where we boarded a steam train for a 20 mile round trip on the Watercress Line, which runs the 10 miles (16 km) from New Alresford to Alton where it connects to the National Rail network. The line gained its popular name in the days that it was used to transport locally grown watercress to markets in London. MWM took a short video of our ride on the train, turn up your sound then you will hear all the train sounds.
After our train ride we had a short time in Alresford to get some lunch before boarding the coach again for a visit to Winchester.
Our destination in Winchester was of course the Cathedral.
The Anglo-Saxon Old Minster was demolished in 1093-4 to make way for the present cathedral.
Edward the Confessor was crowned here in 1043. William the Conqueror and after him William Rufus 'wore his crown' in Old Minster at Easter every year they were in England until the monks moved to the new Norman Cathedral in 1093. The new Cathedral received the relics of St. Swithun, the patron saint of the cathedral, and the remains of Anglo-Saxon kings and bishops, the Old Minster was then demolished. According to tradition, whatever the weather on St. Swithun's feast day (15 July) it will continue for forty days and forty nights, which is why in England we pray for fine weather on this date!
One of England's famous authors is also buried in the Cathedral - Jane Austen.
and it's early Norman crypt.
It's Renaissance chantry chapels,
It was almost time to head back to the meeting point for the coach so we ambled through the town taking in more modern architechure - the town hall,
and guess who this is
King Elfred (Alfred), the only English monarch to be accorded the epithet "the Great".
We thoroughly enjoyed the train trip and the history of Winchester, I hope you did too.
Join me next time for Part 3 when we visit Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard, where we see Henry VIII's flagship The Mary Rose amongst other fascinating historic ships.