It was King
Alfred the Great who rebuilt Winchester after the Dark Ages and it was later
the capital of Saxon and Norman kings.
Winchester is dominated by its Cathedral, which was built between 1079 and
1404. It has the longest nave of any Cathedral in Europe and the Norman
architecture can still be seen in the transepts and crypt.
Throughout history Winchester has had connections with many famous people.
William the Conqueror (c1027-1087) claimed his crown at Winchester following
the Battle of Hastings. In July 1554 Mary Tudor married Philip of Spain
in the Cathedral and her marriage chair is in the Triforium Gallery. In
the Great Hall in 1603 Sir Walter Raleigh was tried for treason and condemned
to death, although later reprieved. Novelist Jane Austen spent her last
days living in Winchester and her grave is in the Cathedral grounds.
Whilst still retaining its historic atmosphere Winchester is now a thriving
City with plenty to offer its visitors. The High Street is pedestrianised
and has many speciality shops and boutiques. The Square is the place to
go for crafts, kitchenware, gifts, traditional clothes and shoes. There
is also a market, which takes place from Wednesday to Saturday each week.
The City Museum tells the nationally important story of Winchester and it
contains two reconstructed Victorian shops.
You'll find plenty of quality places to stay in Winchester including hotels, B and B's, guest houses and self catering holiday cottages.
Being a compact city Winchester is best explored on foot so self-guided
walk leaflets are available from the Tourist Information Centre where you
can also get details of guided tours.
The countryside around the City of Winchester is well worth exploring, with pretty towns,
picture-postcard villages and many gardens, castles and historic houses
To open a large version of the map in a new window and plan a journey to Winchester click here.