If you’re looking for a history-filled, beautiful destination, look no further than Winchester, Hampshire, in the United Kingdom.
This charming city has something for everyone. From historical sites, and beautiful architecture, to modern attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
We share many great things to do in Winchester, UK. This charming city has something for everyone! So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and visit Winchester!
Table of contents
- Visit the Winchester Cathedral
- Wolvesey Castle
- Winchester’s charming high street
- Winchester Market
- Restaurants and cafes in Winchester
- Winchester City Mill
- Take a Trek on South Downs Way
- See the Monuments
- Visit one of the many historic pubs
- Try out the ClueCapers Escape rooms
- Watch a performance at the Theatre Royal
- Join the Winchester Ghost Walk!
- Take your pick of the many great hotels in Winchester
- Visit The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty
- The West Gate ( West Gate Museum )
- Explore The Great Hall Winchester
- Wander around the Peninsula Barracks
- Check out the Museums
- The River Itchen Loop Walk
- Watch a Movie at Everyman Cinema
- Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium
- Historic churches throughout Winchester
- See the Animals at Marwell Zoo
- Take to the Skies in a Hot Air Balloon Ride
- Visit the iron age settlement of St Catherine’s Hill
Here are 25 Things to do in Winchester that you won’t want to miss when visiting!
Visit the Winchester Cathedral
This magnificent cathedral is a must-see for any visitor to Winchester. The Winchester cathedral’s stunning architecture and history are a must-see attraction.
You have to pay to enter, but it is worth it, as you can explore the different parts of one of the largest cathedrals in England.
Including the crypts, the cloisters, and even the roof! Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire is where Jane Austen is buried so look out for her ledger stone.
There is also a café and a shop on site so you can make a whole day of it.
You can even get a guided tour of the cathedral and castles.
Wolvesey Castle was the Bishops of Winchester’s main residence in medieval times. Used as Queen Mary and Philip II of Spain’s wedding banquet venue in 1554. The remains date back to the 12th-century palace, and you can still feel its grandeur today, and it is free to explore.
Winchester’s charming high street
The High Street in Winchester is a great place to find souvenirs and shopping.
Winchester’s High Street is the ideal place to shop for the day. You’ll find some familiar chains and local businesses that you can’t find anywhere else.
Pop into Warren & Son for a treasure hunt mystery guide book.
Winchester Market is a great place to find locally-made products and fresh produce. The market is open from Thursday to Sunday every week, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
They also occasionally have farmer’s markets in Winchester.
Restaurants and cafes in Winchester
There are many great restaurants and cafes in Winchester. We will share our favourites on the blog.
From fancy restaurants like The Ivy to little bakeries like Reeve the Baker, where they make cheese and bacon wraps like we do at Flawless Food!
Winchester City Mill
A working watermill on the River Itchen, there is a café if you need a break from exploring and a secondhand book store. The City Mill is open from Wednesday to Sunday with free entry. It is the official start of the South Downs Way trail route.
Take a Trek on South Downs Way
The national park encompasses the picturesque South Downs landscape, from Winchester and Petersfield in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex. The South Downs Way national trail is 100 miles long and is the perfect way to explore outdoor on foot, horseback, or bicycle.
With Twenty National Trust sites sprinkled throughout the area, they offer stunning views of coastlines, gardens, and Hampshire countryside galore.
See the Monuments
There are many monuments to spot in Winchester.
King Alfred the Great
The Statue of King Alfred the Great is a must-see for any visitor to Winchester. Located in the city centre, King Alfred is considered one of the most influential figures in British history.
The Butter Cross (High Cross) monument we see today dates back to the 15th century, but it wasn’t until 1865 that businessman G.G. Scott undertook a complete restoration. It was once used to sell locally produced produce, hence the name Butter Cross.
It has twelve figures on it – eight at a high level representing The Blessed Virgin and various saints, and four prominent figures below, which are believed to represent William of Wykeham, Lawrence de Anne (an early Mayor of Winchester), Aelfred the Great, and St John (or Amphibalus)
You can take part in a ghost tour starting from here too.
Winchester Plague Memorial
The Georgian monument in Winchester was built to remember the individuals who passed away from the plague of 1666. The outbreak killed 70,000 to 100,000 people and is notable for being one of England’s last major plagues.
The statue of John Colbourne dates back to 1866. But was originally located in Plymouth.
When Seaton Barracks began closure operations during the 1990s, the statue was moved to Winchester Army Museum at the request of the Colborne family”.
The Hampshire hog of bronze was placed in front of the Winchester offices of the Hampshire County Council, ordered to commemorate its centenary from 1889 to 1989.
The Hampshire Jubilee Sculpture
Local sculptor Rachel Fenner created the Jubilee Sculpture to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002. It is located near the City Hall.
Visit one of the many historic pubs
Winchester is home to many historic pubs, which are great places to relax and enjoy a pint. We managed to drink at a good handful of them! We will post more about the pubs in Winchester here soon!
Try out the ClueCapers Escape rooms
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Winchester, why not try out the ClueCapers Escape rooms? Located in the city centre near King Alfred’s statue, these rooms are a great way to test your problem-solving skills and have a lot of fun.
Watch a performance at the Theatre Royal
The Theatre Royal in Winchester is a great place to see a performance. With its comfortable seats and a great selection of performances, the Theatre Royal is the perfect place for a night out.
