Winchester was the first and former capital city of England so when it comes to history Winchester is full of it. More than though it is also full of fabulous things to do over a weekend (though we are lucky enough to live less than an hour away so often pop down for the day) so here my top things to do if you ever fancy a weekend in Winchester
Winchester is a cathedral city, and the cathedral is one of the largest in Europe. The cathedral as it stands today was built over 500 years from 1079 to 1532, and underwent a restoration project in the early 2000s. There is also an Anthony Gormley statue in the basement, which I could have stood and stared at for hours when I visited in 2016. You can read more about it here: Window Wednesday at Winchester Cathedral
If you are down for weekend in Winchester in December then you have to visit the Christmas Market. It is a must do and in past years has featured not just Christmassy stalls but a skating rink too. Go for an afternoon, grab a hot chocolate and a Bratwurst and wander. It really is the perfect way to get into the Christmas mood. Here is my post on it: Winchester Christmas Market
Winchester City Mill
We visited Winchester on a whim back in 2016 when we decided to go there rather than Gunwharf Quays as I had never been. I was blown away by this view from the City Mill and could have stood and stared at it for hours, almost ignoring the fact that behind me was the huge mill wheel who is the real attraction here. The Mill is managed by the National Trust who now look after the mill that has been working for over 1000 years. You can see a few more pictures here: Winchester City Mill
Chawton House Library
Winchester Cathedral is the final resting place of Jane Austen who died in the city in 1817. Before moving to Winchester Jane had lived in the nearby town of Chawton and Chawton House Library is where Jane’s brother Edward lived. It is well worth a wander of the house and garden, especially on a sunny day.
Jane Austen’s House and Garden
Of course no visit to Chawton is complete without a trip to Jane Austen’s house. It is hard to believe this is the house she lived in and wrote so many of her books. It is full of history and one of my favourite places in Hampshire
Another great National Trust property just outside Winchester is Hinton Ampner, and it is another of my favourite places to visit. In fact if you follow me on Instagram you will see that I have been photographing the scarecrow and his dog since 2016. I have written about it several times: Hinton Ampner’s Garden , Hinton Ampner House and A Frosty Foggy Day at Hinton Ampner
Eating out in Winchester
There are some great places to eat out in Winchester, with menus to suit all tastes and budgets. These are my top five spots
- Kyoto Kitchen. Michelin starred, fabulous Japanese
- The Black Rat. Held a Michelin star for ten years and despite not having it any more the food is still exceptional.
- The Chesil Rectory. Housed in a building that was built in 1450 it is old, quaint and the service is superb. British Menu and owned by a group of friends, it is a great spot for dinner
- Porterhouse Steak Restaurant. If you love steak as much as us then this is a must visit.
- Rick Stein Winchester. If fish is your thing then this is a must.
Staying in Winchester
If you are heading to Winchester for the weekend then you need somewhere to stay. We can highly recommend the Holiday Inn Winchester, a short five minute drive outside of the city centre. After a busy day in the city centre you can kick back with a few hours in the spa and have a spectacular night’s sleep, ready for more exploring the next day!