The Best Hotels and B&Bs Near Winchester Cathedral

Lainston House is a lovely countryside retreat a short drive from Winchester Cathedral
Lainston House is a lovely countryside retreat a short drive from Winchester Cathedral | Courtesy of Lainston House /
Tamsin Wressell

Once the capital of England, the ancient cathedral city of Winchester still maintains a lot of its cobbled charm – its narrow streets dotted with Elizabethan and Regency buildings that house tea rooms, pubs and hotels. And with national parks such as the South Downs National Park surrounding the city, there’s plenty of space to stretch and breathe. From B&Bs almost on the cathedral’s doorstep to nearby countryside retreats, here’s our round-up of the best hotels in Winchester near the historic city’s main attraction – its historical cathedral.

1. The Fox Winchester, for sampling local produce

Pubs with Rooms

Comfy queen room in neutral tones with stained-glass windows and dark wood floors at the Fox Winchester
Courtesy of the Fox Winchester /

There aren’t too many boutique hotels in Winchester that can tell you exactly where your burger, your microbrew and your buffalo mozzarella came from, but the Fox can. This hotel, bar and restaurant embraces the bounty of its neighbours by sourcing as much grub as possible from around Winchester. The result is a hyper-local experience. Well, at least in the restaurant. The guest rooms have worldly Egyptian cotton sheets and Nespresso machines.

2. The Old Vine, for four-poster beds


View through the trees to the entrance of the Old Vine inn in Winchester, England
Courtesy of the Old Vine /

With an excellent central location, this 18th-century inn is a one-minute walk from the cathedral – some of the rooms have a view over the cathedral and its grounds – and right by the main cobbled streets for access to Winchester’s restaurants and bars. Much like the rest of the city, it’s pretty twee and cosy, with plenty of mahogany, large windows, pub classics and vines running up its exterior.

3. Lainston House, for being lord of the manor


Luxury bedroom with high ceilings and wood-panelled windows with half door to outdoor seating area at Lainston House
Courtesy of Lainston House /

Lainston House is a little further away in the nearby village of Sparsholt – a 13-minute drive from Winchester – but easily reachable by public transport. It’s a place to stay for a countryside retreat, while being close enough to the historic centre to explore. It’s dog-friendly – some rooms have direct outdoor access – and has extensive grounds veined with walking trails. Dog in tow or not, there’s a cookery school to enjoy with a kitchen garden and pizza oven.

5. The Running Horse, for village vibes


Rustic-chic bedroom with distressed wood wainscoting and colourful pillows at Running Horse near Winchester, UK
Courtesy of the Running Horse /

The Running Horse in the village of Littleton is 3mi (5km) from Winchester Cathedral, and 25mi (40km) from the New Forest National Park – making it a great option for pairing a city break with wild walks. The property has a country-rustic feel, being a restored village inn with cosy fireplaces, hearty pub food and outdoor space with peaceful, green surroundings.

6. Hotel du Vin & Bistro Winchester, for a plush pad


Elegant dining room with vintage wall lamps and wood floors at Hotel du Vin and Bistro Winchester
Courtesy of Hotel du Vin and Bistro Winchester /

The original of the Hotel du Vin chain, this one is a five-minute walk from the cathedral grounds – while also being close to the River Itchen on the outskirts of the South Downs. The Georgian building still offers a level of grandness — there’s a cigar shack, walled gardens, low-lit cosy corners in the bar and bistro and an extensive list of wines, offered under the guidance of an expert sommelier.

7. Esme’s Bed & Breakfast, for the little touches

Bed and Breakfast

Charming bedroom with mirror, blue and white floral curtains and artful touches at Esme’s Bed and Breakfast, Winchester
Courtesy of Esme’s Bed and Breakfast / Expedia

Run independently by Esme, this back-to-basics B&B in Winchester is in the heart of the city, and gets all the important details right – including port and biscuits in the bedrooms. A seven-minute walk south and you’ll reach the cathedral, but Winnall Moors Nature Reserve – a protected meadowland and chalk stream – is also under a 10-minute walk away. Esme’s is known for its friendly atmosphere and thoughtful little touches that make it feel more personal.

8. South Winchester Lodges, for a countryside cabin


Living and dining area of Scandinavian-style log cabin with large deck overlooking greenery at South Winchester Lodges
Courtesy of South Winchester Lodges /

A self-catered option a few miles away from the city, these Scandinavian-style log cabins in Winchester come equipped with their own hot tubs that overlook the surrounding greenery of the Championship Golf Course – the lodges are directly in the centre of the grounds. Cabins have their own fireplaces and separate living rooms with balconies or patios. There are on-site spa services and barbecue grills, plus guests can use the 18-hole golf course.

Nick Dauk contributed additional reporting to this article.

Winchester is only an hour’s train ride away from London. For more well-located hotels, see the best ones near Trafalgar Square and the best near Tower Bridge. They’re all bookable through Culture Trip. Fill up any spare time in the city with the best outdoor cinemas in London and the oldest churches in London, then grab a bite using this foodie guide through the British capital.

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