Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness: Why Winchester is Britain’s perfect autumn city break


The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us. This year is a particularly poignant moment for Winchester as it marks the 200th anniversary of the composition of what is perhaps John Keats’s finest poem, To Autumn. With the launch of a new self-guided trail, Keats’s Walk – Ode To Autumn (, a gentle two-mile ramble through the landscape that inspired the poet, the Hampshire city is claiming the great work for its own.

Keats arrived in Winchester from the Isle of Wight on August 12, 1819, accompanied by his friend Charles Brown, with whom he was collaborating on the play Otho the Great. In his own words, Keats had quit the village of Shanklin to be “tolerably near…

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