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Explore the rich Roman and medieval history of Winchester

Winchester, which began life as Roman Venta Belgarum, has a strong claim to being Britain's ancient capital city. In the chaos that followed the collapse of the Roman empire in the West, Winchester was associated with Arthurian legends, most famously by Malory who identifies the city as Camelot. This was an idea which embraced by kings thereafter, including Edward I who may have made the great Round Table still seen in the Great Hall of Winchester Castle. The city’s greatest claim to fame however comes from another king, Alfred, who placed Winchester at the heart of his Kingdom, reorganising its defences and giving it a gridded street plan which can still be seen today. The lustre of Winchester meant that the city remained central to English history, hosting William the Conqueror’s second coronation, as well as witnessing the truce between Stephen and Matilda. This tour will explore Winchester’s rich past, walking the streets that Alfred laid out, visiting the site of his final resting place, as well as those of other kings, including Canute and William Rufus. We will review its Arthurian heritage in the Great Hall and explore the church and medieval hospital of St Cross which catered to the pilgrims coming to revere the bones of St Swithun. We will see the foundations of the two rival Saxon Minister churches and visit the shrine itself in the Cathedral built by the Normans to replace it, just one of many treasures to be found there.

Tour highlights:

  • Explore the Hospital of St Cross, Britain’s most splendid almshouse
  • Visit Winchester Cathedral in the company of your expert Guide Lecture who will relate the history of the kings buried here
  • Consider Arthurian legends associated with the city while viewing the Round Table in the Great Hall
Tour dates & prices

Included in your cost:

  • Expert Guide Lecturer
  • Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach
  • Meals as per the itinerary, wine and tea or coffee with dinner
  • Accommodation
  • Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
  • All taxes & gratuities
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