Winchester, England – a small city with a big history.   Of particular interest to many adults and children is the period of Medieval Britain from the shock of the Norman Conquest led by William the Conqueror in 1066.  The Normans built impressive castles and imposed a feudal system.  (For more information and timelines see

Photo below:

The famous Winchester Cathedral.  Winchester was the original, ancient Capital of England…in 1519 it was chosen as the capital of the kingdom of Wessex;  and in 827, Egbert the first King of all England was crowned here.  It then remained the Capital and the most important city in England until the 11th Century.  William (or ‘William the Conqueror’) became King of England in 1066.  

An interesting hero!…see photo below.  How could a deep sea diver save the Winchester Cathedral?  Talk with an adult, get some clues from the next 2 photos and then research the story behind this famous man whose statue, in his honour, can be found inside the Cathedral.  You could go to for William Walker’s story “The diver who saved the cathedral”.

All that is left of some of the ancient castles…see below for explanation of what this castle looked like in it’s original form

Queen’s Statue Below:

Who is the very famous Queen honoured with this statue (also in the Winchester Cathedral)?  No, it’s not the current Queen Elizabeth.  The Queen in this photo was Queen of England as well as “Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 to 1901 – the 2nd longest reign of any other British monarch in history.  She was one of the most powerful and influential people in British history.” (

Around Winchester is the typical English countryside…green hills, flowing streams and beautiful swans as well as baby swans.  Do you remember the name of baby swans?  These “babies” will gradually change from grey to white like their mother.


As a child growing up in Australia with an ancestry of Scottish immigrants (on Mum’s side) & English (a century or so back on Dad’s side) I was familiar with some (not all) of the traditional “English Food” that can be seen in the image below (from Net).  Some of the food I had never heard of until travelling to the UK for the first time (when I was an adult).  For example, spotted dick, faggots, treacle tart;  others have been very popular in Australia (scones, cream or milky tea, Sunday roast, sausage rolls, fish & chips, yeast extract – our variety is called Vegemite an acquired taste it seems!  The other tradition I enjoyed was mushy peas (& a lot healthier than any of these foods listed!).  Fortunately, our grandfather was a fisherman (originally from Nth of Scotland, UK) on Sydney Harbour (Balmain) from 1920s-late 1960s so we regularly had meals of very fresh fish & mushy peas…delicious!  We sometimes had real egg custard tarts (so much nicer than factory produced type in supermarkets now) with some fruit slices for dessert.  As Australia became more Multicultural we experimented with recipes from many different countries – at first Italian and Chinese & later recipes from all over the world.  I’m lucky now, my husband is a fabulous cook (especially now he has retired) – he’s inspired by recipes from around the world although he does enjoy the occasional Full English Breakfast (see photo below)…with Australian/English ancestry this particular taste preference might be in the genes??😉

Full English Breakfast (photo above)…

also a weekend tradition in some Australian households like ours although many of us are trying to get healthier so we cut back on sausages & bacon & add some advocado – a food that only became available in Australia about 30 years ago.  Our food has become so much more interesting since Multiculturalism increased in Australia.  We notice that similar has happened in the UK – especially in the major towns and cities in both countries.

English Tea drinking tradition…

In our 2 families we grew up with this tradition (milky tea) in Australia but over the last few decades things changed and many of us started to prefer the fresh taste of black or herbal teas without milk.   We made the change after our frequent travels in Asia (more posts to come) during our younger years.  In Asian countries, milk was often not available so we got use to tea without milk and then started to prefer it.  So, it’s possible to change your tastes!…now we’re trying to reduce our sugar intake – so many recipes are far too sweet or salty for us now.

Other nearby places to visit near Winchester:

London – Capital of England – about 1 hr on the train.  A separate post on London to come…so much to see & do there!

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument 13 km (8 miles) north of Salisbury (see below).  “Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC.  The earliest phase of the monument (a circular earth bank & ditch)…have been dated to about 3100 BC.   One of the most famous landmarks in the UK, Stonehenge is regarded as a British cultural icon.”…”Stonehenge could have been a burial ground from its earliest beginnings.” (Wikipedia ’16).  More to come in other posts.

The mystery of Stonehenge is related to the question…how did the stones get there?  “Evidence suggests some of the iconic stones travelled all the way from Wales (see map) – 250 Km (155 miles) away!  Some of the stones weigh a whopping 27 tons!”  (Lonely Planet for Kids ’16…A Journey Through Every Country in the World)

Salisbury – 1 hour on a bus (approximately);  train – 1+ hours (approx)

Oxford – 1 hour on the train;  1 hour by car (approximately)…lots to see along the way like historic castles (more in our next post)