Winchester is one of the most beautiful Cathedral cities in the UK. It is located at the centre of southern England, in the county of Hampshire, and is just one hour away from London by train.
Winchester is a small but lively historic city. It is renowned for its ancient history, its cathedral and high quality of life.
Winchester has a bustling atmosphere for shopping with many well-known high street brands in residence blended in with some unique independent shops and boutiques. Many of the locally owned businesses are nestled on the picturesque cobbled streets that line Winchester Cathedral. The city also plays host to the Hampshire Farmers’ Market, usually every fortnight. It attracts interesting culinary providers and celebrity chefs, such as James Martin who co-owns a delicatessen in Winchester.
Winchester also has an huge array of award-winning pubs and bars which offer a traditional pint to a cosmopolitan cocktail. There is a strong café and restaurant culture in Winchester and the city has attracted some leading chefs and high quality brands such as Raymond Blanc and Hotel Du Vin. The cafés offer a wide selection of indoor and outdoor settings to people watch over a cappuccino.
The city has an unusual cinema inside a converted military chapel that screens popular movies on general release and has a programme of independent and foreign films.
There are also two theatres in the city and a Guildhall, which regularly is the venue for concerts, stand-up comedy and shows.
The city and its surrounding district have inspired literary classics by Jane Austen and John Keats. This has made Winchester the ideal setting for literary events and writers’ festivals, some of which are held at or organised by the University. Winchester also holds the Hat Fair every year, a famous street theatre festival and there is also the annual Art and Mind Festival.
The city is famous for being the ancient capital of England as chosen by King Alfred the Great as the seat of power for his kingdom of Wessex. William the Conqueror commissioned the monks of Winchester to write his notorious Domesday Book, which was housed in the Kings Castle. Now only the Castle’s Great Hall remains and in it is the legendary ‘Round Table of King Arthur’. Winchester is also the resting place of author Jane Austen, who is buried in Winchester Cathedral.
Winchester has excellent transport links including a direct train service to London Waterloo which runs every 20 minutes during peak times. The station is also well-served by trains running to and from Southampton, Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Weymouth, Brighton, the New Forest and the north of England.
The University of Winchester is located close to the M3 which provides easy road access to the M25 and M27. Travelling to and from Heathrow and Gatwick airports is easy by both road and train and Southampton Airport is located 15 minutes away by train and offers services within the UK, the Channel Islands and mainland Europe.
The National Express coach service picks up from Winchester and serves various destinations across the UK. Ferry services from Portsmouth link to various ports in France, Spain and the Netherlands.