Discover Historic Winchester

The beautiful cathedral city of Winchester, which is just a 20 minute drive from Wallops Wood, has a huge amount on offer to visitors and makes for a terrific family day out with something for everyone from history to science, theatre to nature.

Winchester Cathedral
If you’re going to visit Winchester then you can’t miss popping into the cathedral and exploring the ancient architecture and history within. With almost 1000 years of history, you are in awe as you step inside. There’s plenty to see and you could be there for some time. Find out more about the cathedral and activities for children during the school holidays. 

King Arthur’s Round Table in Winchester’s Great Hall

The Great Hall
The Great Hall is described as ‘a place of myth and legend’ and it most definitely is that. It is one of the finest surviving medieval aisled halls dating from the 13th century and was part of Winchester Castle. Explore The Long Gallery which houses paintings of historic figures of the Great Hall’s past. Discover the secret underground passages built to allow a return to safety to Winchester Castle, and relax in the medieval garden created by Queen Eleanor of Provence. Find out more…

Winchester’s Military Quarter
Next to the Great Hall is the Military Quarter which is home to six military museums. The six museums include: The Museum of the King’s Royal Hussars, The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum, The Royal Green Jackets Museum, The Rifles Regimental Museum, The Gurkha Museum and The Adjutant General’s Corps Museum. Each museum offers its own unique experience and stories to tell. There are fantastic collections of medals, paintings and military objects on display across the whole site, making it well worth visiting. Find out more…

Westgate Museum
Located at the top of the High Street in the historic city of Winchester, Westgate Museum is housed inside a surviving fortified medieval city gateway which was a debtors prison for 150 years. The museum tells the story of this remarkable building, and the history of Tudor and Stuart Winchester. It also offers great rooftop city views. There are plenty of hands on activities too including costumes to try on and brass rubbing. Find out more…

Winchester City Mill
This is a restored water mill on the River Itchen in the centre of Winchester, now owned by the National Trust. With a history of over 1000 years, Winchester City Mill is probably the oldest working watermill in the UK and you can see how the mill works. Flour from the mill is available to purchase and is also used in the tasty treats you can buy in their on site cafe. Take a bit of time to spot the beautiful birds and fish in the river alongside. Find out more…

Winchester’s cobbled streets are lined with beautiful heritage architecture

Statue of King Alfred the Great
An iconic site as you enter Winchester, the Alfred the Great statue has pride of place at the eastern end of the Broadway, close to the city centre. In 1899 it was decided to build a statue of King Alfred to mark the millennium of his death – he died 1000 years earlier having ruled from 849-899. Find out more…

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium
The science centre makes for a fascinating day out for the whole family, covering the worlds of science, technology, engineering and maths. Look forward to climbing into a massive guitar and feel it vibrate when people pluck the strings! Blast off on an out-of-this-world journey through Explorer:Space. Get up close to the weird and wonderful nature of the South Downs and fly through the Solar System in an experience you’ll never forget in the Planetarium. Tickets need to be booked in advance. Find out more…

Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium
Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

Theatre Royal
If you’re a lover of the performing arts then there’s plenty to entertain you at the Theatre Royal from comedy to drama, music to dance, talks to panto. Find out more…

Hospital of St Cross for Wayfarer’s Dole
The Hospital is one of England’s oldest continuing almshouses. The medieval buildings have provided food and shelter for hundreds of years. The principal activity of the Hospital continues to be the provision of individual, private apartments for a living community of about twenty-five elderly men. Known as ‘Brothers’ they wear black or red gowns and a trencher hat for daily church and other formal occasions. Visitors are welcome to explore the ancient building and learn more about its history. Find out more…

Winchester College
Winchester College is a world famous independent boarding school renowned for its academic excellence. Located just outside Winchester city centre, the school’s historic architecture also includes the Treasury Museum which can be visited by the public. Find out more…

Winchester Tree Trail
Within the city centre is a tree trail of 17 trees! You can explore the diversity of nature within the city and try and find all 17 different species of trees. It’s only a short trail, so suitable for the whole family. Find out more…

Hares of Hampshire
For ten weeks this summer, Winchester’s (and Southampton’s) streets, parks and public spaces will be brought to life with an exhibition of magnificent hares. Each giant sculpture will be individually designed, showcasing the wealth of artistic talent that Hampshire has to offer, while creating a free, fun, family-friendly trail of discovery for everyone to enjoy. Until 25th August. Find out more….

Take time to relax in Winchester’s Cathedral Quarter

The Arc
The Arc is an arts venue in the city centre where you can enjoy live performance, make the most of the library and community services, art, classes and talks. Find out more about what exhibitions and performances are on and also enjoy lunch at the café. Find out more…

Keats Trail
Follow the daily route Keats took during his stay in Winchester. Enjoy a self-guided walk in the poet’s footsteps from the city to St Cross, passing through the landscape which inspired his famous ode ‘To Autumn’. The round trip is approximately two miles. Find out more and download a map of the trail.

Keats Walk in Winchester
Take a stroll along Keats Trail, the water meadow in Winchester

Image credit:
Vaulted ceiling at Winchester Cathedral: by Franz Hajak on Unsplash