A Day Trip to Winchester
If you're into cathedrals, wind-swept walks and wistful looks out of ancient windows, Winchester is the place for your next day trip!
I visited Winchester with my friend Rosianna, the train tickets being her belated birthday present. We'd been planning this excursion for a while, but just couldn't decide where to go. Cue Twitter! After asking for a location that was 1) not too far from London 2) picturesque with lots of history and 3) small enough to see lots of great things in 1 day, Winchester came out as the winner. And here's what we got up to.
Want to feel like you're at Hogwarts and shoot some excellent Instagram pictures? Winchester Cathedral is the place to be. We didn't end up going in, but just admiring the building and wandering around the park next to it is a great way to spend some time and served as our intro to the city.
St. Catherine's Hill
Marianne: I'm taking you for a walk.
Margaret: No, I've been a walk.
Marianne: You need another.
Margaret: It's going to rain.
Marianne: It is NOT going to rain.
Margaret: You ALWAYS say that and then it ALWAYS does.
For the ultimate Sense and Sensibility feeling, head up St. Catherine's Hill to enjoy a lovely windy walk with a view (and yes, it did rain...). I love that in this picture it looks like Rosianna took her shoes off to really soak up her surroundings. There is also supposed to be a historical maze on this hill, but despite a half-hour search, we weren't able to spot it. Turns out it was hidden on the other side, out of view from the top. So good luck hunting down the mysterious maze!
Following Keats' Footsteps
We picked up some leaflets from the public library and one of them contained a walk in Keats' footsteps, so of course we couldn't pass that up. Not sure if we felt inspired to write poetry afterwards, but the path down a lovely stream and pretty houses was definitely a treat. I also picked up a 'cauldron cake' (pumpkin and chocolate flavoured) from a local market and munched on it during our walk. Probably one of my favourite moments of the day.
St. Cross Hospital
The Hospital of St. Cross is a medieval almshouse and the oldest charitable institution in the UK. It was founded between 1132 and 1136, and I was extremely jealous of the couple that was getting married on the grounds the day we were visiting. There were still plenty of spots for us to wander around though, and we spent quite a bit of our time there taking pictures. Would highly recommend!
Exploring the rest of the town
Yes, this post is pretty much a collection of pretty historical sights, and I won't apologise for it. Because we were there mostly during the afternoon, we didn't explore a lot of the restaurants and cafes, but instead grabbed some snacks to keep us going while wandering around town. The top picture was taken on the Winchester College campus and the building below it can be found on the corner of College Street and Collage walk. College Street is definitely worth walking down and also has a lovely bookshop to visit.
The Great hall and ARthur's Round Table
Something I didn't know before we went to visit, is that Winchester is the home of a building called The Great Hall, dating back to the 13th century and which also contains Arthur's freaking Round Table (which surprisingly is hanging from a wall)! I didn't get a very good picture of it, but I'll let that be a surprise for when you visit The Great Hall yourself. Besides historical artefacts you'll also find stunning stained glass windows and a courtyard that will make you feel like you've stepped back into the Middle Ages (the, ehm, prettier side of the Middle Ages though).
I can't imagine that after seeing these pics you wouldn't want to make a trip to Winchester, so I'll just wish you happy travels!