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Winchester Cathedral

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Address: 9 The Close, Winchester SO23 9LS, England
Phone Number:
+44 1962 857200
Website
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 2,618 reviews
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Fantastic Cathedral

One of the best Cathedrals we have been too - absolutely huge and full of historical interest. So much to look at here that it will take you a good part of the day. Various... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
emtrey
,
Enford, United Kingdom
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2,618 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,420: English reviews
Enford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
402 reviews
253 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

One of the best Cathedrals we have been too - absolutely huge and full of historical interest. So much to look at here that it will take you a good part of the day. Various historical ages of architecture went into the building and it is all there to see. The last resting places of several Saxon Kings as well... More 

Helpful?
Thank emtrey
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
125 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

We were in Winchester for the weekend and I'd hoped to be able to get to Evensong; luckily our plans made this possible. As a student I lived nearby and regularly attended the cathedral for Evensong in the days when David Hill was organist and DM. The choir is every bit as good under Andrew Lumsden and Winchester and the... More 

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Thank timpaws
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

My mother and I went to visit for the day and took the free tour which was really lovely. The guide was very informative and surprisingly interesting, even for a fourteen year old :) We also stayed for the evensong which was really beautiful. The chamber choir was stunning. I would highly recommend a visit.

Helpful?
Thank Hannah R
Clacton-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
181 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Great architecture, lots of history and plenty to see and marvel at. Admission isnt free but worth the £5.95. Make time to visit the gift shop and cafe opposite.

Helpful?
Thank Ifachef
Malmesbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Our first time visiting Winchester Cathedral, WOW, fantastic >>> Stayed for evensong and glad we did, great service and the choir was so good.

Helpful?
Thank Starman100
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We visited the Cathedral and, even with the restoration, the information on display was excellent and made the visit to such an imposing place of worship more personal. We had a guided tour by Bill Weeks. Although this tour was free we would have happily paid. Bill's enthusiasm and passion was evident throughout the tour. He was articulate, engaging and... More 

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Thank Berksa
Taunton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Interesting and full of history, what amazing stained glass windows, intricate and delicate stone work, dominates the city skyline very imposing.

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Thank stevensaacg
Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Just an amazing building. Heard a choir practising just before Christmas and the acoustics were phenomenal. Great gift shop attached to the Cathedral with some really lovely Christmas decorations at very reasonable prices.

Helpful?
Thank Alex D
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The striking beauty and fascinating history of this great building is made all the more enjoyable by the welcoming atmosphere and excellent balance achieved between a place of cultural interest and a working place of worship.

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Thank Mary N
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

It was a dreary day in February, but this cathedral made me happy I ventured out. Beautiful stained glass everywhere and and interesting patchwork floor that shows the church's age in an interesting way. It felt like everywhere you turned there was something interesting to see and the access was nice(not a lot roped off so you couldn't get close... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kristin S

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