11.5m / 18.5km from Winchester
17m / 27km from Portsmouth
Twelve miles east of Winchester lies the medieval town of Bishop's Waltham. The bishop of the title was Henry of Blois, brother of King Stephen, who founded Bishop's Waltham Palace in the 12th century. An important residence of the powerful Winchester bishops, the palace hosted many royal visitors including Henry V who prepared for the Battle of Agincourt and Mary Tudor while she waited for the arrival of her future husband, Philip II of Spain, prior to their marriage. The palace was destroyed in 1644 under Cromwell's orders but the extensive ruins are still worth a visit today.
The town itself boasts a fine Norman church and visitors are invited to arrange a guided tour to gain an insight into a building which has been at the centre of the life of Bishop's Waltham since the early Middle Ages. Click here to find out more about a tour of the St. Peter's.
There is also a host of boutiques and award-winning restaurants housed in 17th and 18th century buildings. Bishop's Waltham has many interesting connections with the Napoleonic Wars; prisoners of war were once held here, including the French admiral at the Battle of Trafalgar. Learn more about the town's fascinating past with the help of Discover Bishop's Waltham, a free leaflet which features a circular walk around the historic streets.
With town and country walks, including a section of the medieval Pilgrims' Trail, good pub food and excellent restaurants, Bishop's Waltham is perfect for a day out - or as a touring base for a longer stay. Download the Exploring Bishop's Waltham leaflet which details three separate walks which will allow you to discover the town's nature reserves, heritage sites and undulating countryside.
Bishop's Waltham is located on the scenic country route between Winchester and Portsmouth and is close to Marwell Wildlife.
For more information about Bishop's Waltham visit the Bishop's Waltham website.
Click here to download the Bishop's Waltham Pocket Guide