Whether you’re roaming around Roman walls, marvelling at medieval masterpieces, or ogling at Anglo-Saxon treasures, many of Britain’s towns and cities are bursting with historical sights. From small towns to sprawling cities, we pick some of Britain’s most fascinating places for a break where the past is delightfully inescapable.
This pretty and compact historic city on the banks of the River Itchen in leafy Hampshire was the ancient capital of England. Known as Wintancaester, it was the seat of King Alfred the Great who built his city on an old Roman settlement and ruled Wessex from here from 871 until his death in 899. Roam the medieval cobbled streets to see his bronze statue in Broadway and visit his last-known resting place beneath Hyde Abbey Garden.
But the city’s most famous landmark is its intricately-carved cathedral, which was founded in 1079 and is Europe’s longest medieval cathedral. Hampshire author Jane Austen is buried here and it was once the resting place of St Swithun until the shrine was removed in the Reformation.