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Winchester

Just a 12-minute drive from us is Winchester, Hampshire’s historic cathedral city and the ancient capital of England. Enjoy a stroll through the narrow streets, which are filled with stunning Elizabethan and Regency buildings, and be sure to set aside time to visit some of the fascinating ancient landmarks.

Medieval Winchester Castle is well worth a visit. Built by William the Conqueror in 1067, the castle was all but destroyed through the centuries. Still standing, though, is Henry VIII’s impressive Great Hall addition, which is home to a 13th century version of King Arthur’s legendary Round Table. Look out for Arthur’s statue in central Winchester.

Another notable former resident is King Alfred the Great, who successfully defended his kingdom against the Vikings, and was the dominant ruler in England by the time of his death in 899. The statue of Alfred stands close to the site of the city’s medieval East Gate.

Wolvesey Castle and Palace, one of the greatest medieval buildings in England, is another fascinating attraction. The extensive surviving ruins evoke the building’s noble past as the main residence of powerful and wealthy bishops throughout the Middle Ages. A short audio tour of the castle is available to download on English Heritage’s website.

Winchester also offers more than heritage attractions. There are some fantastic boutique and antique shops, many of which are located in beautiful historic buildings. And a bit further afield, within driving distance, there are numerous other attractions including Winchester Science Centre, an interactive science and technology centre, and the historic Bombay Sapphire Distillery.