fbpx

My City Winchester

Winchester City

Definitions for words in purple and bold can be found at the end of this blog.

I’ve lived in a fair few cities in my time in countries around the world. I grew up at a boarding school in York, a beautiful historic northern city in England and then moved to Edinburgh in Scotland for my university years. In between university I au-paired for a family in Vienna, Austria and then did my Erasmus year in Bamberg, Germany. After graduating from university I moved to Barcelona in Spain and last year returned back to the south of England in Winchester. It’s fair to say I’ve moved around a bit! Now we’ve settled in Winchester so I want to take this opportunity to practise my sales technique and tell you all about this gorgeous little city.

Winchester Garden

Winchester Cathedral Grounds

Winchester is located in the county of Hampshire in the south west of England. It’s only 60 miles south west of London and a lot of residents here commute to the capital city on a daily basis. It’s population is only around 46,000, but with so many tourists it certainly feels like a lot more!

The city’s focus is the high street, where all the shops, supermarkets and restaurants can be found. There are a few shops and boutiques on the side streets towards the residential areas, but most things are on the high street. The high street is only a 10-minute walk from the train station, which connects directly to London Waterloo as well as many of the large cities around us, including Southampton and Portsmouth.

Tourist Attractions

Winchester Cathedral Aisle

Winchester Cathedral Roof

Winchester is a fairly small city with all the tourist attractions within walking distance from one another. The biggest attraction is Winchester cathedral located just off the high street. It’s one of the largest cathedrals in Europe and it’s very impressive to visit. Luckily I live just around the corner from the cathedral and there are always plenty of events going on all year round, although my favourite time so far has been Christmas. A Christmas market is set up in all of the cathedral grounds with local companies setting up shop for November and December. There is also an ice rink as well as lantern parades and Christmas concerts with local schools and the Winchester cathedral choir singing to get everybody in the Christmas spirit. But all year round there are international orchestras, choirs, comedians and guest speakers who visit to entertain the locals.

If you ever visit Winchester cathedral, I definitely recommend taking a tour. I chose a tour of the entire cathedral, where we walked all the way to the roof of the cathedral to see a view of the city (even though it was tipping it down in true British style!) We also went to the bell tower, down to the crypt and through some of the exhibitions on show. The cathedral has so much history, with important British figures being married or buried here.

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral Roof

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral Bell Ringing Room

After the cathedral, it’s worth visiting the castle and Great Hall of Winchester. The building dates back to the 12th century and houses King Arthur’s Round Table. By taking a tour of the Great Hall of Winchester, you’ll learn so much more about the history of this place, which used to be England’s capital city before London.

King Arthur's Round Table

King Arthur’s Round Table 

The Great Hall

The Great Hall Grounds

A few other tourist attractions include the Guildhall, which is very impressive in style, Wolvesey castle remains, Winchester City Mill and the Planetarium and Science Museum.

Winchester Nature

The River Itchen runs right through the city centre and it’s so beautiful to walk by. There are cycle paths as well as footpaths that run right next to the river for miles on end and you’ll often bump into friendly strangers on a family day out or walking their dog. The nature around, especially in spring time, is beautiful. The last time I wandered out, there was a small family of ducklings swimming up and down the river with baby lambs springing around in the fields either side.

Winchester Nature

River Itchen Footpath 

Winchester Nature

Duckling on the River Itchen

One of my favourite walks in Winchester is to St Catherine’s Hill. You can reach the bottom of this hill in 20 minutes, walking from the high street along the river. The hill itself is quite steep, but easy enough to walk up without proper hiking gear and when you get to the top, you can look down onto all of Winchester which is beautiful (from personal experience, I definitely don’t recommend visiting on a windy day!) The history of the hill dates back to the Iron Age and a mizmaze can be found at the top.

St Catherine's Hill

St Catherine’s Hill

Events

Winchester thrives when city events are on. Unfortunately, most of these have been cancelled this year due to the pandemic, but even within the space of living here for one year, I have attended hundreds of events. The town hall hosts regular wine, beer, champagne tasting sessions as well as cultural events such as language exchanges and talks by people from multicultural backgrounds. Each summer, there is a performing arts festival called Hat Fair, which hosts dancers, comedians, actors, singers and many others performing on the streets and at locations around the city. 

There are also summer music festivals (like Winchestival), cycling criterium, cultural festivals (like the poetry festival) and exhibitions in the Great Hall and Discovery Centre. You will never go bored in Winchester!

The typical events such as Christmas, Halloween and Bonfire Night are also hosted in a truly amazing style, but I’ll go into more detail about these in blogs later this year.

Winchestival

Winchestival

Christmas Lights Switch-On

Hatfair

Hat Fair

Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night

Food and Drink

When it comes to food and drink, we’re spoilt for choice. There is a pub on almost every corner with one of the most famous, The Wykeham Arms, being right at the end of my road! On the high street you can find all the typical high street chains, although the food is still to a good standard. But if you’re looking for a meal for a special occasion, you could try The Chesil Rectory or The Black Rat. They both have a warm and cosy atmosphere, but the prices aren’t cheap!

I’ve only lived in Winchester for just over a year, but I really love living here and it’s definitely worth a day visit to see some of the traditional cities in the UK. Most people visit London when they come to the UK, but with Winchester only an hour away by rail with very regular trains, there’s no excuse not to stop by.

Key Vocabulary

Below are 14 key words taken from this post with definitions. Please be aware that there are sometimes many definitions for one word, it will depend on context. 

Definition: A school where you also sleep at night

In our blog: I grew up at a boarding school in York.

Definition: To see somebody unexpectedly and it wasn’t planned

In our blog: You’ll often bump into friendly strangers on a family day out or walking their dog.

Definition: To be underneath the ground when dead

In our blog: The cathedral has so much history, with important British figures being married or buried here. 

Definition: Very long

In our blog: There are cycle paths as well as footpaths that run right next to the river for miles on end.

Definition: Equipment

In our blog: It’s easy enough to walk up without proper hiking gear.

Definition: In my life

In our blog: I’ve lived in a fair few cities in my time in countries around the world.

Definition: To establish your business in a specific location

In our blog: A Christmas market is set up in all of the cathedral grounds with local companies setting up shop for November and December.

Definition: To make a permanent home in one location

In our blog: Now we’ve settled in Winchester.

Definition: To have a very large selection to choose from

In our blog: When it comes to food and drink, we’re spoilt for choice.

Definition: To have a very big angle 

In our blog: The hill itself is quite steep.

Definition: A person you do not know

In our blog: You’ll often bump into friendly strangers on a family day out or walking their dog.

Definition: To do very well and to prosper

In our blog: Winchester thrives when city events are on.

Definition: To rain heavily

In our blog: … even though it was tipping it down in true British style!

Definition: To walk with no planned route or direction, often slowly

In our blog: The last time I wandered out, there was a small family of ducklings swimming up and down the river.

Responses

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. It is very interesting for me. If I had a chance, I woul like to visit there. Especially, at language exchanges festival and I can talk by people from multicultural backgrounds to improve my English skills.

Subscribe To Our Weekly Blog

Subscribe

* indicates required

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. By subscribing to our blog you agree to our terms and conditions. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our privacy policy or contact us at admin@virtually-fluent.com.