Offbeat Places in Winchester


Winchester, a city steeped in history and renowned for its iconic cathedral and medieval streets, holds hidden treasures beyond the usual tourist spots. If you’re eager to venture off the beaten path and discover the less explored corners of this historic city, here are some offbeat places that offer a unique perspective on Winchester.

Winchester City Mill

Tucked away along the River Itchen, the Winchester City Mill is a charming gem that often escapes the typical tourist itinerary. This working watermill dates back centuries, providing visitors with a glimpse into traditional milling practices. You can witness the grinding of grain and learn about the mill’s historical significance. The mill’s picturesque location and the soothing sounds of the flowing river make for a delightful offbeat experience.

The Chesil Rectory

Step into The Chesil Rectory, Winchester’s oldest house, now transformed into an elegant and quirky restaurant. The atmosphere exudes historic charm with its exposed beams and antique decor. This offbeat dining spot offers a delectable culinary journey, showcasing locally sourced ingredients and a menu inspired by traditional British cuisine. For those seeking a unique dining experience away from the bustling eateries, The Chesil Rectory is a delightful find.

The Westgate

While many tourists visit Winchester’s Cathedral, fewer explore the nearby Westgate—a well-preserved medieval gatehouse offering a glimpse into the city’s past. Climbing to the top offers a panoramic view of Winchester, providing a fresh perspective on the city’s layout and history. The Westgate Museum inside unveils the gatehouse’s fascinating history, making it an offbeat historical stop for the curious traveler.

St. John’s House

For history enthusiasts and those intrigued by Winchester’s past, a visit to St. John’s House is a must. This lesser-known museum holds a captivating collection, including archaeological finds and artifacts spanning centuries. The house itself is a historical gem, with Tudor and Georgian architectural elements. It’s an offbeat yet enriching experience that adds depth to your understanding of Winchester’s evolution.

Hyde Tavern

Escape the mainstream and immerse yourself in the cozy ambiance of the Hyde Tavern, a traditional English pub brimming with character. Located in a historic building, this pub offers a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere. Enjoy a pint of ale or a hearty meal in the welcoming surroundings of this local haunt, away from the bustling crowds that often frequent more touristy spots.

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