Join the Winchester Ghost Walk!
The Winchester Ghost Walk is a great way to learn about the city’s fascinating history. The walk is led by historian actors, who will tell you about the ghosts that are said to haunt Winchester.
The walk will last just over 1 hour, and it’s a great way to see the city’s sights at night, a great quirky thing to do in Winchester.
Take your pick of the many great hotels in Winchester
There are several excellent hotels and B&Bs in Winchester. Our favourites will be written about on the blog, from fancy hotels like the Winchester Hotel and Spa (book here) to the more central Mecure Winchester Wessex Hotel, with rooms looking over the cathedral.
Visit The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty
This grade I almshouse in Winchester, Hampshire, England, is medieval and described as “England’s oldest and most perfect almshouse”. Most of the building and surrounding grounds are open to the public at specific times.
The West Gate ( West Gate Museum )
This beautiful medieval gate is great for walking and enjoying the cityscape.
Built in the 12th century, the fortified gateway is still standing today, one of only two remaining gates in Winchester. There is also a Westgate museum there which is worth checking out.
Explore The Great Hall Winchester
This hall is an important building in Winchester as it is all that survives of Winchester castle. It’s a great place to learn about the royal history and see some of its stunning architecture.
The Great Hall was built by Henry III between 1222 and 1235, now a Grade I-listed building. It was used as the seat of government for the Norman Kings and later became a royal residence.
In 1603, Sir Walter Raleigh went on trial for treason in the Great Hall. The Royalists used the castle in the English Civil War, but it eventually fell to Parliamentarians in 1646.
The Great Hall contains the legendarily Round Table, which some say was utilized by King Arthur and his knights and restored by King Henry VIII.
Whilst there, make sure you wander through Queen Eleanor’s Garden, a beautiful 13th Century medieval garden outside the hall.
It is located on Castle Hill, now home to Hampshire County Council and Winchester Register Office.
Wander around the Peninsula Barracks
The Peninsula Barracks is a beautiful place to take a walk and explore Hampshire’s city history. A historic site that has been used for various purposes over the years.
From a royal castle, home to war prisoners, British Military barracks to private housing and Museums. You can learn more about the history in the royal green jacket museum.
Check out the Museums
The Winchester museums are well worth visiting. The Peninsula barracks are home to two great military museums – the Rifle Museum and the Gurkha Museum. These museums are a great way to learn about the city’s military history.
The Rifles Museum
Find out more about the story of the British Army infantry regiments at The Rifles Museum.
Luke served for the 2nd Batallion Royal Green Jackets regiment, so this visit was very special for him.
We will post more about our visit soon, but this room was amazing, showing a re-enactment of The Battle of Waterloo.
The Gurkha Museum
The museum tells the story of the Gurkhas, who are Nepalese. The Gurkhas have a long history of serving in the British Army, and the museum is a great way to learn about their culture and history.
The Gurkhas Museum is a must-see for any fan of military history.
Winchester City Museum
The Winchester City Museum is located in the heart of Winchester, and it’s a great place to see a wide range of exhibits, from Roman artefacts to medieval treasures.
The River Itchen Loop Walk
The River Itchen is a special type of waterway called a chalk stream. Out of the 210 chalk streams in the world, 160 are located in England.
The loop of the River Itchen starts at Winchester City Mill and explores some of its prettiest sections, The Weirs, The Water Meadows and circles back to Winchester Cathedral.
Watch a Movie at Everyman Cinema
Everyman Cinema is a great place to watch a film in Winchester. With its comfortable seats and a great selection of movies, Everyman is the perfect place for a night out.
There are some parking spaces available there for customers only.
Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium
The Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is an excellent place for anyone interested in science. With its wide variety of interactive exhibits, the Science Centre is perfect for families with children.
The Planetarium is also a great place to visit. With its range of shows, the Planetarium is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about astronomy. Located in the city centre you will spend a whole day here.
Historic churches throughout Winchester
If you’re looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Winchester city centre, there are excellent and free things to do in Winchester.
Visit some of the stunning old churches. Each church has unique history and style, making them perfect for an after-lunch walk.
See the Animals at Marwell Zoo
The Marwell zoo is a great place to see a variety of animals. With its wide variety of animals, the Marwell Zoo is perfect for couples or families with children.
The zoo is a 20-minute drive from Winchester city and is a great place to spend a day. They even have a marvellous Marwell Bespoke Hotel to stay in.
Take to the Skies in a Hot Air Balloon Ride
If you’re looking for a fun activity to do in Winchester, why not try out a hot air balloon ride with Atmosphere Balloons?
Atmosphere Balloons is based in Winchester, and it’s perfect for anyone who wants to experience a balloon ride. A great way to see the city from above. You’ll be able to see the winchester city tourist attractions and landmarks from the sky; it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
Visit the iron age settlement of St Catherine’s Hill
The St Catherine’s Hill settlement is another fantastic place to visit for Winchester’s history. The settlement is located just outside the city; this hill fort is an excellent place for those who want to escape the busy city.
The views are breathtaking, and there’s plenty of history buried in this antique site that you can explore!
Where to park in Winchester?
There are many car parks in Winchester, not cheap, but most are capped at £15 for the whole day.
So, you have 25 things to do in Winchester that will keep you entertained! Whether you’re a history buff, foodie or shopaholic, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful city.