Nestled in those rolling chalk hills that make up The South Downs, Winchester is an old cathedral city and the former capital city of the royal family.
The first stop you make in Winchester should be to see the longest Gothic church in the entire world. It’s an Norman or Gothic masterpiece. Some of the nation’s most storied institutions are located in Winchester.
Visit the Hospital of St Cross, the oldest foundation for charitable causes in England and then take the opportunity to take a guided tour around Winchester College, the oldest continually operating school in the country.
Monuments such as those of the Great Hall of Winchester Castle and the ruin of Bishop’s Palace are amble proof of the city’s strength in the that were past. It was the home of kings and also hosted the wedding of the Queen Mary as well as Philip II of Spain.
Let’s look at the best activities to enjoy during your time in Winchester:
1. Winchester Cathedral
The magnificent Winchester Cathedral is more than 170 metres in length and is one of the largest Gothic cathedral of Europe.
It was founded in the year 642 and construction began on an expansion after the Norman Conquest. It is still present in the fundamental size of the nave and the transepts, and the crypt. However, the tower was replaced in the middle of the 12th century following its collapse.
In the middle of the 15th century, the nave was built with a Perpendicular Gothic casing using Caen stone. Its wooden ceiling was replaced by stunning stone vaults.
In the High Altar you can admire the intricate 15th-century stone screen, which shows the Crucifixion, and adorned with crockets, quatrefoil arches and saintly images. The West Window was smashed by the Parliamentarians in 1642. Its fragments were then replaced randomly as a sort of collage during the 1660s.
2. Hospital of St Cross
Winchester is the biggest Medieval alehouse of the UK that was built in the year 1130, the time when Henry from Blois was the Bishop of Winchester.
The Hospital of St Cross resembles an institution of higher learning like Oxford as well as Cambridge in that it is built on quadrangles. It’s a working private foundation that houses 25 brothers. It also it is open to the public for visits. You can visit the magnificent Norman as well as Gothic church in addition to The Old Kitchen and Brethren’s Hall.
This is the place where Hospital’s brothers gathered to eat meals for many years. It is full of Medieval fixtures like a dais raised in honor of the Masters, as well as an auditorium for musicians. You may still request an item called the Wayfarer’s Dole, which is an ounce of bread and a horn of beers that is given to any person who requests it.
3. Winchester College
In 1382, the school was established. Winchester College may be the oldest school that has been continuously operating for a long time in the UK and is definitely among England’s oldest seven public Schools. It’s been at the present location for more than six centuries. You might not want to pass up the opportunity to visit inside an institution that has such a long heritage.
As a functioning institution visits are guided tours only. the tours are held throughout the year at specific dates (normally every day twice) from Monday through Sunday.
You’ll be guided through the Medieval center of the school, where you can see the Gothic Chapel in the 1300s with wooden roofs that were first built and the Chamber Court, the College Hall and the first Scholars’ Dining Room an old schoolroom made of red brick that dates back to the 1600s and the Medieval Cloister.
4. South Downs Way
Winchester is located in the west. It’s also the point of departure for the South Downs Way, a 100-mile bridleway and path that runs starting from here and ending at Eastbourne along the East Sussex coast.
In its entirety, the trail is located within the boundaries of a National Park, the South Downs which is the one National Trail to do so. Winchester City Mill on the River Itchen has the official entry point for South Downs Way. South Downs Way.
If you want to take a quick trip, you could venture out on the undulating chalk hills for a few miles until you reach the magnificent natural amphitheatre of Cheesefoot Head, before heading back.
General Eisenhower addressed General Eisenhower addressed American army at Cheesefoot Head prior to D-Day in 1944. You can spot the hoops in three Bronze Age bowl barrows.
5. Winchester City Museum
Imitating the look of a Tudor hall it is modeled after a Tudor hall. Winchester City Museum goes back to 1861, and was among the first museums built for purpose outside of London. One of the most important exhibits are one of the most fascinating exhibits is Winchester Model, a fastidiously accurate scale model of the city during Victorian times.
