Located in the rolling hills of the South Downs, Winchester is an excellent place to visit if you want to be surrounded by countryside yet still have urban comforts. This once capital city of England is especially pretty during the autumn, with colours of red, orange and gold surrounding you wherever you go. Let’s explore some of the best things to do in Winchester this autumn.
South Downs Way
This ancient city is the western starting place for the South Downs Way, a one hundred mile path from here to Eastbourne on the East Sussex coast. For the whole way, it lies inside a National Park (South Downs), which is the only National Trail to do so. The official gateway onto this trail is the Winchester City Mill on the River Itchen, which is worth a visit itself. If you only want a short walk, Cheesefoot Head is the perfect place to visit where you can see the natural amphitheatre, the spot where General Eisenhower addressed American troops before D-Day in 1944.
This museum was a former rifle depot for Winchester’s Pennisula Barracks and has a compelling history of the Gurkhas who were recruited by the British Army from the last two hundred years. The Gurkhas have always been known for their bravery, with 26 Victoria Crosses having been awarded to their service. You can see footage on touchscreen displays and take in uniforms, weapons, paintings and war trophies which are all on display here.
St Catherine’s Hill
Sharply rising above the eastern bank of the River Itchen south of Winchester is St Catherine’s Hill. This circular chalk hill which was originally a fort in the Iron Age offers spectacular views of Winchester, so be sure to bring your camera. To the south-east is the Plague Pits Valley, where you’ll be able to see long, rectangular mounds which mark the sites of mass graves from plague outbreaks.
If you’re thinking about visiting Winchester this autumn and wish for more information about things to do, accommodation recommendations and where the best places to eat are, visit our website today.