King Alfred the Great oversaw the Kingdom of Wessex, a vast swathe of southern England, in the late 9th century, and was England’s dominant ruler at the time. From his capital, the city of Winchester, he presided over a series of Viking attacks and counterattacks, and ruled until his death in 899.
Today, Winchester seems far removed from the turbulent home of a warrior king. Jane Austen fans are drawn to Winchester Cathedral to visit her nal resting place, while tours highlight the city’s connection with other literary lights, including John Keats and Thomas Hardy. The city’s 13th-century Great Hall houses the iconic symbol of medieval mythology, King Arthur’s Round Table, while the lovingly restored heritage trains of the Watercress Line steam and whistle through the idyllic countryside around town. www.visitwinchester.co.uk