Tag Archives: Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days longer, stronger than ever!

13th – 22nd September 2019

This year’s Heritage Open Days looks like being another triumph.  An even greater number of events – 147 – are on offer over a longer time span – 10 days!  Events take place not only in Winchester but also in Alresford, Southampton, Selborne, Chawton, Kingsworthy, Romsey, Hursley, Ropley, Swanwick and Northington.

Places for the bookable events are filling up fast, indeed, some are already sold out, but don’t worry, there is plenty more to see and do.  Whether visitors are interested in costume, food and drink, archaeology, music, drama or poetry there is something for all ages.  Not only the past but the future is on show – the open greener houses give people a chance to find out how to save energy and Alastair Stewart is discussing the impact of new technology on news coverage.

It is amazing that such a programme can be put together by a team of volunteers and it is even more of a triumph that it can all be free, thanks to the lead sponsor Winchester College and many others.  However, donations will be welcomed and there is one fundraising event on Thursday 12th Sept. when Martin Biddle will be explaining Why did the Anglo-Saxons build a church in the middle of a ruined Roman city? at the Discovery Centre, tickets for this are £14.

Some of the events this September are bookable in advance from the website, a few highlights are listed here but there are many, many more:

  • Steve Jarvis: Winchester Through Postcards  – Saturday 14th
  • Hampshire Firearms Collections – Thursday 19th
  • Dr Tim Hands: The Path to Keats Autumn – Thursday 19th
  • University of Winchester Chapel Tours by Design Engine Architects – Friday 20th
  • Alastair Stewart ‘Shifting Sands in News Coverage’ – Friday 20th
  • Jane Devonshire’ Food, Masterchef & beyond’ Saturday 21st
  • Hursley House Sunday 22nd

For other events visitors are invited to just turn up on the day:

  • Food & Drink Exhibition and Extraordinary Women Exhibit – throughout festival
  • A Celebration of Hampshire Treasures at Great Hall on 14th & 15th
  • Eel House Open Day in Alresford – Sunday 15th
  • Winchester College Treasury – 19th through to 22nd
    Winchester Cathedral Open Evening – Thursday 19th
    WEOROD – Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd

Please visit the Heritage Open Days website for the full programme and to book winchesterheritageopendays.org or pop into Winchester Tourist Information Centre. And remember every event is FREE!

Win Guide to September

September is here, the summer holidays for some have come to an end but fear not, for Winchester is offering plenty to amuse and entertain us all this month.

Winchester Heritage Open Days

You have hopefully read our Heritage Open Days guide but just in case you missed it, don’t forget to visit some of the many free events on offer locally to celebrate our heritage, 7-10 September. Over the four days there will be more than 70 events: everything from guided walks and labyrinths to storytelling and river dipping for families, and gin and cider tastings for the over 18s. You can even make your own Medieval encaustic tile. Remember all events are free of charge although some you will need to pre-book as numbers are limited. There are also competitions including a chance to win one of the first Monopoly Winchester Edition games. For more details, visit the website here.

Pin Drop ComedyPin Drop Comedy will be hosting their monthly open mic night at the Wintonian Bar in the Guildhall, 7 September.  The bar is open throughout, so come down, relax and enjoy comedy straight from the street. Entry is FREE.

Later in the month look forward to the Winchester Jazz Festival. The festival runs 21st – 24th September with acts performing at various venues throughout the city.  Head along to the Guildhall on 22 September for an evening of jazz provided by a swinging band and try your hand at Lindy Hop, as instructed by dynamic duo Bic and Simone from The Lindy Club. Dance the night away or sit back and enjoy the music! Tickets are available here. For a full programme of festival events, visit the Winchester Jazz Festival website here.

The Theatre Royal has a number of treats on offer this month, including its Open Weekend, 16 – 17 September. The theatre is throwing open its doors for all the family to enjoy behind the scenes tours, theatre workshops and craft activities.  The event is FREE and you can drop in between 12 – 4pm each day.  Why not book tickets for ‘Austen Undone’ running throughout the open weekend, a promenade performance through the city presented by Natural Theatre Company.  For full details, visit the website here.

It’s the Michaelmas Fair at the Hospital of St Cross, 23 September from 9.30am – 4pm.  Medieval knights will be demonstrating their skills alongside falconry displays by Falconhigh display team and a static display of at least 12 birds of prey. There will be 20 craft stalls to be found in and around the beautiful buildings and grounds of The Hospital of St Cross. Refreshments are available and parking is free. Entrance is £3, or free for children 12 years and under.

You might visit the Chesil Theatre as part of the Winchester Heritage Open Days but if not, it’s worth looking out for Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward, 16 – 23 September, directed by Tom Williams. Charles Condomine invites medium, Madame Arcati, to hold a séance at his home. The unintended consequences lead to a merry dance of mayhem, mischief and murder. Later in the month The Railway Plays offers a collection of eight short plays: an enticing smorgasbord of style, subject and theatrical approach, performed back-to-back in under 90-minutes. The plays have been written and directed by Nicholas Joseph, a playwright/director and senior lecturer at UoW. For more details or to book tickets, visit the Chesil Theatre website here.

