Winchester: Walk the Less Beaten but Beautiful Cultural Path

Known for its quaint yet startling architecture and sleepy atmosphere, Winchester is a small city in Hampshire packed with fascinating attractions, embedded deep in a rich historical heritage that might slip the eye of the regular day visitor. A number of these features are a must-see for those seeking to get a full taste of Winchester’s implacable and enchanting personality.

1) Winchester Cathedral

The public have been visiting Winchester Cathedral for thousands of years, whether to seek solace within its walls or to draw inspiration from its startling design. Acting as the final resting place for the West Saxon kings that inhabited England, the Cathedral is one of Winchester’s most renowned historical landmarks and is home to beautiful artwork and the low-lying crypt which floods in the rainy months as well as many other features that simply cannot be missed.

2) The Water Meadows

Surrounding the startling Cathedral grounds are the water meadows, where John Keats was famed to have found the inspiration for and written the ode ‘To Autumn’ during his walks through to Winchester College. A map is available from the tourists’ office that plots out a self-guided tour so you can walk in his footsteps and share in the remarkable and timeless beauty concreted in poet’s words. The meadows follow the path of the river Itchen and play host to vibrant scenery and a variety of local wildlife. The Water Meadows are best visited in warmer months when they hold a truly magical aroma.

3) Winchester College

Founded in 1382, Winchester College is thought to be the oldest school in England. Built with the rustic stone architecture Winchester is famous for, the school is steeped in medieval history. Guided tours start from £6 a person and centralize around the archaic heart of the buildings, running through the 14th Century Gothic Chapel, holding one of the earliest examples of wooden vaulted ceilings, the Chamber Court, the College Hall, the 17th Century schoolroom, and the Cloister.

Winchester’s Magnificent Military Museums

4) Military Museums

As would be expected from a city so shaped by the ages, Winchester is also home to a great number of museums. If you’re interested in broadening your knowledge of military history and are inspired by heroic stories, you need look no further. Situated on an historic site, Winchester’s Military Museums attract over 50,000 visitors a year. No trip would be complete without a visit to the Green Jackets Museum which documents the history of three of Britain’s most famous regiments presented with both visual and aural stimuli.

5) Winchester High Street

Although hard to miss since it stands at the centre of Winchester’s shopping town, you cannot visit the city without a stroll down the bustling High Street. Teeming with small local businesses and specialist traders, whether it be fine gold jewellery or hand-crafted pipes, something for everyone can be found either on the main hill or quietly tucked away in one of the many sheltered side-streets. The main High Street also holds several other points of interest – the far end plays home to a statue of the man who made Winchester the capital of England and foregrounded its socio-historical prestige, King Alfred.


No comments.

Leave a Reply

© 2007 inQuire | Terms and Conditions | Privacy | Designed by Move Ahead Design