Our day trip to Winchester.

We don’t own a car. Yet. I say yet as after three years of not owning a car I am starting to wonder what possessed me. And has it now been excorsised? We struggle with the food shop. EVERY TWO WEEKS. We own a house and have to use up a whole day off just to get to a DIY store and back on a bus. That’s BEFORE we’ve even done any DIY! We rent cars when we visit family, expensive I can tell you. We take trains everywhere. No fun when you have to rely on the train people’s schedule and not your own.

So when we have a whole week off we do all the DIY we can and throw in a few day trips to break things up.

Today, dispite the patchy rain and intermittant sunshine, we journied by train to Winchester. It’s a ten minute bike ride to the local ferry port, a seven and a half minute ferry ride to the train station and then an hour on a train to Winchester. I’m sure we could get there quicker if we had a car but that’s a story for another post.

We hit the high street, grabbed a coffee and pastry and then found ourselves a Primark; and might I say, the NICEST, TIDIEST, CLEANEST, NEWEST, QUIETEST and most remarkable Primark I have ever had the occasion to visit. After this we needed culture. For that OH and I need Museums.

I wanted to go to the Cathedral so we worked our way up the high street to the Concil buildings and the Great Hall- a Medieval looking creation with arched, vaulted cielings, gothic arches and a Round Table, complete with King Arthur portrait and the names of every Knight painted around it’s edge.

Then we found ourselves the Winchester Military Museums and had a really nice wander through the ‘Horse Power’ exibit (The King’s Gaurd) with the whole place all to ourselves.

After that we headed out and back into town for lunch at The Pitcher & Piano. All I can say is. Yum. And… With the BBQ burger, you’ve got to be ready for a challenge; an 8oz juicy burger with bacon, jalepenos, tangy bbq sauce and creamy cheddar cheese toppings and fries.

Back to Museums and we journied half-way up the high street again to The City Museum located at the edge of the Cathedral’s boundary gates. An incredible building and some really fantastic early Winchester history- from the Iron Age to Tudor society.

Then, The Cathedral. Apart from the fact that it is the only Cathedral/Abbey/Church I’ve ever paid a rather excessive and irritating addmission fee for the interior was stunning. I will admit my heart lies in Durham Cathedral; it’s architecture, it’s atmosphere, it’s setting. It is magic. So close to my heart now that even the incredible Winchester Cathedral cannot come close. It’s beautiful but the volunteer at the door immediately offended me by insulting my northern accent. This is one reason why I do not like talking to volunteers in religious settings. They assume as I am under twenty five I am undeserving of common courtesy as I’m probably a rude lout myself. But any way, we saw the memorial for Jane Austen and marvelled at the amazing stained glass and (my favourite feature in Cathedrals) the ceiling…

All in all a wonderful day, Winchester is a beautiful city. The history is well presented and obviously a key part to city, I wouldn’t just visit for shopping although there are some great boutiques and variety. As far as the Cathedral is concerned it was awe inspiring but the thing is… I still love Durham. It’s magic has woven itself into my bones.

I am monogomous when it comes to architecture 😉

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