Winchester is the picturesque town that all seems to be built on or around a big hill right? Kinda like a giant Mont St Michel but not in the sea. And in England. I liked it, but then I like all those lovely, chocolate box English villages and towns such as.... I dunno... Salcombe or Rye or whatever. For a few days it can be extremely relaxing to go somewhere beautiful where nothing happens and the youngest person is 73 and the pubs are all really posh cosy gastropubs. After that it might drive you insane though.
I don't think of history as dungeons and dragons I think it really happened. Winchester takes you back to the very dawn of the nation, to Lucius, to Alfred the Great, to William the Conquerer.
To the spread of Christianity through the old networks of Rome with all the miracle men, missionaries and saints.
To the time before political unity when the island was constantly besieged and invaded and plundered from without.
How all this stuff plays out and the material traces that it leaves.
These two entwined and turbulent histories of secular and religious power leading up to the reformation. And the knowledge also that the language is being born here also. That this stuff precedes Chaucer by hundreds of years.
All very, very potent.
I got totally the wrong end of the stick, I thought you were seduced by the aspic preserved comforts of a picturesque English pseudo-town rather than awed by the power of an ancient capital of Albion. Both things have their merits though.