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Winchester Cathedral

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Address: 9 The Close, Winchester SO23 9LS, England
Phone Number:
+44 1962 857200
Today
09:30 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 12:30 - 15:00
Mon - Sat 09:30 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

Fifteen centuries of English history lie behind the magnificent Cathedral...

Fifteen centuries of English history lie behind the magnificent Cathedral you see today. It stands at the heart of historic Winchester, once the seat of Anglo-Saxon and Norman royal power, on the site of an early Christian church. Begun in 1079, the Cathedral has been a place of worship ever since.

Today the Cathedral welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and in recent years has become well known for its annual Christmas Market and open-air ice rink, which alone attract over 350,000 visitors.

A walk round the Cathedral takes you through centuries of English architecture. Particularly striking is the vast gothic nave, the longest medieval nave in Europe. Great works of art, including paintings, sculptures and carvings can be found throughout the building. Don’t miss the Crypt, this atmospheric part of the Cathedral is home to Antony Gormley’s contemplative statue ‘Sound II’ which, after prolonged periods of rainfall can be seen standing in water.

The Winchester Bible, the largest and finest of all surviving 12th-century English bibles, is one of the Cathedral’s greatest treasures. Its exquisitely illuminated capital letters, coloured with gold and lapis lazuli, are as intense today as they would have been 800 years ago.

The Cathedral is the resting place of many influential and famous people including Saxon kings, bishops and the much-loved English novelist Jane Austen, who was buried in the Cathedral in 1817. An exhibition telling of Jane’s life in Hampshire can be found beside her grave and a memorial plaque funded by her nephew is on the wall adjacent.

A guided tour provided by the Cathedral’s own volunteer guides is by far the best way to explore the building. Available on the hour from 10am – 3pm Monday to Saturday, these hour-long tours really do bring the Cathedral, its characters and history to life.

It’s worth taking the time to walk through the Cathedral’s historic Inner Close where you will find beautiful buildings and hidden gardens and a gateway to a pretty area of the City known as Kingsgate Village.

A perfect way to round-off your visit is a visit to The Refectory, serving homemade cakes, a seasonal lunch menu and a good range of drinks. The pretty terrace and orchard with outdoor seating enjoy good views of the Cathedral.

The Cathedral Shop sells a wide range of gifts, cards, books and music, many items have been commissioned especially for the Cathedral so can’t be found anywhere else. A selection of products are available to purchase online via the cathedral website.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,577 reviews
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    Very good
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Wonderful tour

Had an amazing tour guide who brought everything to life . Well worth the entry fee. The tour lasted about an hour but was so interestingly the time went really quickly. Would... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
kevsue
,
dorset
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2,577 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,379: English reviews
dorset
Level Contributor
124 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Had an amazing tour guide who brought everything to life . Well worth the entry fee. The tour lasted about an hour but was so interestingly the time went really quickly. Would recommend

Helpful?
Thank kevsue
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Don't miss. Yes you pay addmission, unless you are attending a service, visiting on a Sunday or wish to light a candle or pray. The tours are free given by knowledgeable volunteers the setting of the Cathedral is superb and whilst restoration is going on some parts are closed. They say it costs £10,000.00 per day to keep this building... More 

Helpful?
Thank PWCW36
Chichester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

A very good place to visit the cathedral is full of friendly staff who are so helpful to answer questions about the cathedral. Well worth the money to visit.

Helpful?
Thank Christian J
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Magnificent architecture, many hours worth of fascinating detail to enable a deeper understanding of the history of England, art, culture and the Christian faith.

Helpful?
Thank Rod L
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

What a beautiful Cathedral. History of it is amazing. Architecture stunning. A must visit . It's also free on Sunday.

Helpful?
Thank Shannon W
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Winchester Cathedral is a very interesting place with a rich history. There are regular tours throughout the day which you can join - we have been on the tour several times and the guides are full of information and each has a slightly different slant so you gain something every time you go. We have also been twice to the... More 

Helpful?
Thank duncan329
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Lived in Winchester for many years and never had a tour of our beautiful Cathedral which is steeped in history. Wonderful animated tour with knowledgeable and engaging narrator, Harry. Completely fascinating and enjoyed by everyone in our small group. Small admission fee covers all visits to Cathedral for one year. Must do if visiting Winchester.

Helpful?
Thank Joanie343
Presteigne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Visited cathedral with friends and had one of the tour guides. What an amazing building and the tour was excellent, very informative and interesting, well worth doing. Would thoroughly recommend visiting.

Helpful?
Thank FizzyDD
Winchester,
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Stunning views in the morning mist, highly moving and educational visit. The cathedral shop was wonderful lovely gifts at great prices and very helpful staff

Helpful?
Thank Paul P
East Grinstead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A really impressive cathedral and I have seen quite a lot. I particularly liked the nativity scene which glowed all the way to the entrance at the back and was lit with a blue glowing light above. Masses of history plus an excellent little exhibition of the meaning of the Creed in modern terms bringing some spiritual meaning to what... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jane W

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