Be sure to make the most of your visit by taking advantage of all the city has to offer. There really are so many things to do and see, places to stop by for a bite to eat as well as a great variety of shopping spots to treat yourself.
To experience a full day out in Winchester, we recommend that you take some time to plan your trip. You don’t necessarily have to schedule your day to the minute, but an itinerary of the things you’d like to do, amongst some rough timings can help you to make the most of your visit to this beautiful city.
We suggest that you choose something to see, something to do, somewhere to eat and drink, something to take home, and, if you want to extend your trip over a few days, somewhere to stay.
Location: Bridge Street, SO23 9BH
Average visit time: 1½ – 3 hours
Opening times: Visit the Winchester City Mill website.
Why not stop by at what is believed to be the country’s oldest working watermill? With over 1000 years of history, this National Trust treasure is a rare example of a surviving urban working corn mill.
Uncover a millennium of milling history, find out about the rich wildlife that inhabits the area and catch a glimpse of the CCTV footage that shows the mills resident otters! With so much to see, do and discover, this is a popular attraction amongst visitors of all ages.
If you visit on a Saturday or Sunday throughout the year, or on a Wednesday from April through to October, you will be able to watch a flour milling demonstration. There is also a regular programme of baking demonstrations. Take home your piece of Winchester heritage by picking a bag of the city mill’s freshly milled wholemeal stoneground flour.
Location: SO23 8TS
Average visit time: 2 – 4 hours
Times: See website
Visit the centre of Winchester’s military history. Located within the old Peninsular Barracks, this stunning Victorian complex exhibits 6 unique museums, each with their own story to tell. These include:
Depending on when you are planning to visit, each museum hosts its own events programme which often includes lectures and guest speakers, children’s activity days, art and craft activities and workshops. Be sure to check Winchester Military Quarter’s website ahead of your travels to find out what’s on. Whilst on your visit, don’t forget to have a stroll around the site’s stunning gardens.
Location: SO23 8UJ
Average visit time: 1½ – 3 hours
Times: Open daily from 10am – 5pm*
*Due to private functions, there are times when the hall may be closed. Please check The Great Hall’s website before planning your trip!
If history is your thing, Winchester is the place to be. Full to the brim with historic treasures, it really is a historian’s paradise. One of the most popular historical attractions the city has to offer is The Great Hall, home to one of the greatest symbols of medieval mythology – King Arthur’s Round Table.
The Great Hall is said to be one of the finest surviving examples of a 13th-century aisled hall. It was once part of Winchester Castle, built for William the Conqueror soon after his victory at the Battle of Hastings. Since then, hundreds of years of history has unfolded within the walls of this magnificent hall. Stroll through Queen Eleanor’s Garden, discover the secret passages that were created to surprise attacking enemies and meet the heroes and villains of the Great Hall in the Long Gallery.
Location: SO23 9LS
Average visit time: 1½ – 3 hours
Times: Winchester Cathedral is open all year, though is occasionally closed to the public for special services and events. All temporary closures are listed on the Cathedral website.
For many, the highlight of their visit to Winchester is the city’s stunning 11th-century Cathedral located in the heart of the city. Within the walls of this grand building, you will find an array of 12th-century paintings and art pieces as well as fascinating medieval carvings. Take time to wander around the beautiful cathedral grounds, where you will be able to find Jane Austen’s grave.
Join one of the Cathedral’s guided tours to experience a full discovery of Europe’s longest cathedral. These tours have been designed to take you on a journey of insights into the fascinating history, art, characters and events that have occurred within the cathedral.
Some tours are available for free with admission, whilst others require an additional fee and vary in length from 20 minutes to 1.5 hours. If you are bringing little ones on your visit you can follow the Cathedral’s free children’s trail. Take a look at the Cathedral’s website before you travel to find out more about the tours available.
Location: SO23 9GH
Average visit time: 1-1½ hours
Grab some fresh air, stretch your legs and absorb all of the beautiful sites that the city has to offer by picking up one of Winchester Tourism Information Centre’s many free self-guided trails to amble along at your own pace. You can either drop into the Winchester TIC on your visit, or download a copy online.
Depending on what it is you would like to see and how far you would like to walk, there are a range of trails to suit your individual interests. The City Walk is a great place to start if you want to fully immerse yourself into Winchester city life whilst following the footsteps of King Alfred himself.
The beauty of this walk is that it is divided into three loops, so you can choose how much of the walk you’d like to do. Each loop is around 1 mile and takes approximately 1 – 1.5 hours.
Location: SO23 9GH
Average visit time: 1 ½ hours
Guided tours are a great way to explore the city. Winchester Tourism Office lead two tours daily – check the website for times. Join the morning tour for £7.50 per person, and the afternoon tour for £6 per person. Tickets can be bought on the day of visit from the tourist information office.
