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Winchester

Culture & history

Our most recommended Winchester Culture & History

Winchester: Journey Through Winchester's Past Walking Tour

1. Winchester: Journey Through Winchester's Past Walking Tour

We will meet at the Westgate, the medieval entrace to Winchester. First, we see William the Conquer's Winchester Castle and The Great Hall, hearing the Legend of King Arthur. Then we will walk the High Street, before arriving at the world-famous, Winchester Cathedral. The final resting place of lady who left her mark on Winchester and the World-Jane Austen. After will see the iconic statue of Alfred the Great, and tell tales of his immense contributions to history. After which we will walk the banks of the River Itchen, inspired the works of poet John Keats. Then see the ruins of the powerful Bishop of Winchester's palace.

Devon and Cornwall: 5-Day Tour from London

2. Devon and Cornwall: 5-Day Tour from London

Discover the landscapes and history of the wild Southwest of England on this 5-day minicoach tour. Combining the best of Devon and Cornwall, including the Jurassic Coast, Dartmoor, Lands End, Tintagel Castle, 2 nights in the Roman city of Exeter, and 2 nights in the harbor town of Falmouth, this tour offers a unique view of a beautiful part of Britain. Day 1 Depart London and travel through the old kingdom of Wessex to the historic city of Winchester. The former capital of Anglo-Saxon England boasts a magnificent cathedral and the Norman Great Hall. From this bustling city, head to a quieter but equally profound place, the standing stone circle of Stonehenge. Having explored this mystical place, your tour will continue to Exeter, the Romans most southwesterly fortified settlement and your base for 2 nights. Day 2 Your morning is spent exploring the magnificent wilderness of Dartmoor, the ancient "Clapper Bridge" at Postbridge, and the historic market town of Tavistock, home to Francis Drake. Return to Exeter in the early afternoon to explore the Roman town, with its underground passages, ancient walls, Royal Albert Memorial Museum and famous 12th-Century Norman Cathedral. Day 3 Head west to the North Cornish coast and the Elizabethan fishing village of Boscastle. Indulge in a cream tea, take a stroll out to the dramatic headland or learn a spell or two in the Museum of Witchcraft. Travel to the village of Tintagel and the ruins of its headland Castle, whose romantic cliff-top setting is purportedly the birthplace of King Arthur. After lunch, the tour heads to Port Isaac where you can get your Doc Martin fix and fall in love with this picturesque fishing village, before heading south to the bustling port town of Falmouth for the next two nights. Day 4 Explore the most westerly tip of England on this magnificent day, taking in St. Michael’s Mount, the incredible Minack Theater, built into the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful National Trust beach at Porthcurno. Look out for pirates at Penzance! England’s most westerly point beckons at Lands End before following the dramatic coast, with windswept moors and old stone Celtic communities, up to the artistic haven of St. Ives. Return to Falmouth for the night. Day 5 This morning you say farewell to Cornwall and travel back through the Devon countryside with stops for photos and refreshments before arriving in the famous little town of Glastonbury for lunch. Glastonbury Tor rises high above the town and has mythical connections with King Arthur and Avalon. From here you will return back eastwards to London, a city completely removed from the experiences you have enjoyed in the magical counties of Devon and Cornwall. Staying in a range of locally owned, friendly B&B's and guesthouses, you will enjoy en suite facilities, and tranquility in scenic locations in the lovely southwest of England.

Winchester Treasure Hunt Mystery: The Bishops Golden Tankard

3. Winchester Treasure Hunt Mystery: The Bishops Golden Tankard

The legendary Winchester mystery.. .. unsolved for 500 years.. Until now. Begin your adventure at the site of Winchester's famous medieval round table, and embark on a quest to unravel the unsolved mystery of The Bishop's Golden Tankard! According to legend, a magical golden tankard hidden in the vaults of Winchester Cathedral, had the power to give riches to all who held it.. .. but when Henry VIII arrived and cracked its old case open, the tankard was gone! Was it stolen for money? Or was it an act of revenge? Nobody knew.. But the villain left a trail of clues.. … and this is where you come in. The pages of your Mystery Guide™ take you on an exciting puzzle adventure through the heart of historic Winchester, as you follow the maps, unlock the clues, and unravel the epic tale. Your challenge is to track down hidden objects, decode symbols, and uncover hidden messages, as you eliminate suspects and gradually unpick the crime. And an exciting twist awaits… Make it to the end and you'll be struck by an amazing ‘wow’ moment when the case is solved and the villain is revealed before your eyes! Simply grab your Mystery Guide™, head to the start, and set off at a time that suits you. Don’t let the villain get away... Your time to start is now!

