Winchester is an ancient city in Hampshire, one of the oldest in the land, and was at one time the capital of England. It was a Roman town, named Venta Belgarum.
It stands midway between the South Coast and the Thames Valley, 12 miles to the North of Southampton.
Winchester Cathedral is one of England's finest, with a mixture of Norman and mediaeval building styles, and is the second longest in Europe. It contains the bones of many early Anglo-Saxon and Danish Kings.
In the 19th century the cathedral was in danger of collapse, having been built on boggy ground, but the diver William Walker saved it by working alone for years to replace the footings.
Winchester College, one of England's leading public schools, founded by William of Wykeham, is nearby, as are the ruins of Wolvesey Castle, the mediaeval bishop's palace.
Kingsgate, a 14th century entrance to the cathedral close, has above it the tiny St. Swithun's Church. The imposing Westgate incorporates a museum, and stretches of the 13th century City Walls can still be seen.
The Great Hall is all that survives of Winchester Castle, and is one of the finest mediaeval halls in the land. On the wall is displayed the Round Table, allegedly owned by King Arthur but in reality constructed for Edward I.
In the main street, opposite the Victorian Guildhall, is a statue of King Alfred, erected in 1901.
Among those born in Winchester are Prince Arthur, eldest son of Henry VII; and King Henry III.
The novelist Jane Austen died at Winchester and is buried in the cathedral.
On the Southern outskirts of Winchester is the mediaeval Hospital of St. Cross.
"Winchester Cathedral" was a sucessful pop song in the 1960s.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Winchester for groups.