Thinking of places that are easy to get to from London for the day? Winchester is only an hour from Clapham Junction and makes a perfect day trip. The city was once a former capital of England, has a majestic Cathedral and also plays host to Arthur’s Round Table. We hopped on the train and it was a lovely sunny day.
Once you arrive off the train the city centre itself is only about a 15 minute walk. The city was bustling and luckily for us, there was a tasty food market on Saturday. After grabbing so lunch we called into Chococo, one of two independent shops serving delicious chocolates, ice cream and hot drinks. I would definitely recommend the ice cream sundae but don’t expect to finish it!
We then strolled up St Giles Hill. It offers spectacular panoramic views of the city. It obviously helped that the weather was good but the park is a great place to just sit and relax. You can admire the skyline from The Cathedral to the Castle and the river.
After that we headed to the back into the city centre via the Cathedral. The building itself was wonderful, eclipsing the city and acting as a great focal point, as well as being set in wonderful grounds.
For book lovers out there, there are plenty of shops scattered around the city. P & G Wells is on College Street and is situated just across from a fitting tribute to Jane Austen who spent the final year of her life in Winchester and is buried here. It has a good selection but it is upstairs in the children’s section that the shop excels, the space is colourful, bright and warm. Just around the corner, there is the Winchester Bookshop on St Georges Street, which is a cute little space filled with second hand books and prints. My favourite place to was the bookshed. Located just outside of the Cathedral grounds, it is exactly as it sounds; two connected sheds filled with books. There was such a wonderful selection of vintage fiction orange penguin classics and pelican books. They only take cash, but it would be difficult for any book lover to step foot in there and not purchase anything.
After this, we strolled back in towards the main shopping district, we strolled up to the Great Hall, which plays host to King Arthurs Round Table. There are also some underground networking tunnels that you can glimpse into, allowing you to delve into the cities prestigious history.
Overall, Winchester is an ideal day trip from London for anyone who likes history, books or nice chocolate.