Winchester is England’s ancient capital. If you've got a moment, take a look at this video of our beautiful city:
Winchester is packed with historic buildings, monuments and museums waiting to be explored. It has a magnificent Cathedral, beautiful riverside walks, award-winning pubs and restaurants and a tempting array of independent shops, all surrounded by fabulous rolling countryside and pretty Hampshire villages.
If you choose to stay with a family in Winchester and are aged 18-35 you have the opportunity to take part in our Work Experience scheme.
Romsey is a beautiful little town, near Winchester. It is an ancient town, but it has a lively centre with pretty cafes and shops. Romsey sits on the banks of the River Test, one of the finest trout and salmon rivers in Europe. Medieval streets cluster around the magnificent Norman Abbey, which dominates the town and plays host to an extensive musical programme each year.
In Winchester and Romsey, we offer homestay accommodation with one of our wonderful English Naturally host families.
Things to do in Winchester
In the city centre:
Winchester Cathedral A place of worship for over 900 years, Winchester's world-famous cathedral is remarkable for its hidden treasures: Anthony Gormley's Sound II statue in the crypt, the Winchester Bible and Jane Austen's tomb.
The Great Hall and King Arthur's Round Table Winchester is famous for its legendary Arthurian Round table, a striking sight well worth visiting in The Great Hall - the only remaining part of Winchester Castle.
Winchester Discovery Centre Winchester's modern library is an excellent resource with exhibitions and galleries, free internet access and a cafe.
City Museum Uncover Winchester's past at the family-friendly City Museum.
The Westgate A fortified medieval gateway which served as a debtors' prison for 150 years. It has splendid rooftop views across Winchester.
The City Mill Perched over the fast-flowing River Itchen, Winchester City Mill has regular milling demonstrations, children's quizzes and an interactive exhibition.
Winchester College Believed to be the oldest continuously running school in the country, Winchester College boasts some illustrious alumni including the author Anthony Trollope and the Everest mountaineer George Mallory.
Winchester Military Museums Home to one of the most sizeable collections of regimental history outside London in the form of five museums.
River Park Leisure Centre Gym, tennis, swimming pool.
Shopping in Winchester High Street.
Easy walks from Winchester centre:
Water Meadows. Walk along the river through the water meadows to St Cross Hospital. Admire the medieval architecture and take part in a 900-year-old tradition as you receive the Wayfarer's Dole.
St Giles Hill and St Catherine’s Hill. If you are feeling energetic, you can climb St Giles Hill (accessed by steep steps at the very bottom of the high street) or St. Catherine's Hill (reached by a footpath and steps from the water meadows). Both hills give you great views of Winchester. St Catherine’s Hill is an Iron Age Hill Fort. Children may be interested in the ancient mizmaze cut into the earth at the top of the hill.
In the surrounding area:
Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium A hands-on interactive science and technology centre. Float through the universe with out-of-this-world digital theatre presentations in the UK's largest planetarium.
Marwell Wildlife Set in one hundred acres of parkland, Marwell Zoo is a beautiful setting for some of the World's rarest species.
Things to do in Romsey
Romsey Abbey. One of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Europe. The Abbey now hosts a thriving musical programme throughout the year.
Romsey Town Hall. A magnificent Victorian Building located in the Market Place.
Romsey Markets. Romsey evolved as a market town and today lively street markets are held in The Cornmarket on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
King John’s House. A medieval stone building, where you can find a rare floor of animal bones and 14th-century graffiti in an atmospheric setting.
Romsey Signal Box. A working museum which gives an insight into the life of a railway signalman.
Romsey Rapids. A fun swimming pool with rapids and leisure centre.
Easy walks from Romsey centre:
The River Test & Broadlands Walk along the beautiful river Test and explore the stately Broadlands Estate.
Streams of Romsey Romsey is criss-crossed with streams that meander through the town, appearing and disappearing in an intriguing way. The ‘Walk the Water’ guide, available from Romsey Tourist Information Centre provides a key.
In the surrounding area:
The New Forest. In the nearby New Forest national park, where wild ponies deer and donkies roam free, there are fabulous opportunities for walking, mountain-biking, golf and horse-riding.
Beaulieu. The National Motor Museum is set in glorious grounds and gardens with immaculate spreading lawns and walkways overlooking the Beaulieu River.
Other places to visit from Winchester and Romsey:
The ancient stone circle of Stonehenge is an easy drive from Winchester or Romsey
The naval city of Portsmouth is easy to get to by train.
Historic Dockyard. If you are interested in ships, this is a great day out. You can go aboard Nelson’s ship, the HMS Victory, and the 1860 HMS Warrior. You can also see the Mary Rose.
Gunwharf Quays. Great for designer clothes, this Portsmouth retail park also has water side bars and restaurants
It is very easy to visit London from Winchester. It’s just under an hour by train.