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Winchester is a mere 15 minutes away, and is full of opportunities for fun and frolics. This ancient capital of England is packed with historical sights and there are events taking place throughout the year.

Marwell Zoo, situated just outside of Winchester, is a great day out. The zoo is the only place in the UK where you can see the Coquerel's Mouse lemur and the Dorcas gazelle; two species not to be missed.

Winchester Cathedral, which is more than 1,000 years old, is home to more than just a few cobwebs. Full of history and well-preserved art, the cathedral hosts a variety of community events including classical concerts, open-air theatre, themed lunches and a huge Christmas market. In the summer months the cathedral grounds are perfect for a picnic in the sun.

Visit the Great Hall and King Arthur’s Round Table. Situated atop the High Street, just left of the Westgate, the hall is one of the best preserved halls in England. If you’re after the full story surrounding the history of Winchester, head over to the City Museum for Winchester’s famous historical residents and stories.

Fan of Jane Austen? Her house in Chawton, where she lived from 1809-1817, is home to memorabilia, pictures and letters, as well as many of her treasured possessions. Good for a gander, particularly if you’re a fan of period literature or drama.

If you’re feeling the energy why not hop on your bike. The whole city is bike-friendly and picturesque. However - you have been warned - prepare for a tough ride up St Catherine's Hill.

Every Sunday, there is a themed market - farmers produce, vintage and antique goods, and arts and crafts are all on offer; great places to have a browse and pick up a bargain.

The annual Hat Fair in July is also a great event not to be missed. It began in 1974, when it started out as a buskers' festival, and has now grown into a huge outdoor spectacle of street performances, processions and workshops. And the best bit… it's all free!

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