Don’t forget to visit the Hampshire Harvest Festival, 30 September – 1 October, a fun packed family event celebrating local produce and farming. Activities include live music, children’s have-a-go activities, vintage tractors, falconry displays, farm animals, horse-drawn wagon rides, Hampshire Fare market, local beers and ciders and, new for this year, an afternoon tea tent offering wonderful cakes, scones, tea and even a glass of fizz. A special Evensong service celebrating harvest will take place in the Cathedral at 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon, all are welcome. There is also a Scarecrow competition with full details available here.

It really is a bumper September in Winchester so there’s no time for end of the summer blues.  We’ll be bringing you more updates on twitter @Win_Guide. Enjoy, one and all!

Win Guide to August

It’s definitely summer in Winchester, despite what the weather might have us believe.  Let’s see what’s on offer this month:

Cult Screens are back this summer with some “luxurious” outdoor cinema treats in Cathedral Close. Tickets are priced according to the type of al fresco seating you would like.  There are food and drink options as well, including craft beers from independent breweries, superb wines, cocktails, fresh popcorn and fantastic food at most venues. You can also bring your own food.  For more details, visit the website here.

3 August – Back to the Future, 7pm for 8.45pm start
4 August – Rogue One, 7pm for 8.45pm start
5 August – Mama Mia, 7pm for 8.45pm start.

If you venture out of the city, the Wickham Festival celebrates its 10th birthday this year, 3-6 August, with a fabulous line-up including  KT Tunstall, 10CC, The Levellers, Seth Lakeman and many more. Rated one of Britain’s best boutique and family friendly festivals by the Guardian, it’s well worth a visit.   Camping tickets have sold out now, but there are still day and weekend tickets available.  To find out more, visit the festival website here. Elsewhere, the Boomtown Fair is back at the Matterley Bowl, 10 – 13 August.  Chapter 9 acts include M.I.A, Cypress Hill, AJ Tracey, Alix Perez and more.

We’re rather intrigued by the Cheese and Chilli Festival taking place at the North Walls Recreation Ground, behind the Leisure centre, 19-20 August. Activities include; Live Music, Motorbike, Quad and Mountain Bike Stunt Shows from the amazing Jez Avery, Falconry display, Magic Shows, Punch & Judy, Inflatables, a Chilli Eating Competition, Real Ale and Real Cider Bars, Craft Tent, Sand Art, Ballon Modelling, Wine Tastings, Cooking Demonstrations, Chilli Presentations, not to mention all the amazing produce and crafts for sale at the show. For a full schedule of activities, visit the website. Children 16 and under get free entry and tickets are cheaper if you purchase them in advance.

Aside from running its theatre workships for young people this summer, the Theatre Royal will be presenting local youth theatre company RicNic’s West Side Story, 23-26 August.  Watch the Jets and the Sharks battle it out in Bernstein’s much-loved musical. For more information or to book tickets, visit the website here.

There are a couple of drinks events of note this month.  The Hambledon Vineyard is hosting its wine festival 6 August, 11am -4pm. Tickets are £10 and available to book here. The Whiskey Affair is taking place at the Guildhall on 26 August, with two sessions running 1-5pm and 7-11pm.   There will be Scotch, Bourbon, Worldwide Whiskey and Cocktails to try out with some live entertainment, a photo-booth and food available to buy.  For more details visit the website.

We’ll be bringing you a preview feature on the September Heritage Open Days later in the month.  And don’t forget the Littleton and Harestock Show taking place Saturday 2 September at the Littleton Recreation ground, with gates opening at 11am. It’s a must if you are looking for a traditional village fete, a part of the village life since 1921!

Meanwhile, keep an eye on twitter @Win_Guide for more tips on what’s on in August. Have a wonderful summer, whatever the weather…

Win Guide to September

A Win Guide to September in Winchester

So September has crept up on us.  And there are new beginnings on the Winchester horizon. The Autumn equinox is almost here and a new school term of course. As nature moves from green to reds and browns, it seems like no time since summer began.  But fear not, Winchester as always will provide a range of events and treats to delight and distract this September.

Littleton and Harestock ShowFirst of all, you may have spotted the yellow banners and signs announcing the Littleton & Harestock village show taking place on Saturday 3 September. It’s a gloriously traditional affair with stalls aplenty. There’s a flower show, a well stocked tombola, the Barton Stacey jazz band and the Royal Artillery marching band. Local Littleton resident Austen Hooker has written a rather delightful history of the show here. Here’s a link to the website for a full timetable of events and details about how to visit. Don’t miss the evening Barn dance and Ceilidh event, with tickets available to buy online in advance.

