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“Some treasures not on show.”

Winchester Cathedral
Ranked #1 of 71 things to do in Winchester
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Fifteen centuries of English history lie behind the magnificent Cathedral you see today. It stands at the heart of historic Winchester, once the seat of Anglo-Saxon and Norman royal power, on the site of an early Christian church. Begun in 1079, the Cathedral has been a place of worship ever since. Today the Cathedral welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and in recent years has become well known for its annual Christmas Market and open-air ice rink, which alone attract over 350,000 visitors. A walk round the Cathedral takes you through centuries of English architecture. Particularly striking is the vast gothic nave, the longest medieval nave in Europe. Great works of art, including paintings, sculptures and carvings can be found throughout the building. Don’t miss the Crypt, this atmospheric part of the Cathedral is home to Antony Gormley’s contemplative statue ‘Sound II’ which, after prolonged periods of rainfall can be seen standing in water. The Winchester Bible, the largest and finest of all surviving 12th-century English bibles, is one of the Cathedral’s greatest treasures. Its exquisitely illuminated capital letters, coloured with gold and lapis lazuli, are as intense today as they would have been 800 years ago. The Cathedral is the resting place of many influential and famous people including Saxon kings, bishops and the much-loved English novelist Jane Austen, who was buried in the Cathedral in 1817. An exhibition telling of Jane’s life in Hampshire can be found beside her grave and a memorial plaque funded by her nephew is on the wall adjacent. A guided tour provided by the Cathedral’s own volunteer guides is by far the best way to explore the building. Available on the hour from 10am – 3pm Monday to Saturday, these hour-long tours really do bring the Cathedral, its characters and history to life. It’s worth taking the time to walk through the Cathedral’s historic Inner Close where you will find beautiful buildings and hidden gardens and a gateway to a pretty area of the City known as Kingsgate Village. A perfect way to round-off your visit is a visit to The Refectory, serving homemade cakes, a seasonal lunch menu and a good range of drinks. The pretty terrace and orchard with outdoor seating enjoy good views of the Cathedral. The Cathedral Shop sells a wide range of gifts, cards, books and music, many items have been commissioned especially for the Cathedral so can’t be found anywhere else. A selection of products are available to purchase online via the cathedral website.
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Reviewed April 2, 2013

I like Winchester Cathedral, although it is a shame that it is now only possible to get in by queuing
and paying the entrance fee, which includes the many fascinating treasures housed in the Cathedral. The main thing that I wanted to see was the mortuary chests containing the bones of Saxon kings, such as Canute and Ethelred, but the chests are not on display. Also, I was not provided with information about all the attractions which were included. There was encouragement to make a Gift Aid donation, with a free tea or coffee in the refectory included in the price. This was very busy, but a pleasant cafe.
The Cathedral is one of the best in England and seeing Jane Austen's grave is always worth the visit.

1  Thank scenery-addict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,520 - 2,524 of 3,163 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2013

Suprisingly big for such a small place - the crypt is worth a look. Also the place where Jane Austen was buried.

Thank ann j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

We were very lucky to have a guide called Bill Weeks, who was very amusing and extremely knowledgeable. The Cathedral is amazing and well worth a visit

Thank Greenwood22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

Have been to Winchester on many occasions and have always meant to visit the cathedral.Had an overnight stay in the city today and had enough time on our hands to make the visit. We chose to take the guided tour and it was well worth it. The tour lasted around an hour and the guide was informative and enthusiastic. So many hidden gems of information were given that would easily have been missed if we had walked around alone.A beautiful building with such a history.I would recommend this to anyone visiting Winchester.

Thank abers60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Beautiful Winchester Cathedral, a must visit, enjoy the history and a serene walk around the grounds. The shop is a must visit.

Thank Elizabeth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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