Once England's capital, Winchester today is a graceful cathedral city with some stunning Elizabethan and Regency architecture, and beautiful green countryside surrounding it. This is a great place for a simple city break for folk who want to see a bit more than London, and the best places to stay in Winchester are ideal for relaxing breaks involving great food and some scenic strolling.
Winchester's position, in a charming river valley, is one of the reasons this Celtic hilltop fort finally became a Saxon city and was proclaimed capital by King Alfred - and it stayed the capital until the Norman invasion of 1066.
So, as you might imagine, there's plenty of fascinating local history to discover while you're strolling around the old City Centre, the Cathedral, and Winchester Great Hall, the only surviving part of the 13th Century castle, and home to what is supposedly King Arthur's famous round table.
Winchester also has a working water mill, museum, several beautiful gardens and parks and two surviving medieval city gates.
It's a popular destination, so if you're planning an escape, get organised and book early if you want to reserve one of the best places to stay in Winchester.
Still not sure? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Winchester, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Or widen the net and take a look at all our recommendations in Hampshire.
Quirky prison-themed B&B that’s both stylish and comfortable with 10 ‘cells’ and nearby sister wine bar, The Black Boy and Michelin star restaurant, The Black Rat. City bolt hole for couples who want something a bit different or solo travellers after solitary confinement! Children are welcome.
Modernised 17th century country house set in lovely parklands. Large rooms with antique furniture, sash windows and some with four poster beds. Excellent award winning cuisine, cosy bar and fragrant gardens. With plenty of countryside activities nearby, it's the perfect romantic luxury escape.
This four star inn is brilliantly placed for people wanting to explore Winchester by foot. The relaxed vibe throughout the hotel makes it great for families whilst charming rooms mean couples will like it too. Hearty meals, fine wines and ales are served in the bistro pub. A welcoming stay.
An award winning centrally located pub with comfortable individually decorated guest rooms is well situated, close to the cathedral, for city sight-seeing. Couples will love the cosy romantic feel and friendly, helpful service.
In an ideal location close to the centre of Winchester and perfect for couples escaping for a city break. Three individually decorated rooms feature charming design quirks such as antique mirrors and lighting, refurbished doors and bedheads and reclaimed Victorian radiators.
The original Hotel du Vin, well located in a fine Georgian building in the town centre. Elegant rooms mixing period features with contemporary design. A warm and welcoming bistro and buzzy bar complete the picture. An excellent base for local exploring.