The Roman Venta Gallery includes Roman artifacts from Venta Belgarum, like mosaics ceramics, glassware, figurines as well as fragments from statues.
There are dioramas featuring scenes from the life of Winchester through different times of its history, and the kids can to take part in brass rubbing, making an Anglo-Saxon pot, and dressing in various costumes that range from Roman through Edwardian. Another exhibit traces the final years of Jane Austen who passed away in Winchester in 1817. The spool case that she personalised with her name as well as two purses are displayed.
6. Great Hall
The final remaining portion that remains Winchester Castle is the Great Hall that was built between 1222 and 1235 and is currently an art gallery.
This castle served as a residence of the royal family for a long time as well as the location of many important events such as that of the trials for Sir Walter Raleigh for treason in 1603. Its Great Hall is one of the best left-over Medieval halls of the UK constructed with the use of limestone walls, flint and flint walls. doors and openings. Inside, it’s impossible to miss the replica Arthurian Round Table, dating to the 13th century, and later restored during Henry VIII’s reign. Henry VIII. It displays the names of people from King Arthur’s court. The table is set around an ivory Tudor rose.
You can admire the marble and stained glass columns, then walk into Queen Eleanor’s Garden, planted with the aromas and the style of the 13th century.
7. Wolvesey Castle
A river island is located next to the cathedral lie the ruins of Winchester’s palace of the episcopal, built by the bishop AEthelwold from Winchester during the 10th century.
The castle was destroyed during the English Civil War, and the majority of what you see comes from the palace belonging to bishop Henry of Blois whom was the elder brother of the King Stephen. The site is managed through English Heritage, and the massive ruins attest to the magnificence of the palace during Medieval times.
Wolvesey Castle hosted the wedding breakfast for queen Mary as well as Philip II of Spain in 1554. In the castle’s complex, you can see the remains of the hall. It has an arch that is round as well as a complete Norman Romanesque window.
8. City Mill
The Domesday Book shows that there was a mill powered by water in this area, which ran adjacent with Bridge Street since the 11th century, or until the end of the century.
In the 16th century, it was known as in the name of Eastgate Mill, and the name was changed into “City Mill” after it was granted by Winchester through Queen Mary following her compensation for the cost of her wedding. The current structure dates back to 1744, and the structure has been under its care by the National Trust since the 1920s.
In 2004 , the City Mill reopened after 12 years of renovation and was able to make flour using hydraulic power, for the very first time since 20th century.
Visit the mill to mill the flour you make yourself using hand quarns and see how bread was made in Winchester for centuries.
9. Westgate Museum
The most important of Winchester’s Medieval gates, known as the Westgate is a structure that dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period.
The gate was rebuilt around 1100 and later changed over the years that followed and was later given one of the first gunports in the nation. These are visible on the west side of the facade. It was used as a debtors’ jail until the 19th century (old graffiti covers a lot of the walls) It is now an exhibit that traces The Winchester’s Tudor and Stuart historical past.
The most impressive display features a ceiling painted that was designed by Winchester College in preparation for the wedding of Queen Mary and Philip of Spain in 1554. There are also the pre-Imperial weights and measurements as well as a climb up the roof to get the most stunning views of Winchester and the surrounding area. Children are able to dress up with armour-like suits.
10. Gurkha Museum
The old rifle depot at the Winchester’s Peninsula Barracks has a museum telling the story that was the Gurkhas, Nepalese soldiers recruited by the British Army over the last 200 years. Six cap-badged units remain in the military today.
The Gurkhas are known for their courage and their time of service, they have been awarded the 26 Victoria Crosses, the highest honor for gallantry within the UK military.
The museum outlines the battles which the Gurkhas have been fighting throughout the world all areas, starting from East Timor to the Falklands. View photos and video on touchscreen displays as well as enjoy dioramas, tableaux as well as paintings, uniforms and medals and war trophies. The ten of the Victoria crosses gathered by the Gurkhas are displayed here.