Historic Winchester is picture postcard pretty with low crime rates, world-class schools, award-winning pubs and restaurants, a vibrant arts scene and interesting shops and markets, all in the midst of rolling English countryside and just an hour out of London. There are homes to suit all tastes, including the Georgian houses of Oram's Arbor, the grand Victorian homes of St Cross, the quaint cobbled streets near Winchester College, the traditional period homes in Hyde and Fulfood and the up-market new developments west of the city centre. Not to mention the charming cottages of the surrounding villages.
A little bit of history
As the ancient capital of Wessex and a country town of Hampshire, Winchester is the burial place of many of England's Kings, Queens and Saints, as well as being the last resting place of Jane Austen and Keats. The Domesday Book was put together here, as was the Winchester Bible and it is also the birthplace of common law. Today tourists take the chance to step back in time and explore our rich history by visiting The Great Hall, Winchester Cathedral and our military museums.
Need to know
Winchester is home to what some believe was King Arthur's legendary round table.
We are spoilt rotten when it comes to interesting markets to browse in Winchester, including Taste of the South on Wednesdays, a shabby chic, bric-a-brac and vintage market on Thursdays, a food and household goods market on Fridays and Saturday and Hampshire Farmers' Market, on the second and last Sundays of each month. With over 90 stalls offering a wide range of produce from watercress to water buffalo steaks, organic products to ostrich meat, it's officially the largest in the UK and has been voted best in the country. Finally Winchester's Christmas Market in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral is world famous and attracts festive visitors from far and wide.
Our city also boasts a great balance of big name national chains (often in period buildings, adding to the town centre's character) and interesting, unique independent shops. Local supermarkets include Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose. And a few of our favourite independent shops are The Good Life Farm Shop, Kingsgate Wine & Provisions, Toscanaccio, and butchers Barlows, Hursley High Class and John Robinson. Food shopping done, we love to browse the many clothes, book and gift shops on and around the highstreet, including Forme, Dinghams, Kingsgate Prints & Books, P&G Wells, The Hambledon, Woodruffs and Warren & Son.