Visit Winchester: A SUAVE OWL Guide

What To Do In Winchester


Planning a trip to Winchester? From historic sights, brilliant shopping scenes, fantastic culture, the former capital of England has so much to offer. For help figuring out what to do in Winchester or what to visit in Winchester, read on…


Winchester’s Most Famous Sites


The sight of Winchester Cathedral is near synonymous with the city. It is an iconic building in the city centre. Built from the 1000s to the 1500s, it is the longest medieval cathedral in the world and one of the largest gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe. It’s still an active church. However, it is also a community hub hosting music and art shows, exhibitions, family activities, and the yearly Winchester Christmas Market. It has a rich history heavily linked to the city which can be explored in one of their daily tours. In an interesting link to SUAVE OWL’s flagship town of Bath, writer Jane Austen is buried in the north nave aisle of the cathedral after living the end of her life in Winchester.



When planning your trip to Winchester, you cannot neglect the famous Cathedral.


Image of Winchester Cathedral


While exploring the city centre, you may just spot The City Cross, also known as The Butter Cross. It is a centuries old marker of community and trade, dating back to the mid-14th century. A scheduled monument, it has been given historical protection. It gets the name Butter Cross from old market day use; sellers would display their wares on the steps forming the base of the cross. It has long held fondness as a sight in Winchester, even back in the 1770s when demolition was planned for the cross and the local people planned a small riot in response. The fight back was successful and The Butter Cross stands to this day as a key part of central Winchester.


Winchester's The Butter Cross in central Winchester.

For fans of castles, Winchester is an absolute treat. There are two castles ready to visit, each offering their own unique history.



Winchester Wolvesey Castle, otherwise known as the Old Bishop’s Palace, was a Norman bishop's palace, dating from 1110. It was significant in several wars, fighting under siege more than once, and extremely important to past English royalty. In fact, Queen Mary Tudor and King Philip II of Spain were guests before their wedding in Winchester cathedral. It is now a ruin maintained by English Heritage. With free entry, it’s an excellent addition to your list of tourist spots in Winchester.


Winchester courtyward


You can also visit Winchester Castle, a medieval building founded in 1067 in central Winchester. It is only the Great Hall which remains standing. However, you can pay a visit to see artefacts from Winchester's history, as well as Winchester's Round Table - a link to Arthurian legend which has hung in the great hall since 1348. Walk around this ancient building and immerse yourself in the past doing so. 



Winchester City Museum should also be considered for your visit. Take in the Winchester model, a replica of the city from the Victorian era. See some of the very few belongings left of Jane Austen and feel connected to one of Britain's most famous writers. Discover the fascinating lives of some of Winchester residents, uncovering stories that you never knew existed. For a full exploration of Winchester's past, the Winchester City Museum has to be visited on your trip.


Image of Winchester Castle, now housing Winchester Museum.


Events In Winchester


You may be wanting to visit Winchester solely for historical sites and exploration, however there are events running in Winchester all year round. Plan your visit to align with these, or simply see if your visit is conveniently timed to attend. You won’t regret attending these activities in Winchester.


View over Winchester, featuring Winchester Cathedral.


Winchester is home to the Winchester Hat Fair. This festival is the longest running festival of street theatre, comedy, and music in the UK. It takes place yearly on the first weekend of July. Participate in this explosion of culture on the gorgeous streets of Winchester and walk away amazed by the talent all around you.



Taking place on both the second and final Sunday of every month, you can visit Winchester Farmer’s Market. This Farmers Market is the largest in the UK, with approximately one hundred stalls at each market. These small businesses offer almost every kind of food you can imagine and is definitely worth a visit.


Courtyard in Winchester with medieval building and door.


Speaking of food, you simply must check if your visit aligns with the yearly visit of Foodies Festival. This touring food festival makes a yearly summer stop in Winchester, and has some big names in the culinary scene. Dubbed the ‘Gastro-Glasto’, there is always music and entertainment along with food stalls and demonstrations from expert chefs. Try new food, eat firm favourites, and learn more about cooking while you do so.



For fans of the spooky side of life, sign up for a Supernatural Tour of Winchester. These tours happen once a month and take you through the gorier side of Winchester’s history, exploring the lives and deaths of Winchester's important figures. With actors and atmosphere to immerse you, this is sure to be an unforgettable experience in Winchester.


Where To Shop In Winchester


Winchester offers gorgeous scenery, intriguing history, and, of course, excellent shopping. There are independent boutiques, big name brands, and excellent food and drink waiting for you. Spend a day the shopping in the city centre.


Winchester high street.


SUAVE OWL Winchester is conveniently located on Winchester High Street at 17 High Street, Winchester, SO23 9JX, a five-minute walk away from Winchester Cathedral.



Our shop offers men’s formalwear, casualwear, accessories, and footwear along with expert advice from our team. It’s a one stop shop for all your men’s fashion in Winchester. SUAVE OWL champions accessible men’s fashion and carries an extensive size range; we want every man to be able to find the perfect outfit for any event, ensuring he feels and looks his best. For menswear in Winchester that’s a little different to what you see every day, a SUAVE OWL visit is a must.


Winchester street view


Whether you take the historical route, fill your days with activities, or simply decide to stroll the beautiful streets, we're sure your visit to Winchester will be something to remember.



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