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Looking for suggestions of things to do around Winchester


I am thinking about spending 2 nights in Winchester next May, and then taking the train into Woking and then catching the bus to Heathrow 5.

Has anyone spent much time in Winchester?

How does their Cathedral compare to the ones in Salisbury and Cantebury?


Posted by
8293 posts

To learn about the Cathedral go to It dates from the 11 th century and is huge and beautiful. Christmas Carol service there a few days before Christmas was so gorgeous and moving it almost made me a believer again. There is a gift shop and tea room in a separate building, of course run by worthy church ladies.

There is a small but interesting museum not far from the Cathedral. The High .street has some interesting shops and a lot of the usual boring Zara, Tall Girls, etc. There is a very nice pub with garden seating for fine weather, on the river's edge, called the Willow Tree, on Durngate Terrace.About a 10 minute walk from the High Street.

There is a Tourist Information office in the Guildhall, just opposite King Alfred's statue. The people there are very helpful and friendly. There is a toilet available there, too, should you find yourself in need.

National Express bus will take you directly from Winchester to Terminal 5. You can buy your ticket and get the schedule at the bus station, not far from the Guildhall.

Posted by
619 posts

Assuming that you won't have a car, and leaving aside places within Winchester itself like the Cathedral, there are two I would suggest.

Portsmouth, for its D-Day museum, and nautical attractions like the Mary Rose, HMS Warrior and HMS Victory. There are two trains an hour from Winchester, one of them not requiring a change and taking just over one hour. You will need to go to Portsmouth Harbour station.

Chawton, for Jane Austen's house. There are two buses an hour from Winchester.

Travel details can be found at Traveline (

Posted by
791 posts

Winchester is a wonderful destination and the cathedral is one of my favorites. Of the three cathedrals you mention, I think Winchester is my favorite but, of course, that is a subjective opinion.

The town has a very good walking tour that starts at the tourist office.

Posted by
432 posts

While Salisbury is more impressive from the outside, I think Winchester is much more interesting inside. Do take some sort of tour to get the best experience.

Also in Winchester you can tour the boys college - I think you have to book in advance, we did - it was very interesting. Check under the tab "guided tours".

There's also the Castle with the "Round table".


Posted by
200 posts

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to thank each and every one of you for wonderful
advice and suggestions!! I will check out each of the URLs
you have supplied.

We will be starting our several week trip in Turnbridge Wells, where
we will take a day trip to Canterbury, see a few National Trust properties in
that area, and then head out West to Cornwall. We will be renting a car
for this part of our trip. After Cornwall, we want to
drive all the way back East to Winchester where will turn our rental car
back in and just enjoy the town before taking transport into Heathrow for our
return flight home.

On our drive West, we plan to take your suggestion, Bob, and stop in Portsmouth
to see the Mary Rose, HMS Warrior and HMS Victory. We're afraid that the Mary Rose
may be closed when we go there next May, but the other ships sound very interesting.

Eef, it's great to hear that you really like the cathedral. We really like walking tours.
I'm assuming we can find info about this at the tourist office....sounds like it may
be located in the Guildhall. True?

Katy, thanks so much for mentioning taking a tour of the Cathedral. We took
tours of the Salisbury Cathedral as well as the York Minster this past May, and
got alot out of both of them. We'll look into a tour of this one. Also, thanks

for mentioning the Boy's College. My husband and I get a big kick out of colleges.
I had never heard of the Boy's College before.

I am getting so excited about next year's trip reading all of your suggestions!!

Thanks very much!!!


Posted by
112 posts

Hi Virgina - I just saw this post and wanted to reiterate what others have already said. Winchester is a wonderfully historic, interesting little city and well worth a visit. I'd highly recommend a walk from the Great Hall down the High Street, to the Itchen River at the end of the High Street and loop back toward the cathedral, stopping at Wolvesey Castle, finishing with a visit to the magnificent cathedral. Stay for evensong if you can. I've also visited Salisbury Cathedral, which is absolutely spectacular, but I found Winchester Cathedral to be more interesting. It's absolutely packed with items of historical interest, including Jane Austin's grave. Someone mentioned the City Museum upthread - it's also well worth a visit and nicely explains Winchester's historical significance. The museum is within 50 yards or so of the cathedral.

You'll love Winchester - have a great trip!

Posted by
449 posts

Hi Virginia:

Last year I spent a full day in Winchester. I was there primarily to attend tank driving school but had time before and after the session to visit the town. Everyone has mentioned Winchester Cathedral which is a beautiful building. Unlike Westminster Abbey they let you bring a camera inside and use it. One of the interesting sights in the cathedral is a statue of Joan of Arc who was burned at the stake by the British armed forces. I asked a British meetup group about this seemingly out of place statue and the consensus is that she is facing and mocking the bishop who condemned her ("I am a saint while you are a mere bishop").

Another sight that is unique in the world is the Gurkha museum which is about a 15 minute walk from the train station. The gurkhas are fierce fighters from Nepal who have been recruited by the British army for over 100 years. It is great to see them being honored.

You probably aren't interested in learning how to drive a tank but for 10 pounds or so you can visit the school and take a ride on a 55 ton tank.

Here is a link to my travel blog about my trip to the UK. The past section of this page covers Winchester:

Best wishes,

Posted by
32066 posts

To add to the comments in the previous reply, if you're interested in military museums there are a couple of others in Winchester beside the Gurkhas, including the Royal Green Jackets (Rifles).

Posted by
200 posts

Thank you to everyone for your advice on places to see and things to do in Winchester!!

Beth and Geor, I have sent you personal messages because they seem a little too long to put here. Thank you both for your comments about the Cathedral, Great Hall, and the Wolvesey Castle.

Ken, thanks for mentioning the Royal Green Jackets museum. I had never heard of it before.

Winchester certainly has alot to offer that I did not know of before reading all of your posts.

Thanks again,

Posted by
449 posts

Hi Virginia:

You might want to look through the description and comments about a meetup group's visit to Winchester this past spring:

This is one of the largest meetup groups in the world with 18,000 members, and its organizer Robert does a good job of planning events.

Gareth's comment regarding the St. Joan statue is the one that I was trying to quote from memory.

Have a good trip.


Posted by
200 posts

Thank you, Geo for the information about the meet up group.

I may look into it further to see if there are any meetings around the time we will be there.

I appreciate your information!!