Discover Winchester …

04/06/2011 § 7 Comments

I’ve lived in Winchester for almost 30 years and I still discover hidden gems. When asked, most people will know Winchester for the grand cathedral.  There’s now a virtual online tour so you can see and hear about the most notable sights before taking your own real tour!  Our cathedral, the scene of royal marriages – admittedly some centuries ago – and the burial place of many notables, including Jane Austen, is just a stone’s throw from the High Street.

Winchester Cathedral

The High Street winds up through the City, from the imposing bronze of King Alfred …

King Alfred in Winchester

to King Arthur’s Round Table in Winchester’s Great Hall.  It’s a leisurely 10 minute stroll, up the High Street and through the ancient Westgate, to the impressive Law Court complex and the Great Hall at the top of town.

King Arthur's Round Table

But I defy most people to do it in 10 minutes – unless you’re wearing blinkers! There’s so much to see –

  • regular weekday and weekend markets
  • all the usual High Street stores – often housed in ancient, beamed buildings
  • wonderful individual, speciality shops – in the narrow streets leading off from the High Street
  • The Square, with its vibrant cafe culture
  • Parchment Street, heralded by the Kite Flyer and a must for those who love unusual shops
  • Little Minster Street and St Thomas Street, both with niche shops and just a minute from the High Street

The Kite Flyer

So why not pay Winchester a visit?  The Art and Design-led market is held on the 3rd Sunday of every month so if you’re interested in original art you’ll find over 100 stalls!

My favourite shops – well that’s difficult!  Contemporary and every-changing displays & stock  in The Hambledon, Bell Fine Arts, wonderful fabrics & yarns in C&H fabrics, Reads sewing machines with Sarah, Forme, Cornflowers, Wells Bookshop … I’m on a roll … I’ll finish with Maison Blanc – oh la la those cakes!

My favourite bit of Winchester?  Apart from my home, obviously, is the Elisabeth Frink sculpture of Horse and Rider –

Horse and Rider

If you’re coming to stay for more than a day, you’ll find even more to explore – Wolvesey Castle, the watermeadows, City Mill, the Eastgate, St Cross Hospital – England’s oldest almshouse, Hyde Abbey and the best view of the entire city from St Giles Hill!

View from St Giles Hill

Have fun, and let me about know your favourite part of Winchester.


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