Eat, Drink, Sleep

Les Routiers recommends quality establishments in the UK and Ireland

Weekend in Winchester


Winchester is packed with historic buildings, museums, family attractions and tranquil green spaces. Here at Les Routiers we want to guide you through the best places to visit in Winchester, Hampshire and mention some fabulous independent establishments too.


Sample the local delights at the Winchester Farmers’ Market, which takes place on the second and final Sunday of each month all year round in Winchester Cathedral Close. Officially the largest Farmers’ market in the UK with a record 95 stalls – it was also voted best in the country by the Guardian Food Magazine! Visit the market to savour the finest localities such as watercress to water buffalo steaks, organic product to ostrich meat!

For an inspiring day out for all ages why not explore more than 1000 years of history in Europe’s longest medieval Cathedral. Discover the beautiful illuminated Winchester Bible, 12th-century wall paintings, medieval carvings, contemporary art and the awe and wonder of this magnificent building. This wonderful day out features a free children’s trail, written by a professional children’s writer. It offers families a fun, informative look at the Cathedral, introduces them to some of the characters associated with its colourful past and present. The guided tours run every hour from 10am until 3pm with tours of the crypt starting at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm Monday to Saturday. Winchester hosts a wide range of events throughout the year, from classical concerts, open-air theatre, themed lunches, exhibitions, a major Christmas Market and real Ice Rink. If you want to have a drink in beautiful surroundings then you have to visit the Cathedral Café. With its pretty garden and open-air terrace, it is the perfect place to stop for a mid-morning coffee and pastry, delicious homemade lunch or Hampshire cream tea.

Just outside of Winchester sits the famous Marwell Big Cat Zoo, get up close to the wonders of the natural world –  play a big part in helping to save them. Visit the Madagascar enclosure which holds five different types of  lemurs, laughing kookaburra, frilled lizards, golden lion tamarins and  bat-eared foxes! The park stretches across 140-acre, is home to over 180 exotic and endangered species, in beautiful, landscaped surroundings. Don’t forget to go and see the gorgeous young snow leopard cubs as they climb rocks, play fight and chase mum!  The zoo has three play areas, a wide range of food and drink outlets, as well as all the beautiful animals, there are regular events taking place at Marwell Zoo all to help raise money to save these endangered striking creatures.

Winchester is also home to the best Sunday roast in thPhoenix_ hampshiree UK! It can found in the Phoenix Inn a Les Routiers listed establishment, a regional winner in the best wine pub category of the great British pub awards 2013!The Phoenix Inn has firmly established itself as one of the finest eateries in Hampshire. A friendly, lovely pub featuring old beams, open fires, lots of nooks and crannies, a light airy conservatory, and a magnificent yet interesting, established garden. The food is simple, fresh and locally sourced. With more than 4 real ales always on offer, along with a tasty scrumpy cider. The wine list is well balanced, fairly priced, with 20 wines available by the glass. Enjoy spectacular service in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

A visit to Winchester needn’t cost a penny, it is a vibrant heritage destination just an hour south west of London. With world class attractions, architecture including a magnificent Cathedral, award-winning pubs, restaurants and a tempting array of independent shops there no reason why Winchester shouldn’t be on the agenda for 2014.



January 31, 2014 | Les Routiers UK

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