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.
The High Street winds up through the City, from the imposing bronze of King Alfred …
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.
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
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 –
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!
Have fun, and let me about know your favourite part of Winchester.