I absolutely love exploring, whether it’s somewhere ten minutes down the road or an eight hour plane journey away. I love the exciting feeling of being somewhere new, finding out what’s there and seeing how different it is to where I live. I even find shopping on a different high street more enjoyable too. This year I decided not to travel abroad, mainly because I was moving to a new house. That being said, there are so many beautiful places in the UK that I really wanted to start ticking some of them off my list. If I am completely honest, I have a little bit… ok quite a large UK bucket list and I am slowly making my way through them and seeing what they have to offer.
As you might have seen from Instagram or Twitter, I have been on the go again and this time I have been exploring Winchester. I was able to go with the girls for an overnight stay to celebrate one of their birthdays and it was absolutely perfect. After hours of trawling through the internet, Jess found us the most perfect Air B&B – what a babe! It also happened to be the most beautiful and Instagram worthy home, that was conveniently ten minutes walking distance from the town. It had 3 floors with 2 bedrooms sleeping 5 people with 3 bathrooms. We had full use of the living space as well as a parking spot right outside the house. Of course the highlight of our stay was the gorgeous patio and garden area, where we were able to drink tea, have a catch up and soak up the sunshine whilst eating breakfast the next morning.
With just under 24 hours to explore, we decided that a cup of tea, a biscuit and a re-group was a must before heading into town. We then spent the afternoon wandering around the historical town and mooching along the high street. The feel of it instantly reminded me of Chester, which I loved (you can read all about that trip here). Once we had found our bearings, we decided to go and see the beautiful cathedral. From there we went on a little stroll and saw sights such as the medieval city walls, the ruins of Wolvesey Castle, one of the homes of Jane Austen and Winchester College. The town is so quiet and picturesque. It has plenty of ‘touristy spots’ and sights to see without all of the chaos. I loved that we could fit so many places in to such a short amount of time and that everything was in walking distance and really easy to find.
I would also recommend a walk along the river, which is absolutely beautiful. I think it’s the River Itchen and there are plenty of different walks/trails to follow depending on how much time you have and how far you want to walk. There are some lovely places to stop along the way, including some beautiful flower gardens or the beer kind if you fancy a little break, a quick selfie or a cheeky Pimms. We wandered along the weirs and was quickly confused as the river disappeared under one of the buildings. It does however come out the other side and you can carry along the trail if you haven’t already been suckered in by the beer garden of course.
The town itself is full of independent restaurants, pubs/bars and coffee shops, as well as your typical chain restaurants. There are plenty of side streets and even alley ways to wander down that lead to more hidden gems and places to stop and refuel. We were definitely spoilt for choice.
On Sunday we decided to head to the Cheese and Chilli festival before making our way home. There were endless amounts of stalls selling things such as nachos, fudge, watermelon cocktails, chilli’s and of course all the cheese. It’s definitely worth checking local or council websites before any trip to see if there are any events going on at the time of your visit.
We had a fantastic weekend catching up with each other and exploring somewhere new. Even though we were out and about most of the time, it was definitely a relaxed weekend and I enjoyed it so much. Winchester has plenty to keep you busy for a weekend with lots to see and do, but it’s all so easy to get to that it keeps the visit stress free and relaxing.
Have you been to Winchester before? Let me know in the comments where your favourite places to visit are.