From London: Bombay Sapphire Gin & Winchester Tour

4. From London: Bombay Sapphire Gin & Winchester Tour

Departing from London in the morning, you’ll head straight for one of England’s most history-rich cities, Winchester. Ambling the paths and lanes of the ancient city, you’ll have free time to stop by the glorious cathedral, the ancient mill, a bevy of cute cafes, and more than enough museums. After you’ve explored the picturesque town, it’s time to head for Laverstoke Mill, where one of the world’s most popular gins, Bombay Sapphire, is distilled. But it’s not just the gin that’s brilliant at the Laverstoke Mill; the exhibition and Victorian architecture are as interesting as they are beautiful.  Once you’ve had enough gin for the day, it’s time to head home. The tour makes a short stop for refreshments at the quaint riverside town of Runnymede, before arriving back in London in the evening.

From Manchester: 3-Day Tour of Snowdonia, Wales, and Chester

5. From Manchester: 3-Day Tour of Snowdonia, Wales, and Chester

Day 1: Manchester to the border of Wales Depart from Manchester by coach for your first stop of the day, Conwy. Explore the town and its award-winning, picturesque harbor. View a castle perched by the sea, the "world’s smallest house", and traditional restaurants boasting the best fish and chips. Travel to the Llanberis Slate Museum, after you've soaked up the sea air, and learn about the history of the second largest slate mine in the world. Continue to Beddgelert, known as the "loveliest" village in Snowdonia. Admire the beautiful architecture of the stone houses and arched bridges. Travel through the heart of Snowdonia as the evening comes, arriving at your overnight stop in Aberystwyth. Day 2: Aberystwyth to New Quay Set off from Aberystwyth in the morning for the colorful seaside town of New Quay. Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the picturesque beach or grab an ice cream. Visit Laugharne, and stand in awe before this village’s towering castle. Carry on towards Carreg Cennen, an imposing fortress perched on top of a hill, nestled within the Brecon Beacons National Park. Roam across the ramparts and experience stunning views of the surrounding natural landscape. Make your way to Newton House, a palatial building that boasts rich gardens, unique architecture, and famous ghost stories, before returning to Aberystwyth later on that evening. Day 3: Harlech Castle and Chester Watch Snowdonia’s mountains fly by as you make your way to Harlech Castle, one of the most popular castles to see in the whole of the UK. Take the chance to witness the sea views and learn about its war-torn history. Stop for lunch in the little village of Betws-Y-Coed before journeying to one of England’s most historic towns, Chester. Head to the cathedral, rebuilt in the Gothic style from 1250 onward. Arrive back in Manchester in the early evening.