The morning walk takes you through upper Winchester, past the Cathedral, through the highstreet and finishes with a visit to The Great Hall.
The afternoon walk explores lower Winchester, encompassing a walk along the River Itchen, a visit to the ruins of Wolverley Castle, a stroll past Winchester college and the house where Jane Austen died, finishing outside of the Cathedral.
Location: SO23 9JX
Bringing his Cornish heritage to the heart of Winchester, Ricks Stein’s vibrant and fresh fish menu has been designed with the seafood lover in mind! There are so many delicious dishes on this menu guaranteed to send your taste buds wild. Tuck into a beautiful plate of freshly prepared goodness whilst enjoying a crisp glass of wine.
If you’re after something a little lighter, pick up the bar menu full of delicious, flavourful options. How do Dorset oysters, cod and chips or shellfish ragout sound?
Location: SO23 0HN
No.5 Bridge Street is another of Winchester’s culinary treasures. Depending on whether you are looking for a light bite or something a little more hearty and filling, choose something delicious from either the brunch or main menu.
The British influenced menu is bursting with gorgeous dishes and sharing platters, you will be sure to fall in love with something on this menu. Flavours are inspired by local, seasonal ingredients, giving you a real taste of Winchester.
Location: SO23 8SA
If you’re looking for a great cup of coffee to warm the cockles, make a trip to The Cabinet Rooms. Founded by Gary and Marcus in 2014, this little cafe is inspired by London’s gentlemen’s clubs and cocktail lounges. After a day of exploring the city, pop your feet up, chat, meet new friends and dive into Gary and Marcus’s passion for learning about all things food and drink.
These guys serve a range of speciality coffees and teas as well as interesting wines, classic cocktails, unusual spirits and potions. Fancy a bite to eat? There are lots of tasty options on their light meal menu. If you like what you see, keep your eyes peeled for Winchester Cocktail Week, The Coffee Festival and the Ginchester Fête – all of which are local festivals run by the pair.
Location: SO23 9HA
The Old Vine offers an elegant take on the classic British pub with an extra special twist. Situated in a stunning location, just outside the grounds of the cathedral, this cosy 18th-century grade two listed building is full of charismatic charm and is the perfect pit stop to relax and unwind during a day of exploring.
Picture gnarled oak beams, a cosy fire and the smell of delicious flavours scenting the air. It’s not just the atmosphere that you have to look forward to, but a fantastic food and bar menu.
The Old Vine are dedicated to promoting quality local food produce across their menu, offering a range of hearty pub food and classic bistro dishes. Those who enjoy a pint of ale or two will be in their element as The Old Vine can now be found in The Good Beer Guide of 2019 due to their consistent quality and variety of real ales.
Location: SO23 8RZ
Greens is an independent bar and kitchen who have been proudly serving the city for over 30 years. If it’s a spot of breakfast or lunch that you’re after, Green’s menu features a variety of fresh and hearty options, served with a relaxed casual dining experience and a warm and friendly service.
By night, Greens upholds a lively atmosphere, serving a range of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, as well as a Gin and Tonic menu. For cocktail lovers, be sure to try one of Green’s hand-crafted cocktails. Throughout the week there are special offers available on cocktails, including Martini Monday, Gin and Tonic Tuesday and Prosecco Wednesdays.
Location: SO23 9GH
Winchester Tourist Information Centre Gift Shop is the perfect place to pick up your Winchester souvenirs. The shop is full of treasures, unique to Winchester. In addition to a beautiful collection of mugs, keyrings and postcards, you will also find locals ales, gins and trinkets for your home. If you’re a fan of peanut butter, be sure to pick up a jar of locally made nut butter, available in two scrumptious flavours.
Location: SO23 9AX
Depending on when you choose to visit, take the opportunity to browse and shop within one of Winchester’s markets, located on the high street. There are four main markets. These are:
Winchester is full of independent stores selling a range of products. Looking for something sparkly? Why not stop by at Jeremy France Jewellers, Donna Laine Fine Jewelry or Parchment Jewellers. For something sweet visit The Sweet Treat Co or The Old Fashioned Sweetie Shop. Something for your kitchen? Pop into Dinghams or The Shaker Kitchen Company.
There really are so many fantastic shops to browse and shop within. If you are looking for something specific in Winchester, such as a bridal shop, a full list of independent shopping experiences can be found here.
Torn between something to do, something to see, somewhere to eat and drink and something to buy? Why not extend your visit for a few days? Winchester has some great hotels located centrally, or a little outside of the city, including:
Have you planned your journey? Find out how to get here via train, car, coach, ferry, cruise and even air by clicking here.