After our lovely trip to Dover, I just had to organise a trip as well. The bf got such a good deal though, there was no way I could even come close to that. I didn't want to go to the same area (although I really have to take him to Canterbury one day) so I looked for other areas of England instead. The mark was to have travel of less than 2 hours from our doorstep, anything longer and it just gets annoying really. Plus what's the point in a one night break if you have to travel for half the day? So after many days of searching, I kept on ending up on the same place. I guess it was a sign. We were going to Winchester!
Winchester is a small town in Hampshire with a lot of Viking history. As we had just seen the Viking exhibition in the British Museum, it was great seeing some Viking history in the flesh so to speak. We stayed in a lovely little hotel near town with a nice garden (though WiFi was broken). This was a trip I'd arranged so lots of visiting was on the menu.
We visited the Great Hall of Winchester Castle. Only the this hall remains, the rest is gone. The original castle dates from 1062! You can see why it's called 'Great Hall', I took a piccie of the bf to give you an idea how enormous this hall was.
In the Great Hall we also saw King Arthur's round table. The facts on this are little blurry, everywhere I look there's a different story. But was it fun to see.
Behind the Great Hall were the Barracks, which are actually 5 military museums. I think we saw maybe one of them but the weather was too nice to stay inside for very long.
From the barracks we walked back toward the town centre, and I got some really nice piccies of the architecture.
Winchester Cathedral, built in 1079. I love this building! We just had to go in. Forget the weather, we had to visit! There was an entrance fee but it was so worth it, even though we had our doubts when we entered. There is so much to see!
I mean, the entrance alone is amazing!
Sadly, the catacombs were closed to the public due to flooding earlier this year. It's been a while but at this rate it looks like they will be closed for a while longer.
AND Jane Austen is buried here! I only found out about this from the brochure in the hotel, but this is really cool. Apparently, she used to live here for a while and was buried here.
The cathedral didn't even know about her until lots of people started visiting (way back when of course) so now it's all displayed and they made this memorial plaque as well. I sadly missed visiting her old house, but seeing this was amazing!
Just outside the cathedral is this statue. What is a diver statue doing at a cathedral, right? It turns out that the cathedral was in trouble once with flooding (seems to happen a lot here) and he was a deep-sea diver who worked under water to fix the church between 1906 and 1911. So he is hailed as the saviour of the cathedral.
After all that walking and visiting, we were starving, so time for dinner! The hotel had a restaurant but there was nice Italian across the road which caught my eye. :)
The weather the next day was not as nice as the day before, and we visited the Winchester City Mill (which we walked past about 3 times LOL). We arrived just in time to watch them start up the mill and grind the flour. I have some pics from the inside of the mill, but none of them were fantastic. It's just one of these places where you just have to go and see for yourself. The backgarden was great though :)
Before any possible rain, I really wanted to see Wolvesey Castle. Well, it's ruins anyway, there wasn't anything left of it really. It was built somewhere in 1130 and has a ton of history attached to it. We spent a good while here trying to figure out what was what (there were signs to help).
The rain held off and after the visit to the ruins, we had a last pit-stop before heading home. We found this adorable tea place in town and stopped for tea and cake.