Things to Do in Winchester

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.

Images of Winchester Cathedral, the Rifles museum, Gurkhas museum, Winchester hotel spa and the round table in the great hall


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!

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.

Winchester Cathedral with lots of people outside the front of the building


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.

Kay standing in the Winchester Cathedral with a piano organ in the background

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

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.

Luke walking through the high street of Winchester

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

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.

People walking through Winchester market looking at the stalls

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.

The Ivy Winchester Brasserie restaurant from the outside with a lady reading the menu and her spaniel dog looking at the camera.

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!

Reeve the Baker with loads of cakes and breads in the shop window and two people sitting outside the front seating area drinking a hot drink

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 statue of King Alfred the Great in Winchester

Butter Cross

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.

Buttercross Monument in the city centre of Winchester

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.

John

The statue of John Colbourne dates back to 1866. But was originally located in Plymouth.

A statue of John Colborne 1st Baron Seaton near the military museums in Winchester and Luke standing next to the statue

When Seaton Barracks began closure operations during the 1990s, the statue was moved to Winchester Army Museum at the request of the Colborne family”.

Hampshire Hog

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.

The jubilee sculpture located near the city hall of Winchester

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!

The William walker Pub with dtaes of 1860 on the building and also says fresh food, craft beer and cocktails painted on the wall

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.

The Theatre Royal building with posters on the walls of upcoming shows and hanging baskets of flowers above

Find out what is on at Theatre Royal Winchester.

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.

A swimming pool with loungers on the side and a sauna and steam room in the spa area of the Winchester hotel

Or enjoy smaller B&Bs or rooms above one of the many pubs like The Westgate to get your head down between all the Winchester things to do.

The Westgate pub which has pub and rooms wrote on the walls above the entrance

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.

The Anglo Saxon 12th century Westgate which leads to Winchester high street

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.

A medieval round table in the 13th century Great hall of Winchester

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.

The Queens Garden situated at the back of The Great Hall in Winchester

It is located on Castle Hill, now home to Hampshire County Council and Winchester Register Office.

Winchester council offices, registry office with a cobbled path leading up to the great hall of Winchester

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.

Peninsula barracks with the water fountain in the middle of the old drill square

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.

A block of apartments in the Peninsula barracks in Winchester

The Rifles Museum

Find out more about the story of the British Army infantry regiments at The Rifles Museum.

Luke standing in between two cannons outside the Rifles military museum

Luke served for the 2nd Batallion Royal Green Jackets regiment, so this visit was very special for him.

Luke watching a model scale re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo in the rifles military museum

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.

Models of Gurkhas in a battle scene from ww2 in the Gurkha military museum

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.

Everyman cinema with car park in Winchester

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.

The united church in Winchester

Visit some of the stunning old churches. Each church has unique history and style, making them perfect for an after-lunch walk.

St Pauls Church in Winchester with two people waling at the front of the building

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?

Hot air balloon in the sky over Winchester city centre

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.

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