Winchester, England

Residence at Winchester Cathedral, Winchester Castle Town Wall, Wolvesey Castle (Bishops Palace)
© Natalie Rabinowitz

Only one hour away South of London is the bustling village of Winchester. The Legend of King Arthur and his round table, Winchester Abbey, the home where Jane Austin spent her last few days, faded remnants of a Jewish history documented on a leaflet and located on Jewry Street. Tudor timber-framed homes and Thatched roof cottages. Winchester is the place to be if you are a fan of medieval history, architecture, and have an eye for detail.

The must-visit Great Hall showcases the stunning Round Table of legendary King Arthur and his knights dating back to the 13th century. The Great Hall in itself is a fine example of an aisled hall built between 1222 and 1235. The only remaining structure of Winchester Castle built by William the Conqueror in 1067. The Hall also showcases the steel gates that commemorated the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.

The Great Hall © Natalie Rabinowitz

Winchester Abbey, the longest Cathedral in Europe, is also worth a visit. The intricate ribbed vaulted ceiling is quite striking as well as the floor tiles and simple floor tombstone marking Jane Austen’s burial place. Unfortunately, the Crypt was closed due to COVID-19, warranting another trip back! Visit https://www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/planning-your-visit/ for opening hours. 

Another worth mention is to meander along the River Itchen towards Wolvesey Castle (Old Bishops Palace) and explore the remains of what was once the residential home to the powerful and wealthy Bishops of Winchester. (Free entrance, daily 10 am-5 pm, Apr-Oct and 10 am-4 pm during winter weekends).

Winchester Cathedral details © Natalie Rabinowitz

After spending the day visiting key sites and taking an abundance of photos, I hopped on the 67 bus towards Petersfield where I got off at Easton Lane to spend a relaxing afternoon and evening in the countryside, staying at The Cricketers Inn. Only a 30-minute bus ride from Winchester, I fell in love with this location of peace and open space. “Quaint” and “lovely” definitely describe this area. After a delicious late lunch and watching the local villagers pop in and out, walked around this small village and even caught a cricket game. 

The next day after enjoying a leisurely breakfast, I walked back to Winchester that took about an hour. Worth the walk, as I stopped to look at more thatched cottages. I opted to spend a night in Winchester so that I could continue to enjoy wandering around and exploring to take in the scenery and architecture up close and personal. Quite a stunning collection of Tudor framed homes, the earliest dating back to 1450.

The vibe is always different depending on what time of day. With fewer people, it becomes more intimate. I had barely scratched the surface as there is so much more to see in Winchester and plan to go back.

Quintessential English Countryside © Natalie Rabinowitz

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