Boutique Cottages in Winchester

England’s ancient capital and seat of King Alfred the Great, Winchester is a historic cathedral city that lies on the edge of the South Downs National Park. Home to the oldest continuously running school, its 11th century cathedral, and its Great Hall, over 700 years old and home to the legendary Arthurian Round Table, which has hung there since 1348.

Safe to say Winchester is almost the home of England’s heritage, perhaps more so than London, filled to the brim of ancient buildings and squares. As such, historians will love exploring here, but there’s plenty more to this city. Take a gentle riverside walk or cycle, passing water meadows as you go, or join the South Downs Way, which starts in Winchester and stretches 100 miles to Eastbourne.

For things to do there’s Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium, or you can visit Jane Austen’s house. Marwell Zoo is a short drive away, and a hit with children. Its City Mill is well worth a visit too; a fine example of an urban working corn mill that’s stood there since at least the Saxon times – a history of over 1000 years!

This city also hosts many markets and fairs; its Christmas Market said to be one of the best in the UK, whilst the Winchester Hat Fair is the longest running festival of street theatre, entertainment and circus. A foodie’s paradise, there’s a vast array of restaurants, tea rooms, food markets and the like to devour, with its county farmer’s market taking place twice a month on Sundays – one of the biggest in the UK.

The last resting place of Jane Austen, Winchester has always been a draw for creative types, and as such you’ll find artists, craft-makers, lively street theatre and fine architecture abound here, making it a bustling, dynamic and thriving city to explore.

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