Two weeks ago, I finally made a day trip to Winchester. I’d wanted to go there for such a long time, but somehow my weekends were always filled with something. A week before that, I wanted to go there to see the bonfire night, but finally chose to go to London instead to see my friend. Then I think, ‘Oh, it’s only 30 minutes away anyway. I’ll just go there near Christmas to see the Christmas market.’
When I told my friend about this plan, she said, “Oh, go earlier before it starts snowing so you can walk around.” I took her advice and was glad to do so, because walking around the city turned out to be one of my favorites. I like the fact that it’s such a small town, in which you can walk round without vehicles speeding on your side.
The good thing about Winchester is, everything I wanted to see is centrally located, within walking distance. For a student with a tight budget like me, this is important because I can cut the bus ticket out of my expense (and spend the money to buy, I don’t know, fancy meal, for example).
Since it was still early, we went to the one thing that had already opened: the farmers’ market. Looking at the colorful tents and vegetables could really brighten up my mood, somehow. The bonus was the delicious-smelling bakeries that were there for every few feet.
After that, we took a stroll along River Itchen. Now, Winchester is a beautiful city and it’s hard to say which part is my favorite because everything in here captured my heart, but walking along the river is definitely on the top list. Just imagine walking along a path with sparkling river on one side, and a high wall that surrounds a castle on the other. It was peaceful, beautiful, and exciting at the same time, if it’s even possible.
The cathedral (which is claimed to be the longest in the Europe) was also breathtaking. It was packed with people since it was Remembrance Sunday. I didn’t expect it to be that crowded, but somehow it fit nicely with the sunny weather.
A little walk uphill, we found Winchester Castle and walked inside to see the Round Table. Not my favorite, but it was okay. The Round Table didn’t attract me somehow, but the intricate details did.
After that, we walked downhill back to the city center and decided to go to St. Giles Hill. The walk there was my least favorite part, to be honest. I panted like crazy for the last half way, and said, ‘I hope it’s worth it.’ Thankfully, it was. Even better, it was my favorite part of the day. Sitting on the bench and looking at the town below felt peaceful and serene, somehow.
By 5 pm it was already dark and we had nowhere else to go (plus, we were freezing). We decided to call it a day and went home, having a glimpse of the town in the dark as the last view before boarding the bus.
What I really like about Winchester is the oldish charm that it has, which reminded me of Bruges (oh, how I miss that little town with the canals, Minnewater, and Belfry Tower). Even strolling around River Itchen felt a bit like walking along the canals in Bruges. This visit reminded me so much of Bruges that I’m considering going there again if possible (Easter break, perhaps?).
It was only a day but I’ve fallen for Winchester. Thank God for the close proximity, I’ll definitely go there again and again. And I can’t wait for the Christmas market. Winchester is already beautiful without one, but I can imagine that with Christmas paraphernalia that will fill the city, it will be a beauty I wouldn’t miss for the world.
See you then, Winchester!
P.S. My first article about Sumbawa for the Wessex Scene was published recently, and I’m just so excited (a little bit too much, actually). I love that place so much so writing about it has never been easier. Click here and here to see more photos of that amazing place.