Let there be light

‘Tis the season of dark mornings and pitch-black journeys home in the late afternoon or evening, but Winchester is about to deliver some festive illumination to lighten up our mood.

Winchester Christmas light 'switch on'
Winchester Christmas light ‘switch on’

There are two Christmas light ‘switch on’ events to look forward to this month.  The first, taking place today (Thursday 13th November) will be an all-singing/all-dancing affair between 3-7pm on the High Street and Broadway. Capital FM’s breakfast presenters, Gillies and Emily, will host the event. Performers include Integr8 Dance, Winchester’s Military Wives Choir, Encore Youth Theatre and a cheeky panto preview from the cast of the Theatre Royal’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’. As for the grand finale at 6pm, Xfactor’s boyband ‘Concept’ will perform to a laser light and music show. Well, if you can’t have a bit of a camembert at Christmas… The event has been kindly sponsored by Denplan. The 13th also marks the start of late-night shopping on a Thursday in the city, plus free parking from 4.30pm. For full details on where and when visit here.

Cornflowers window display
Cornflowers window display

If you miss out on the 13th fear not, for Kingsgate Village will be hosting its inaugural ‘switch on’ taking place beneath the medieval gateway at 6pm on 20th November. The Bishop of Winchester will be guest of honour, and the evening promises be a traditional mix of music, late-night shopping and mulled wine. Kingsgate Village oozes its own sophisticated, friendly and accessible style, with Kingsgate Book & Prints, Cornflowers Gift Shop, Kingsgate Wine & Provisions and the booksellers P&G Wells. It’s a perfect Christmas (or any time) shopping destination for those looking for something special and off the beaten track with wonderful personal service from the dedicated shop owners and staff. As a bonus, from 6.30pm P&G Wells is hosting a joint book launch with the Wykeham Arms for Meats, Eats, Drinks & Leaves by Penny Ericson and Proteus by Simon Hawkins. Full details here.

Twilight Tower Tours
Twilight Tower Tours

And for a stellar view of the spectacle that is Winchester’s ‘perfect Christmas’, from 21st November the Cathedral will be offering a Twilight Tower Tour with a second to none view of the Christmas lights as they sparkle across the city. After the tour, you can enjoy some mulled wine and mince pies in the medieval Undercroft. There’s a minimum age restriction of 12 years and an adult must accompany children under 16 years. (Although there’s no set upper age limit for this tour, it’s a steep climb and not recommended for the elderly, infirm, disabled or pregnant.)

So shake off the winter blues and begin to embrace the impending Yuletide in all its glittering glory.

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