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“Expensive but interesting”

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: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access
Reviewed April 18, 2014

At £7 an adult to get in, it does seem a bit of a rip off when this should be a public building, and after paying it and having a look around I do think the price is a little steep. It was however quite interesting to look around the building, although I would have liked some sort of guide book (I'm not fussed on audio guides, I can't skip the boring/obvious bits) to explain the layout, the phases of the building and those sorts of things. There was plenty to take pictures of though, and there were no restrictions either you're free to take as many pictures as you like!

Thank Verity G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,125 - 2,129 of 3,106 reviews

Reviewed April 17, 2014

Wonderful experience to visit our beautiful Cathedral with its magnificent architecture.It is right in the centre of town . Please be advised that parking is a problem and it is wiser to take Park& Ride with locations around the outskirts of town.
Winchester is the ancient capital of England, before Londinium( London).
There is very imposing statue of King Alfred in the main thoroughfare. You are able to visit his Round Table in the Great Hall,and of course it was Alfred who burnt the cakes.
Another famous resident was Jane Austin whose birthplace is a 20 minute gentle drive away. Winchester is approx 60 miles south of London a fast 1hour train journey from Waterloo station.
If you arrive by air at Heathrow there are frequent coaches from all terminals to Winchester, 1 hours drive away which drops you right under the statue. This is the cheaper way to travel .Senior Citizens may purchase a rail pass for 10 pounds( US $16 )' this will knock 1/3 off the price of your
Tickets.(Validity 1 year )
There are good quality fashion stores,lots of inns and restaurants, do explore the many passage ways. There is one inne that claims to be the oldest in England.
Winchester is quite an affluent place and real estate prices are high.
Welcome,you will be pleased you came!

Thank Regyear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2014

My friend and I regularly visit the gorgeous setting of Winchester cathedral in December. It is one of the loveliest venues for a Christmas market I have been to - and I've visited plenty! Having an ice rink surrounded by wooden huts laden with seasonal ideas, trinkets and the obligitary mulled wine really sets the tone for the upcoming festivities. There are some wonderful products and gift ideas on sale and the backdrop of the cathedral adds both a great atmosphere and pleasant surroundings, whatever the weather! In the past we've had a spin on the rink, indulged in warming hot chocolate and treated friends and family to gift treats that are more unique and individual. With the added bonus of being located in the town centre, it is easily accessible from the high street. It's better to visit during the week and in the evenings when there are less crowds to allow for browsing at leisure and queues for the mulled wine . . .

Thank Shazemop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2014

Visited the cathredral last week- wow!! Its one of the biggest cathedrals in England. The entrance fee is not cheap at £7.50 but it was well worth it. We went on a (free) guided tour, which takes aprox 45 minutes. Our guide was really lovely and she obviously had a great passion for the cathedral. if you go to Winchester the cathedral is a must see attraction.

Thank Ade671
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2014 via mobile

I took a friend for the tower tour . It was fascinating to learn all the history of the cathedral. The view of winchester from the top was brilliant . The inside is stunning and well worth a visit.

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

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