. When the Domesday Book was originally written it was housed in the Royal Treasury in Winchester. It did not have a name to start with and was called by where it was kept, although it travelled round with the Royal Court from time to time for easy access. It was the population that nicknamed it The Domesday Book!

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Return from Winchester Hants to Hampshire

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Statue of King Alfred, High Street, Winchester
King Alfred guarding his capital city of Winchester

These days Winchester is the capital of the county of Hampshire which is situated in the centre of the southern coast of England. An attractive county of chalk downs, historic and modern cities, towns and villages, the New Forest, rivers, footpaths and cycleways. Winchester makes an ideal spot from which to explore the surrounding county as well as exploring the city itself.

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Useful Information


There is plenty of accommodation in Winchester itself. If you fancy a cottage in the villages around there are certainly plenty of them.

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Hire Cars

Taxis and Hire Cars are available in the city.

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Getting to the city

As this was the old capital of England and still the county town access to the city is easy.

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By Air

Southampton Airport is quite close between Southampton and Eastleigh. From there it is simple to get to Winchester either by train or by road via the A335 and the M3.

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By Coach

National Express coaches run to Winchester from many places in the country and stop near King Alfred's statue in the High Street. Very convenient.

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By Rail

Winchester has a railway station on the South Western Main Line. Trains run to Waterloo, Southampton Parkway for Southampton International Airport, Bournemouth, Weymouth, Birmingham New Street and easy connection to many other places.

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By Road

The M3 runs around the city on the eastern side.

The A34 comes in from the north and joins the M3 at Winchester.

The A33 joins the A34.

The B3047 comes from the east as does the A31 and the A272.

The A335, the B3335, the B3354 come up from the south.

The A3090 comes in from the west and drops south again to join the M3.

The B3049 is from the north west, as is the B3420, although more to the north.

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