Winchester’s Military Quarter is home to six military museums. BUT, I’d argue the real draw here is the beautifully romantic landscaped setting.
Looking for a hidden garden right off the high street? This is for you.
📍Peninsula Barracks, Romsey Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8TS
Winchester’s Military Quarter is just off the top of the high street, a little up past the West Gate Museum, situated on the historic site of Peninsula Barracks, next to the Great Hall.
It’s worth the deviation when visiting the city because you’ll be richly rewarded with a quiet but stunning garden scape.
When you first go through the gates it’s not particularly clear where to go but, head straight down towards the statue. Then, keep the statue on your right and as you keep going forward the Bridgeton-Austen-Period-Drama style setting is revealed.
The grounds are free to visit and explore and there are six museum. The three that are free are The Rifles Museum, The Adjutant General’s Corps Museum and The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum. The museums that require a ticket are The Gurkha Museum, The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum, and HorsePower, The Museum of The King’s Royal Hussars.
Refreshments can be sought from the cafe called Copper Joes, please check its opening times though as I got caught out when I visited. Apart from the museums and cafe it’s mostly residential, which is partly why it’s so quiet. Yes, you can live there in exchange of many, many pennies!
The stand out part is the romantic landscaped gardens and historic buildings. It’s the hidden in plain sight side to Winchester, that you might gloss over if you’re not familiar with the city. I have to be honest that’s kind of what I did. I just thought it was the military museums but, I’m so glad I went up to explore it properly as it’s so much more.
Two fountains are the most prominent feature and run down the middle of the rectangular space. Some well manicured hedges, trees and planted boarders surround the fountains with seating placed sporadically throughout.
It is very exposed so, if it’s sunny, be careful as there’s no shade to protect you. I saw an older couple sat in garden chairs with their newspapers enjoying the sun and some time out – it looks idyllic!
There are three ways to enter or exit, back through the entrance or two paths, one leading to St James Lane and the other onto Archery Lane.
Winchester’s Military Quarter
Most people head to the grounds of Winchester Cathedral and the Abbey Gardens by the King Alfred Statue. But, if you’re looking for a quiet spot for a picnic, to read a book and get some space. It’s the sort of space that really takes you out of yourself.
It’s definitely going to be one of my go to spots now I’ve discovered it. Looking to impress on a date? Get a picnic, take blanket and head here, it won’t fail to prove romantic!
If you liked this, take a look at these other great places to explore in Hampshire…