Winchester is a cathedral city and the county town of Hampshire. It sits on the River Itchen, to the west of the South Downs National Park. It started as an Iron Age oppidum, which was then developed further by the Romans.
Today, Winchester is one of the most expensive and affluent areas of the United Kingdom and has a population of around 50,000. Despite being small by city standards, Winchester attracts an estimated 5.6 million visitors every year. The city has also produced several well-known people including actor Colin Firth, and singer Frank Turner.
The history of the city is still apparent all around, with the cathedral dominating its modest skyline. Points of historical interest include the remains of Wolvesey Castle and Palace – complete with the legendary King Arthur’s Round Table in the Great Hall, the City Cross – a 15th century scheduled ancient monument, and the Gothic revival style Guildhall.
Winchester was originally a walled city, and parts of the wall still stand today, along with two surviving medieval gates into the heart of the city (Kingsgate and Westgate). Winchester College is the oldest public school in Britain still using its original buildings, established in the 14th century, and is considered one of the world’s most prestigious schools. The university, in contrast, was only established in 2005. Winchester’s history can also be explored through several museums, including the City and Westgate Museums.
Every year Winchester holds a number of events and festivals including the Hat Fair, Street Theatre and Farmers Market. Sport is also a popular pastime in the city with teams representing football, rugby, bowls, and golf.
Due to the historical listed buildings and narrow, ancient streets of the city, Winchester can be really difficult to park in. The city centre is quite restricted, with few paid parking opportunities, let alone free. On this page we’ve gotten together all of the information we could on free parking close to Winchester city centre for your convenience. See the map below for a quick look, or read on for more options and information.
Free Parking in Winchester
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One of the best options for free parking in any city is to make like a local and park on residential streets that have no restrictions. This can be a challenge if you don’t know the area very well, which is why we’ve made a list of such streets in Winchester. Included with the street names are the postcodes, for ease of GPS navigation, and the walking distance to the geographic centre of the city.
Parking to the north of the city centre will put you conveniently near the Winnall Moors Wildlife Reserve. Depending on where you park you will also pass the Winchester railway station and get to the Brooks Shopping Centre more quickly.
• St Johns Road SO23 0HQ – 0.5 miles
• Moss Road SO23 0PG – 0.7 miles
• Garbett Road SO23 0NY – 0.7 miles
• Imber Road SO23 0NQ – 0.8 miles
• Firmstone Road SO23 0PA – 0.8 miles
• Birinus Road SO23 7EG – 0.8 miles
• Winnall Manor Road SO23 0NN – 0.9 miles
• Shepherds Road SO23 0NR – 0.9 miles
• Warren Road SO23 0NL – 1 mile
• North Hill Close SO22 6PE – 1.2 miles
• Westley Close SO22 5LA – 1.4 miles
• Charles Close SO23 7HT – 1.5 miles
• Old Gardens SO22 6AD – 1.5 miles
• Courtenay Road SO23 7ER – 1.6 miles
• Bere Close SO22 5HY – 1.6 miles
• Stockers Avenue SO22 5LB – 1.6 miles
• Wessex Drive SO22 6DQ – 1.8 miles
• Kynegils Road SO22 6DF – 1.9 miles
• Bradley Road SO22 6LS – 2.1 miles
Parking further out in a westerly direction will put you right near the Royal Hampshire County Hospital and the University of Winchester. You will come into the city centre via the Great Hall and Winchester Cathedral.
• Ivy Close SO22 4QR – 1.4 miles
• Stanmore Lane SO22 4AJ – 1.4 miles
• Mildmay Street SO22 4BX – 1.5 miles
• Battery Hill SO22 4BY – 1.6 miles
• Wayneflete Place SO22 4DA – 1.7 miles
• Wavell Way SO22 4EQ – 1.7 miles
• Thurmond Crescent SO22 4DH – 1.8 miles
• Thurmond Road SO22 4DE – 1.8 miles
• Kilham Lane SO22 5PT – 2.1 miles
• Woodfield Drive SO22 5PY – 2.1 miles
There is also one street in an easterly direction that has free parking:
Fairdown Close SO23 0JU – 0.7 miles
Parking here would give you a route via the St Giles Hill view point, before coming over the bridge next to the Winchester City Mill (an 18th century corn mill that still works) and into the Abbey Gardens before getting to the city centre.
