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7 Exciting Things To Do In Winchester

Nestled in the heart of Hampshire, Winchester is steeped in history and brimming with culture. This ancient city offers a treasure trove of attractions just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a history buff looking to explore ancient ruins, a nature lover looking to explore green spaces on foot, or simply looking for a weekend getaway, Winchester has something for everyone. Read on for our top 7 things to do in Winchester and start planning the perfect break. 

1. Winchester Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Swithun, commonly known as Winchester Cathedral.
Image Credit: Yujie Chen via iStock

No visit to Winchester would be complete without exploring its magnificent Cathedral. This attraction has been a place of worship for over 900 years and is considered by many to be one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Europe. Admire Winchester Cathedral’s stunning Gothic architecture, intricate carvings, and awe-inspiring stained glass windows. You can even take a guided tour to learn more about the cathedral’s rich history.

2. The Great Hall

WINCHESTER, UK - July 27, 2012. King Arthurs Round Table and the Great Hall in Winchester Castle, Hampshire, England
Image Credit: Paul Maguire via iStock

Home to the iconic Round Table of Arthurian legend, The Great Hall allows you to step back in time to the 13th century. Take a walk through the Queen Eleanor Garden and marvel at the medieval architecture as you explore this historic site. 

3. Winchester City Mill (National Trust)

Winchester City Mill is believed to have stood in the heart of the city since the Saxon times. And with a history going back over 1000 years, it’s one of the oldest mills in the UK. The City Mill was rebuilt in 1744 and entered the care of the National Trust in the 1920s. 

Since then, the City Mill was partially restored in 2004 and up until 2023 the waterwheel was still working. Plans are in place to try and raise funds to replace the waterwheel and get it up and running again. This free thing to do in Winchester allows you to learn about the mills’ fascinating history. Why not extend your visit with a leisurely stroll along the scenic River Itchen?

4. Winchester Walks

man with his dog running through a meadow in Winchester
Image Credit: Nick Seagrave via Unsplash

Lace up your walking boots and embark on a journey through Winchester’s picturesque streets and historic landmarks. 

City Walk

Explore the city with a self-guided tour that takes you past the city’s most iconic sights. There are three different walks to choose from all varying in length. Discover Winchester’s vast history and use this map to help you along the way. 

St Catherine Hill

If you’re up for a challenge, St Catherine Hill might just be what you are looking for. This dramatic 220ft uphill climb via wooden stairs reveals jaw-dropping views of Winchester and the Itchen Valley floodplains. At the summit, you’ll find earthworks of an Iron Age fort, a copse of trees, and the buried ruins of the Norman Chapel of St Catherine. It’s a walk well worth doing.

5. Museums

Peninsula Barracks where military museum and the Royal Green Jackets museum is located
Image Credit: Edk7 via Flickr

If you’re looking for things to do in Winchester, we suggest visiting one of the many museums in Winchester. These museums all offer a look into Winchester’s history as well as its military significance. 

Gurkha Museum

The Gurkha Museum in Winchester showcases the remarkable history and bravery of Gurkha soilers who served in the British Army over two centuries. Explore the exhibits and artefacts and learn about their legendary service, training, and cultural heritage. It’s a captivating tribute to the courage and resilience of these extraordinary warriors.

Winchester City Museum

Located in the historic Buttercross building, the Winchester City Museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the heritage and history of Winchester. The museum features exhibits and artefacts spanning thousands of years, from prehistoric times to the present day. Visitors can explore the city’s Roman roots, medieval past, and vibrant cultural heritage.

The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum

The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum is housed within the Peninsula Barracks and showcases a diverse array of artefacts, documents, and interactive displays that chronicle the regiment’s evolution from its 18th-century origins to its modern-day role in the British Army. You can delve into the regiment’s involvement in major conflicts, past and present, and peacekeeping missions. 

Military Museum

Winchester’s Military Museum offers visitors a captivating journey through the military history of the area and its significant contributions to the British Armed Forces. This museum is perfect to add on to a visit of The Royal Green Jackets museum as they are both located within Peninsula Barracks. 

The museum allows you to explore the stories of soldiers from various regiments and learn  about their experiences in major conflicts and rrecent deployments. Through engaging narratives and authentic memorabilia, the Military Museum provides a poignant tribute to the courage, sacrifice, and enduring legacy of those who have served in the military.

Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

Standing as a hub of scientific exploration and discovery, the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium offers a hands-on, interactive experience for visitors of all ages. The Science Centre features a wide rand of engaging exhibits and interactive displays cover various fields of science. The Planetarium, on the otherhand, provides immersive astronomy shows, allowing visitors to journey through space and explore the wonders of the cosmos.

6. Hospital of St Cross

Founded in the 12th-century, the Hospital of St Cross has provided care and hospitality to pilgrims and the needy for over 900 years. Visitors can explore the hospitals picturesque grounds including the Water Meadows and the iconic Norman Church. The Hospital of St Cross continues to fulfil its charitable purpose today and remains a cherished landmark. 

7. Wolvesey Castle

The ruins are the remains of Castle erected by Bishop Henry de Blois (1129-1171). Original the Bishops residence, Destroyed
Image Credit: Tony Hisgett via Wikimedia Commons

Standing just a stone’s throw from Winchester Cathedral, Wolvesey Castle was originally built as a residence for the powerful Bishops of Winchester. This historic ruin is steeped in history and shows remnants of its medieval walls and buildings. Visitors can explore the site’s atmospheric ruins which offers glimpse into its forer grandeur.

Winchester Accomodation

At Short Let Space, we have accommodation to suit every requirement. Whether you’re searching for a quaint townhouse, somewhere a little more secluded, or luxury property for a big group, we’ve got it all. Book your Winchester accommodation today and get planning the perfect city break.

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