A Visitors’ Guide to an Autumnal Stroll around England’s Former Capital

Autumn is the most beautiful time of the year and as memorable as a multi-colored sunset. The leaves, enhanced by the sun shining on and filtering through, glowing with shades of amber, red and gentle mauve, yellow and orange. The visitor is greeted by the dramatic vista of Nature’s preparation for the coming months, a myriad of colors, distinct, and recognizable Autumn scent all form part of the majestic display providing an opportunity for the onlooker to stare in mesmeric fascination. Collectively a proud display of scenic beauty.

Winchester beckons the walker to wander along the Water Meadows to the City. Past the famous Winchester College, founded in 1382, believed to be the oldest continuously running school in Britain. The school motto, ‘Manners Makyth Man’ needs no explanation.

Glancing around, the majesty of Nature’s grace is awe-inspiring. The ruins of Wolvesey Castle and residence inspired by Bishop Henry Blois who was related to William the Conqueror, this the 12th-century masterpiece is both impressive and atmospheric.

Liberate the imagination, float back in time, and witness in the mind’s eye the full glory of this once-majestic creation.

Walking around the ruins of this truly amazing all-encompassing former architectural masterpiece, the arches, gargoyles, former treasury, kitchen area, fresh water system, and dramatic height of the towers leaves the visitor enchanted with the history and magnificence of this historic wonder. Glancing to the right, the remains of an original Roman wall.

Exiting the castle, stroll along the side of the River Itchen. overlooked by the medieval city wall and battlements, the crenelations still seemingly offering defense from intruders. The rippling sound of the river and quacking ducks, graceful swans; so peaceful and calm yet minutes from the High Street and bustling markets of one of England’s most iconic treasures and former capital of England, The City of Winchester.

The Winchester City Mill, today managed by the National Trust, is the most ancient in England and is the western gateway to the South Downs. Beneath the Mill, the water gushes down with an aquatic applause of a waterfall as it reaches the surface of the River Itchen. The Mill is steeped in history from the Saxon period, spanning a thousand years. A few minutes’ from the statue of King Alfred the Great are the Winnall Moors and nature reserve. So close to the city center it is hard to imagine that the only views are that of spectacular woodland, streams, the River Itchen (favored by the Poet Keats as a walk along the pathway) leading to the Water Meadows and beyond.

Within the immediate area a splendid patisserie, and Tudor period and older inns, resplendent with low wooden beamed ceilings.

Clearly visible is the mystic St. Giles’ Hill boasting different types of arboreal splendor, tempting the arbor onlooker to climb to the summit and witness the most dramatic Autumnal views of the historic gem that is Winchester. The scenic beauty of St. Giles’ Hill is enhanced by the all-round vistas. The open space at the top is surrounded by such glorious trees and glancing up at these majestic beauties a different perspective and view grace those who remember to look upwards towards the sky and Universe beyond. It would be a challenge not to stop and stare at the natural at the cherished and much loved St. Giles’ Hill which is enhanced by the all-round vistas; in one direction, St. Catherine’s Hill looms up in the distance tempting the walker to venture forth another day. Another direction, Winchester Cathedral rises up out of the city center it’s one thousand year history a marvel of architectural wonder and beauty. From an observation platform, the shades of Autumn bless the city center with warmth and majesty.

On descending, wandering through winding pathways, trees on either side, pause to look at the iconic statue of King Alfred the Great; the only English monarch to be afforded the title ‘Great’. King of Wessex from 871 – 866 and King of the Anglo-Saxons from 886 to 899. The statue is both strong, protective of his citizens, and seen as a true icon of Winchester.

Enjoy the historical significance, peace, and tranquility of the countryside, just minutes from the city center. Flowing water and beautiful gardens. Winchester is a wonderful friendly city and a must to visit.

So what does Autumn offer, apart from the gateway to winter? Autumn calms the mind, gently caressing our hearts with colors so gentle, blessing our senses and lifting us out of the reality that is the end of summer. Autumn is without doubt the most colorful of seasons and the hues on the leaves change almost daily. There a specific scent in the air, squirrels rush about gathering nuts to hide for the winter (and sometimes forget where they hid them).

Walking through woodland in Autumn lifts the spirits in a similar way that Springtime presents a re-birth of Nature. Autumn is a reminder that there is an ever-present entity that if recognized, enlightens the heart; opens the heart to the gift of the Universe. For Mother Nature is a gift that should never be taken for granted.

A Beacon of Splendor at any time of the year, but Autumn inspires the imagination with colors so varied and dramatic.


Simon Lever
Simon Lever
Prior to his retirement, Simon engaged in software and services sector search and recruitment for American companies around Europe. He has retained the enjoyment of engaging with people from other countries and cultures. His energies are now directed towards voluntary community activities, journaling, and exhibition stewardship. He is a Featured Contributor for BizCatalyst 360°. As an Exhibition Steward, at the 1000-year-old Winchester Cathedral, he is responsible for guiding visitors from the world over, around the award-winning 'Kings and Scribes Exhibition', which includes the 900-year-old Winchester Bible. The exhibition introduces visitors to Winchester's historical significance as a former capital of England. Simon's journaling activities are published on BizCatalyst 360° and accompanying posts on LinkedIn, He acknowledges the inspiration afforded him by Carol Campos of Massachusetts: Life Strategist, Writer, and Intuitive Business Leader who introduced him to writing with feeling; from the heart. Simon's forté is creative writing; the accent on the natural environment, transforming feelings, emotions, sights, sounds, and scents of Mother Nature's landscape; hills and rivers and woodland into words, transporting the reader to the locations. Essays include accounts of his life in former days. Instinctively writing in such a spontaneous manner, descriptions become life-like. His often emotionally charged writing, whether describing a surreal 'Son et Lumière' at the Grand Place in Brussels to experiences acquired during European business travel. Journaling and Exhibition Steward activities are his key sources of inspiration and creativity. Kindness is ever more important, where he is a promoter of Shelly Elsliger PPCC's 'Decide to be Kind' Campaign. Simon champions Positivity, Empathy, and Kindness and has been described as a 'Beacon of Positivity'.

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    • Thank you everso, Carol. Your comment is so much appreciated. It is my honor and privilege to share the wonders of Winchester with you.

  1. What a wonderful share.
    I just really loved it simon it was exquisite! And again the walk was just amazing with al the beautiful especcialy with al the pictures.
    What a writing, from the
    Winchester College,
    the waterfall that reaches the surface of the River Itchen, the statue of King Alfred the Great , the beauty of the mystic St. Giles’ Hill, the sound of the river, the scent of the air, haha and the squirrels.

    “Autumn is a reminder that there is an ever-present entity that if recognized, enlightens the heart; opens the heart to the gift of the Universe. For Mother Nature is a gift that should never be taken for granted.”

    I don’t remember reading a writing so beautiful when it comes to autum. Thank you for this Simon.