Winchester Heritage Open Days 2016 Programme coverThe Win Guide is getting very exciting about the Heritage Open Days, 8-11 September.  Over 40 free events will be taking place throughout Winchester, with both celebrated and unusual heritage spots opening their doors for special tours.  Ever wondered what goes on backstage at the Theatre Royal?  Well, Heritage Open Days will give you a chance to take a free tour.  Perhaps you’d like Adam Architects to tour you around Hyde House, part of the original Hyde Abbey complex? If you missed our Win Guide to the Heritage Open Days, you can read it here. Remember to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Creative Writing Green Man PubWintonians will have the chance to get creative with their writing at the The Green Man pub on 22 September at 7.30pm.  Chris Van Shaick will lead a session of workshops, games and exercises to encourage wordsmithery, washed down with drinks and a buffet for £30. Places are limited so early booking is advised.


Winchester Jazz FestivalWhat’s that sound?  The inaugural Winchester Jazz Festival is swinging into the city 22 – 25 September with rather exciting top acts and emerging artists booked into various venues across the city for 4 days. Visit the festival website for a full schedule of events. The celebration of all things jazz is working with Winchester’s arts venues as well as independent pubs, bars and cafés to offer a diverse program of ticketed and free events.

winchester-half-logoAnd finally, if the jazz dancing doesn’t do it, why not run your way into the Autumn with the Winchester Half Marathon on Saturday 25 September. It’s a great chance to run through the beautiful city of Winchester while also being a fantastic way to get active and a chance to raise some funds for charity.  To register now and find out more details, visit the website here.

We’ll be bringing you more updates throughout the month.  Have fun, Winchester!

Heritage Open Days

Winchester BinderyEvery September, an army of dedicated volunteers get together to champion local treasures through Heritage Open Days. Between 8 – 11 September, some 40,000 people across England have organised 5,000 free events to celebrate our fantastic history, architecture and culture.

Loyd GrossmanLoyd Grossman, Patron for Heritage Open Days, will be making a special visit to Winchester on the evening before the festival and will be speaking at an event in the Guildhall about his career and involvement with heritage.  To book tickets, visit the website here.

We caught up with our local representative, Nicky Gottlieb, to get a taste of just some of the many experiences Wintonians can expect to enjoy.

Abbey House on The Broadway was built in the 18th century on the site of a former nunnery and is now the official residence of the Mayor of Winchester.  On Thursday 8 September there will be an opportunity to take a guided tour of some of the city’s  rarely displayed collections of paintings and furnishings. Pre-booking is essential as places are limited, and details of how to reserve your place are available here.  On Sat 10 and Sun 11, the Mayor will be on hand to show visitors around the house and answer questions.

Chesil TheatreThe Chesil Theatre will be opening its doors on Sat 10 and Sun 11 between 10am and 4pm.  Winchester’s dramatic society is based at St Peter’s, a 13th century church which was converted into a 70 seat theatre over 40 years ago.  Visitors will have the opportunity to step behind the scenes, explore the stage lights, costumes, sets and photography from past productions.

Come and meet Binky BearThere will be a chance for 2 – 7 year olds to meet Binky Bear at P & G Wells Bookshop on College Street, Sat 10 at 10am. Visitors are welcome to bring their teddy along to meet Binky and take a picture, before picking up an Explorer’s map complete with trails, checklists and colouring sheets.  Binky’s author Liz Nankivell will be available for book signing afterwards and pre-booking is essential. Don’t miss the Winchester Bindery Open Day on Friday 9, also at P & G Wells.  For details, visit here.

Other child friendly activities include story telling from Pedlars and Petticoats at St John’s House, Sat 10 between 10.30-11am and 11.30am-12pm. Children aged 10 years and younger are welcome and fancy dress is encouraged. The education team from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will be hosting a fun outdoor session on the meadows by the Hospital of St Cross, exploring wetland plants, conservation and river dipping. The event is sponsored by Carter Jonas and will take place on Friday 9 between 2 – 5pm.

King Alfred Buses - by Ray Stenning IMG_9872The King Alfred Heritage Bus and Coach Display will be open Sat 10 between 10am – 3pm at the Cattle Market car park on Worthy Lane.  It’s a rare chance to see 14 buses and coaches on display together, with a free vintage bus service running between Worthy Lane and the Broadway. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult and regrettably the event is unsuitable for wheelchair users.

The Ginchester Walking Tour will take place Sat 10 from 6 – 7pm.  Led by the Cabinet Rooms connoisseurs, the tour will start at the Buttercross and end at the Green Man Pub, taking a look at the city’s history and what makes Winchester wonderful.  Guests (18 and over) will also have the option to book a specially priced G&T package.

For a full list of events on offer and to keep an eye on any amendments to the scheduled programme, please visit the Heritage Open Days website or keep and eye on the Winchester HODs Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also download a PDF with an events programme: Winchester Heritage Open Days 2016 Programme.