When parking on residential streets, remember the standard rules for on-street parking. Most importantly, never block driveways or entrances, and don’t park on double-yellow lines. Check the area for signs regarding parking before leaving your vehicle to make doubly sure that you’re allowed to park there. Out of respect to the people living there, keep noise to a minimum – particularly in the evenings. Always remember that parking in a residential street is done so at your own risk.
Though parking on a residential street is free, it can come at a different cost – namely, time and effort. Time is taken to find a space, and there’s no guarantee that one will be available. Once parked, there is a walk into the centre which can be difficult for groups including small children, the elderly, or people with disabilities.
Free Short-Term Parking in Winchester
If you’re only looking to make a quick trip into the centre of Winchester, the on-street parking bays found in the central area can be ideal. These are all within walking distance of the city centre and its main attractions, but are only available for up to two hours at a time. Bear in mind that you cannot return to the space within 4 hours after using it, and always make sure to check nearby signage for more information on restrictions.
• Vale Road SO23 0PT
• College Walk SO23 9NG
• St Catherines Road SO23 0PS
• Garnier Road SO23 9PA
• College Street SO23 9NA
• Romans Road SO23 9QR
• Hyde Gate SO23 7EJ
• Saxon Road SO23 7DJ
• St Cross Road SO23 9RE
• Mead Road SO23 9RF
• Ranelagh Road SO23 9TA
• Edgar Road SO23 9SJ
• Christchurch Road SO23 9SR
• Compton Road SO23 9SL
• Beaufort Road SO23 9ST
• Hatherley Road SO22 6RT
• St Pauls Hill SO22 5AB
• Stockbridge Road SO22 6RN
• Cheriton Road SO22 5AZ
• Bereweeke Avenue SO22 6EY
• Greenhill Road SO22 5DU
Free Overnight & Sunday Parking in Winchester
If you’re planning to stay in Winchester overnight, there are several streets in a central location that become unrestricted after 6pm. These same streets are also free all day on Sundays, making Sunday an ideal day to visit the city. During 8am-6pm on Monday to Saturday, though, pay and display fees apply. The central streets with free overnight and Sunday parking, including postcodes and walking distances to the central point of Winchester, are listed below:
• Colebrook Street SO23 9LH – 128 ft
• The Broadway SO23 9BE – 0.1 miles
• Market Lane SO23 9AL – 0.2 miles
• Water Lane SO23 0EJ – 0.2 miles
• The Square SO23 9EX – 0.3 miles
• Parchment Street SO23 8AT – 0.4 miles
• St Peter Street SO23 8BS – 0.4 miles
• North Walls SO23 8DB – 0.5 miles
• Upper High Street SO23 8UT – 0.6 miles
• Tower Street SO23 8TA – 0.7 miles
• Victoria Road SO23 7DU – 0.8 miles
• Andover Road SO22 6AU – 1.4 miles
Cheapest Paid Parking Options in Winchester
Of course, there are paid parking options in Winchester – even ones that don’t break the bank, if you know where to look. If you would prefer the convenience and security of an official car park, we’ve made a list of the cheapest ones in Winchester, in order of distance from the city centre:
• Jewry Street SO23 8RY – £2.90 for 2 hours
• Upper Brook Street SO23 8DF – £2.90 for 2 hours
• The Brooks SO23 8QY – £2.90 for 2 hours
• Friarsgate Multi Storey SO23 8AD – £2.90 for 2 hours
• St Peter’s, Gordon Road SO23 7DD – £2.90 for 2 hours
• River Park Leisure Centre SO23 7DE – £1.00 for 2 hours
• Durngate SO23 8DX – £1.50 for 2 hours
• Cattle Market SO23 7AB – £1.50 for 2 hours
• Chesil, Barfield Close SO23 0HU – £1.50 for 2 hours
Armed with the information on this page, we hope that you will be able to park for free (or much less money) when you visit Winchester, leaving more time and money for you to enjoy this beautiful, ancient city.