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Hotels in Winchester

Set in an ancient city on the western border of the South Downs, Winchester hotels are an ideal destination if you're looking for historical buildings, chic boutique shops and beautiful natural landscapes.

History

Winchester is a cathedral city with a long heritage, reaching as far back as prehistoric times and taking in Gaulish tribes, Romans and Anglo-Saxons along the way. The most prominent historical building is Winchester Cathedral, which dominates the heart of the city. The cathedral is one of the largest in the country and boasts the greatest overall length of any Gothic cathedral in Europe. Work on the cathedral began in 1079 and was built upon over the ensuing centuries until the 16th century. The cathedral is the burial site of many famous figures, including several Anglo-Saxon monarchs and the author Jane Austen, and is the starting point on the ancient Pilgrims' Way that ends in Canterbury Cathedral.

Beside the cathedral are the ruins of Wolvesey Castle, erected by the Bishop of Winchester Henry of Blois between 1130 and 1140 and destroyed by roundheads during the English Civil War in 1646. Winchester Castle is another important medieval structure in the city, originally founded in 1067. Only the Great Hall survives to this day, which was built in the 13th century by King Henry III. If you visit the castle, make sure you look out for the Winchester Round table, a trophy made for King Henry VIII that echoes the Arthurian legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table.

Based in picturesque surroundings beside the River Itchen is The Hospital of St Cross, a medieval almshouse that dates from between 1133 and 1136 and is the oldest charitable institution in the United Kingdom. It is also the largest medieval almshouse in Britain, and there is plenty to explore during your visit including a 13th century church and the 14th-century Brethren's Hall.

Culture and shops

Aside from Winchester's historical buildings the city has a vibrant contemporary cultural scene. One of the best places to get to grips with the current artistic output of Winchester is to visit the Winchester Discovery Centre. Here you'll find a variety of exhibition and gallery spaces, as well as a regular line-up of talks, workshops and other events. The Theatre Royal Winchester is a fantastic place to go if you're looking to watch live drama, comedy or dance, and there a number of literary trails to follow including the Jane Austen Trail, which encompasses the author's house in Chawton and her final resting place in Winchester Cathedral.

Winchester is an excellent place to indulge in a spot of retail therapy. Make your way to the city centre and you'll find an impressive selection of big name brands and eclectic boutique stores. The city is also home to various Farmers' Markets and Arts and Craft Markets throughout the year.

Countryside

Winchester teeters on the western tip of the vast South Downs National Park. The best way to enjoy this area of natural beauty is to follow one of the many walking and cycling trails. The South Downs Way runs the entire length of the national park, the Pilgrims' Trail traces the ancient path followed by medieval pilgrims and the St Swithun's Way runs from Winchester to Farnham.

Frequently asked questions about Hotels in Winchester

What are the best hotels to stay in Winchester?

Norton Park Hotel - A QHotel is one of the most popular hotels in Winchester.

What are the most convenient hotel rates in Winchester?

The cheapest price for a double room in Winchester is £44, offered by Days Inn by Wyndham Winchester M3.

What hotels are in the central Winchester neighborhood?

The best hotels near the center of Winchester are Mercure Winchester Wessex Hotel, Winchester Royal Hotel and Hotel du Vin & Bistro Winchester.

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