3-day Isle of Wight & the Southern Coast Small-Group Tour

6. 3-day Isle of Wight & the Southern Coast Small-Group Tour

Day 1: Get your sunglasses and sun cream ready, you’re departing London and heading to the sunny, southern Isle of Wight. First, head to the ancient port-city of Portsmouth. This bustling spot blends modern marvels with centuries of sea-faring stories. You can grab a bite to eat here before your guide picks you up and takes you to the ferry at Gunwharf Terminal. It takes less than an hour and there’s plenty of onboard refreshments. Your first stop on the Isle of Wight is the important religious site of Quarr Abbey. The building here is beautiful and combines French, Byzantine, and Moorish designs. Then, you will get to meet some real local heroes. In the evening, you'll arrive at the unforgettably quaint village of Shanklin in time for an early dinner.  Day 2: Today, you’re going to discover the unmissable highlights of the Isle of Wight. After an enjoyable breakfast you will venture to the Yarborough Monument. This is the tallest monument on the island and celebrates the life of a wealthy earl from the 19th century. Continue to a photo-stop at the beautiful views of endless green fields at Brading Downs and then head to Osborne House - Queen Victoria's holiday destination! Explore the Italian-style building and discover pristine green gardens, ornate golden rooms, and historically fascinating artefacts. After witnessing that magnificent man-made marvel, it’s time to see the Isle of Wight’s most beautiful natural wonder, the Needles. These sharp white stacks that stick out of the ocean are beautiful to behold. You can hop on a boat to get close to them and venture to an old defensive battery that’s nearby. Your last stop today is at the cliffs of St. Catherine’s Down. As the sun starts to set, these epic cliffs and green valleys look stunning. You travel back to Shanklin in time for dinner. Day 3: In the morning, say goodbye to Shanklin and head on the ferry back to Portsmouth. Now that you’ve reacquainted yourself with the mainland, travel to one of England’s most history-soaked cities, Winchester. Visit the glorious cathedral, an ancient mill, cute cafes, and more than enough museums. After you’ve studied up on the history of England, it’s time to go have some fun. Visit the home of one of the world’s most popular gins, Bombay Sapphire. Once you’ve had enough of the tipple, it’s time to head back to London. Make a short stop at Runnymede before arriving in London in the evening.

Winchester: Guided Alfred the Great Haunted Ghost Tour

7. Winchester: Guided Alfred the Great Haunted Ghost Tour

What better way to experience Winchester, than a walk in the ghostly footsteps of King Alfred the Great? We will meet at the Buttercross, as darkness falls. Then see the site of the nation's last female public execution. Then we will see the haunted sites, and hear such grisly tales of Winchester's High Street and Cathedral. Including the dark tales of religious and poltical persecution. After we will visit the eerie ruins of Hyde Abbey, cemetery, and the actual resting place of England's first king.

London: Transfer to Southampton Terminals via Winchester

8. London: Transfer to Southampton Terminals via Winchester

The experience begins with pickup from London and leaves the city behind as you head towards Southampton via Winchester. Once the joint capital of England, Winchester has been associated with royalty as far back as the famous Alfred the Great, and boasts an array of historical landmarks including a medieval cathedral. Upon arrival, head to the incredible Winchester Cathedral, the resting place of many Saxon Kings, as well as King William Rufus, and the novelist Jane Austen. Soak up the impressive interior of the building, which has the longest nave in Europe and an original medieval tiled floor. Learn about the history of the cathedral, which in 1554 was used as the venue for the wedding of King Philip of Spain to the infamous ‘Bloody Mary’, also known as Queen Mary Tudor. During your time in Winchester, you can also visit the Great Hall, a seat of many English Kings and Queen, and home to the legendary Round Table of King Arthur. After some time exploring Winchester, hop back on the bus for the last leg of the journey to Southampton which takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes. After your arrival at Southampton Cruise Terminals, go straight to the check-in desk where the porters will take care of your luggage and ensure it is delivered to your cabin. Please make sure you use the luggage label in your cruise pack to facilitate this.

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What people are saying about Winchester

This was my first trip with Rabbie's Tours and I was extremely pleased with the entire experience. The itinerary was jam packed but the pacing was good - generally we had just enough time at each stop. The mini bus was comfortable and the overnight lodgings were pleasant and within walking distance of a variety of restaurants. There were 12 of us on the tour so we had the opportunity to get to know people from around the world. Our guide, Samuel, was personable and very knowledgeable of the region and its history. I found all of the sites to be senior citizen friendly with the possible exception of Tintagel. The climb to the top is strenuous if you aren't in good shape!

Really worthwhile booking this walking tour. Its an easy paced walk with lots of interesting information told in a friendly way. Gives a great overview of the importance of Winchester through the ages and the famous people from history. We really enjoyed it. Bryan , our guide, was very knowledgeable and easy to listen to. I'd highly recommend this tour . We're very pleased we booked it.

It was like a private tour. We were the only two people on Bryan’s tour. He did an exceptional job. He is very experienced leading tours and very knowledgeable about the history of Winchester (and Britain). We would highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to experience Winchester through the eyes of a local expert

Very knowledgeable, friendly guide. Gave so much information we could do with crib sheet to remember! He really shouldn’t sing though

Beautiful places visited, nice and clean hotels with good breakfast. Excellent guide Nic very professional, prepared and helpful.