Before I stepped into this country, I had never heard of Winchester before. Because of work however, I made it to Winchester one weekday and saw nothing much. Yet, in those moments, I was enchanted by this city, and decided that it would get on my list of to-go places.
On a Saturday where most people would be out shopping for Christmas goodies, I decided to head out to Winchester – afterall, it’s a mere hour away from Waterloo by train.
But first things first. If you thought that this city is called Win-ches-ter, I’m afraid you are wrong. And you needn’t feel bad about it, because that was me too initially. A good meaning co-worker told me it’s Winch-ster, said rapidly. So now you know!
Didn’t have much of a map or a clue where to go, and how to get to it, save that I know that Winchester Cathedral’s quite something. But fear not, Winchester is easy enough to navigate. The city centre itself is small and easy to walk around, and there is good signage that ensures you’d never get lost.
Still, it’s nice to wander and I was duly rewarded.
Winchester used to be a capital city of England and one of the things it is known for King Arthur’s Round Table which bears the names of the Knights of the Round Table. This is contained within the Winchester Castle and is worth a visit to appreciate how mammoth the table is.
One of the other things that you should do in Winchester is to walk along High Street and enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and crowd.
As you walk along the streets, you find an assortment of shops and stalls, calling out to you. Don’t get confused. Take your time and enjoy the atmosphere, like I did, and you’d find little gems, like this one….
After I had strolled the area for long enough, I walked onwards and was rewarded by the mammoth and grand Guildhall and a statue of King Alfred the Great, and I couldn’t help but stop for some snaps, despite the sun going down and it getting really freezing!
After a little walk, I finally arrived at Winchester Cathedral. It’s one of the largest in Europe, which means it typically garners a lot of visitors, who are all competing with me for a space to get into the Cathedral during its shorter Winter hours.
In the end, I gave up and simply admired the exterior of the Cathedral. It was just too mad to join in the madness!
One of the other notable bits of Winchester is that it is also where Jane Austen spent her final years. She passed away in a house in Winchester, so the people here are quite big on her.
Soon, the sun started to set and it was time to head back into the city of London. Winchester was great in that it has a city buzz but it doesn’t go as crazy as London! It was a great visit!