Visiting London? Consider a day trip from London to the ancient city of Winchester. An hour away from London, Winchester is a beautiful city to explore.
If you find yourself traveling to London, be sure to allow time in your schedule for a visit to the beautiful city of Winchester, the ancient capital of England and former seat of King Alfred the Great.
The medieval cathedral city of Winchester is steeped in history and loaded with charm. The entire city is accessible by foot and can be visited in a day. Being just an hour from London, it’s a wonderful day trip to add to your itinerary.
I first visited Winchester a year ago with my two children and fell in love with the city. We were there for the day but I realized early on that I would love to come back and linger a bit longer. Last month, I was able to do just that. My husband and I were visiting London with our final destination being The Cotswolds and decided to make our first overnight stop in Winchester.
We arrived in Winchester just around lunchtime and checked into our lovely hotel, The Wykeham Arms. In the heart of the city, The Wykeham Arms is actually a pub and the guest rooms are located across the street.
Our room was actually two rooms with a comfortable bed and television in one and a desk with coffee area in the other. It had modern furnishings, free wi-fi and a ensuite bathroom.
After checking in and dropping off our bags, my husband and I decided to walk to the city centre. Just a short walk from our hotel was the magnificent Winchester Cathedral, burial place of Jane Austen.
For a mid-afternoon bite to eat and a glass of wine, we stopped at The Bishop On The Bridge. This pub sits directly on the River Itchen and is a lovely spot for a break.
A short stroll down the river will lead you to the ruins of Wolvesey Castle, also known as the Old Bishop’s Palace. The Bishop of Winchester was for centuries among the country’s richest and most powerful nobles and the castle reflected that wealth. Walking through the remains of the castle will give you a glimpse of castle life in early England.
A short stroll away is Winchester Castle where King Arthur’s iconic Round Table hangs in the Great Hall.
Dinner our first evening was at our hotel and the food was amazing. Definitely book a table for dinner at The Wykeham Arms, the food is not to be missed. An added benefit is being able to walk across the street to our room after dinner.
The next morning, we began by walking to the Sunday market in the town centre then strolled up to St. Catherine’s Hill which offers spectacular views over Winchester.
This hike took us a couple of hours and we completely enjoyed it.
After a day of walking and exploring, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Chesil Rectory. Built by a wealthy merchant in the Middle Ages, the Chesil Rectory is the oldest commercial property in Winchester and dates back to between 1425-1450.
After dinner we walked back to our hotel and passed by Winchester Cathedral and could hear Choral Evensong.
Although Winchester is a wonderful day trip from London, you might like to consider visiting Winchester overnight. It’s nice to step back in time and slow down just a bit to linger and explore.
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