Wednesday 10th May. Winchester is England’s ancient capital and former seat of King Alfred the Great. It is situated 98 kms south-west of London. In March 2016 it was named as the best place to live in Britain. Our day started very slowly as we encountered bumper to bumper traffic in London and it took us about an hour to get to Hammersmith. June, our Driver and Guide is competent in traffic and knows the city very well so was able to dodge some of the banked up roads and after a fuel and coffee stop we were on the Motorway to Winchester. Winchester Cathedral was originally built in 1079 and remains the longest cathedral in Europe. It contains much fine architecture spanning 11th to 16th century and is the place of interment of numerous Bishops of Winchester and Anglo-Saxon Monarchs as well as Jane Austen who died in Winchester on 18 July 1817.
After eating a Pannini lunch while sitting in the sun on a wall outside the Cathedral, we were advised that there would be a half hour delay as the bus wouldn’t start – the battery had to be replaced!We had walked the rather charming Winchester High Street where stands the City Cross (also known as the Buttercross) which has been dated to the 15th Century. It is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Time to sit in the sunshine to wait until all was fixed and ready to continue.
BOLLARDS OF WINCHESTER – Prior to leaving home when doing some research, I read of painted Bollards in the heart of Winchester. This is an ongoing project which began in 2005 aimed at injecting colour into the heart of the town. It is home to over 200 uniquely painted cannon bollards.