Winchester Hotels - Calm and collected, Winchester's a chic city steeped in history, and as you potter around its narrow, winding streets there's plenty of nods to its long and varied past. Elegant Regency and Elizabethan buildings, overhanging medieval houses, flint-flecked walls, and imposing grand cathedral, Winchester is brimming with sights to see. Walks along the leafy River Itchen with its calm rippling waters take you from the bustle of the city center to the beginning of stunning South Downs Way where you can ramble for hours amid the lush green countryside.
Things to see
The heart of the city, Winchester Cathedral is a spectacular sight and its gothic nave seems to go on forever (it's the longest in the world). Inside, its walls are covered in 12th Century paintings and intricate medieval carvings, and you'll find the 12th Century illuminated Winchester Bible with its glowing gold and blazing blue lapis lazuli. More history can be explored at The Great Hall, the only surviving part of Winchester Castle, whose grand bulk is home to the legendary King Arthur's Round Table. Although now thought to have actually been commissioned by Henry VIII to replicate the original, it's still a striking sight and over 700 years old. Winchester College with its grand red stencilled-like vaulted roof, gothic chapel, red brick school room, and arched framed War Cloister is a must see when in the city, and tours of the private boys' school run daily. For a fun-filled family day out, Marwell Wildlife is the place to go. One minute you can be marvelling at upright meerkats and laughing kookaburras and the next seeing giraffes, big cats, zebras, and ostriches roam around the African Valley.
Hotels in Winchester
There's a good range of hotels in Winchester from luxury pads to more wallet friendly lodgings. Sophisticated country house hotels offer a slice of the finer things in life with sprawling grounds, tennis courts, indoor swimming pools, and rooms with lavish furnishings while big chain names offer convenient amenities like flat-screen televisions, tea and coffee making facilities, and WIFi. Winchester also boasts a number of cozy B&Bs where you can expect a more home away from home experience along with free breakfasts to help kick start your day.
Where to stay
Winchester's a very laid back city and its mellow center provides the ideal base for visitors who simply want to potter around soaking up the sites without having to reply on public transport. Quaint, cobbled streets are brimming with independent shops selling fashionable wares and arts and crafts, and there are friendly cafes and traditional pubs to kick back in after a day seeing the city's historical sites. If you'd prefer a hotel in Winchester surrounded by sweeping countryside, there's plenty of choice in the neighboring villages too.
How to get to
Southampton Airport, although relatively small, receives a raft of flights from the UK and Europe and is just 8 miles from Winchester. To get to the city, you can catch a train from Southampton Airport Parkway, located adjacent to the Arrivals terminal, to Winchester Station and the journey takes just 10 minutes. London Heathrow may be more convenient for international travelers and is just an hour away by National Express bus. Winchester Station has direct links to a London, Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth and Southampton as well as Reading, Birmingham, Oxford, and a number of other cities in the north of the UK.