Tourist Information in Hampshire and New Forest
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Winchester Town Information

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A strikingly beautiful city, antique Winchester was Britain's country’s ancient capital in the 9th century when Alfred the Great made it his base as he strove to unite local peoples against the marauding Vikings.

A huge bronze statue of Alfred welcomes visitors.

King Alfred the Great Photo © Colin Smith
Alfred the Great -
Photo: Colin Smith CCL

City Gate Photo © Pam Brophy
City Gate - Photo: Pam Brophy CCL

  Previously Winchester had been the capital of the Celtic Belgae tribe as well as the Roman centre known as Venta Belgarum.

Two of its five Roman town gates and parts of the surrounding wall have survived the ravages of time.
The River Itchen provides a delightful distraction as it runs through the city but the stunning cathedral is the real focal point, having the longest medieval nave in Europe at over 550 feet.

Begun in the 11th century it contains the remains of numerous kings including Canute and William II.

Here also is the shrine of St Swithin, a former bishop, and the tomb of the novelist Jane Austen.

The Nave: Winchester Cathedral Photo © Pam Bophy
The Nave: Winchester Cathedral - Photo: Pam Brophy CCL

The Pilgrims' School Photo © Sally Pellow
The Pilgrims' School - Photo: Sally Pellow CCL

  The city, which boasts one of Britain’s oldest public schools, has many other sites worth visiting.

They range from Winchester’s 13th century Wolvesley Great Hall, containing King Arthur’s so-called round table, to Godbegot House, which lies on the site of King Canute's palace, St. Swithin’s medieval church and the splendid ruins of Old Wolvesley Palace.
The city is replete with museums tracing local culture and history as well as regimental museums for the Light Infantry, Royal Green Jackets, Royal Hampshire Regiment, the Royal Hussars and the Gurkhas.  

Peninsular Barracks Photo © John Plumb
Peninsular Barracks -
Photo: John Plumb CCL