10 things you might not have known about... Winchester

1 The city is host to the largest farmer’s market in the UK, where all produce is sourced from the Hampshire area. The markets are popular and have been known to attract the likes of Rick Stein.

2 Winchester was the former capital of England during Saxon times and was home to King Alfred. A huge statue of the man himself stands in the middle of the city as a reminder of the history associated with the area.

3 The well-known stylish boutique hotel chain Hotel du Vin originated in Winchester and still has a branch there. It’s a great place to go for food and drinks. The owners love the area so much they still live there.

4 A picturesque town, with lovely old buildings, Winchester provided the backdrop to scenes in the recent Les Mis film, (starring Hugh Jackman, below) with the final scene taking place at Winchester College.

5 If you want to get out of the old capital and in to the new, London is only an hour on the trains with no changing required. An easy – and quite scenic – commute if you fancy a quieter life.

6 One for the foodies out there is Chisel Rectory, featured in the Good Food Guide 2013. The Chisel Rectory building is the oldest commercial property in Winchester; not only great food but a historic setting to enjoy it in.

7 For those who love poetry, John Keats (below) wrote his ode To Autumn after taking inspiration from the cathedral, college and water meadows during a stay in Winchester in 1819.

8 The all boys public school Winchester College, is the oldest continuously running school in the country. Some famous alumni include John Leyne, former BBC foreign correspondent and British actor Tom Sturridge.

9 Winchester Cathedral is the oldest medieval cathedral in Europe. It is home to 12th century wall paintings, medieval carvings and contemporary art. You can also enjoy a British cream tea, in the gardens.

10 Outside the city lies Marwell Zoo, the only place in the UK where you can see the Coquerels Mouse Lemur and the Dorcas Gazelle (right). It is also home to rare big cats like the Amur leopard.