Travel to Winchester
A peaceful cathedral city on the edge of the rolling South Downs, Winchester is a lovely place to enjoy a relaxing break. The former Saxon capital of England has a rich history, signs of which you'll encounter around every turn. It's also conveniently close to major centres such as Southampton
, and surrounded by idyllic countryside, making it a great base for commuters or those who enjoy an urban setting that's still close to nature.
Find an inexpensive car share and start planning your getaway to this charming historic town...
Historic sights in Winchester
For fans of history and medieval architecture, Winchester is the perfect destination. Stroll through the atmospheric city centre, home to numerous well-preserved medieval buildings set on quaint cobbled streets, and pay a visit to Winchester Cathedral
, an impressive Norman structure with the world's longest Gothic nave (and which is also the burial place of Jane Austen). You can also visit two surviving medieval gateways, the Westgate and Kingsgate – the latter also contains the tiny chapel of St Swithun – and the mighty ruins of Wolvesey Castle
Those interested in Arthurian myth should also visit Winchester Great Hall
, once part of a 13th-century castle and now home to King Arthur's Round Table (which was in fact probably commissioned by Henry VIII!). Or for something a bit unusual, visit the Winchester City Mill
, a restored 18th-century working watermill built across the River Itchen. Intrigued? You can also learn more about the city's past at the excellent Winchester City Museum
Culture, entertainment and shopping
Culture vultures should check out the latest art exhibitions at the Winchester Discovery Centre
, or see a show at the handsome, listed Theatre Royal Winchester
, which hosts a fabulous selection of touring productions. If you're visiting during the first weekend of July, be sure to catch the lively performances at the Winchester Hat Fair
, the oldest street theatre festival in Britain.
There are lots of interesting independent shops and boutiques scattered throughout Winchester's lanes and alleys, selling everything from handmade fashion and jewellery to specialty food and antiques, so have a wander and pick up some unique souvenirs. This is also an excellent location for foodies, with many cosy restaurants and pubs – often in historic buildings with loads of character – serving everything from hearty pub grub to Michelin-starred feasts. And be sure to check out the massive Farmers' Market
, held on two Sundays each month – it's said to be the largest in the country.
Remember, by booking a lift share to get to Winchester – or using it to make the commute from Winchester to London, Southampton
or elsewhere – you'll free up money in your budget, giving you more scope to make the most of everything the city has to offer!