Visiting Winchester Cathedral

Beautiful Vaulted Ceilings at Winchester Cathedral

From Iron Age forts to Civil War sites, Winchester has a large number of historical sites and monuments, but one of the most visited and undoubtedly the most popular is the medieval Winchester Cathedral.

Winchester Cathedral

With over 1,000 years of history, the cathedral is the resting place of Saxon royalty, bishops and the popular English novelist, Jane Austen. Most tourists begin their trip to Winchester with a visit to the cathedral.

Winchester Cathedral has a fascinating history and the best way to experience it is by joining a guided tour that is free as a part of your entrance ticket. The tours last around 1-1.5 hours and run at regular intervals throughout the day. The guides are trained & knowledgeable and offer great insight into the Cathedral's history. You will learn a lot about the cathedral - its history, the architecture & construction methods, the stained glass panels, the treasures of the Cathedral, the key people involved with the Cathedral, the power struggle and also the key events that shaped the history of England.

Vault of the nave at Winchester Cathedral

Vault of the nave at Winchester Cathedral (above)

The Great Screen - Winchester Cathedral

The Great Screen (above, below)

The Great Screen - Winchester Cathedral
 The Choir Stalls at Winchester Cathedral

The Choir Stalls at Winchester Cathedral (above)

Stained Glass Windows at Winchester Cathedral

Sergei Fyodorov's Iconostasis at Winchester Cathedral

Sergei Fyodorov's Iconostasis at Winchester Cathedral (above)

Vaulted Ceiling - Wichester Cathedral

Vaulted Ceiling - Wichester Cathedral

Vaulted ceilings at Winchester Cathedral (above, below)

Vaulted Ceiling - Wichester Cathedral

We loved the guided tour. We wouldn't have had so much insight into the Cathedral had we not taken the tour. So, I definitely recommended it.

There are two other guided tours available at the Cathedral. The first is the Crypt Tour which allows you to explore one of the oldest parts of the Cathedral. The tour is included in the price of the entrance ticket. Do note that the Crypt Tour may be unavailable during certain times, especially if the Crypt is flooded due to rains.

The second is the Tower tour (separate ticket, £7.50) which allows you to see the ringing chamber, the Cathedral bells and also allows you to walk the full length of the nave roof. The views from the top of the tower are amazing.

Post the guided tour, we made our way to the Kings and Scribes exhibition. Housed across four galleries (A Scribe's Tale, The Birth of a Nation, Decoding the Stones, The Mezzanine), the three-level exhibition in the South Transept of the Cathedral is both interactive and informative and takes visitors through over 1,000 years of history. The Winchester Bible (the largest of all surviving 12th-century English bibles) is on display in this exhibition.

Kings and Scribes exhibition at Winchester Cathedral

Note: Photography is not allowed inside the exhibition galleries for security reasons.

Once you are done exploring, you can head to the Cathedral Refectory to enjoy coffee, lunch or afternoon tea.

Overall, the Cathedral is an absolutely stunning structure, both inside and out, and not surprisingly one of Winchester's most popular attractions.

Vaulted Ceiling - Wichester Cathedral

Plan your visit to the Winchester Cathedral

The Cathedral is open every day of the year (please check the website for current opening times as there were temporary closures due to the pandemic) and admission prices are as follows: Adult £9.95, Concession £8.00, Student £6.50, Children under 16 (with family) go free.

Address | 9 The Close, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LS

Note: 1. Admission prices are correct at the time of publishing this post.
          2. There is no parking within the Cathedral Close or nearby. There are several short-stay and long-stay car parks throughout Winchester though.

For more information on the Cathedral, visit

Winchester's other top attractions

Here are suggestions of some of the other things you can see and do in Winchester:

  • Visit the City Museum to learn the story of Winchester
  • Go on a guided tour of Winchester College
  • Visit Winchester College Treasury
  • Watch a show at Theatre Royal Winchester
  • Visit the Great Hall where history and legend meet
  • Enjoy Winchester's walking trails
  • Shop till you drop at Brooks Shopping Centre
  • Relax and unwind at ANA spa
  • Visit Winchester’s Military Quarter
  • Discover a traditional working watermill at Winchester City Mill

For more detailed information, check out my post on 'How to spend two days in Winchester'.

King Alfred's statue in Winchester

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