Egg-cellent news! It’s Easter time and there’s lots of egg-citing things on offer! Here’s the Win Guide to Easter.
Highclere Castle is well worth a visit this weekend. Built on the foundations of the medieval palace of the Bishops of Winchester (who owned the estate in Newbury from the 8th century), since 1679 the castle has been home to the Earls of Carnarvon. Never a retiring lot, the Carnarvons have been noted for Egyptology (the 5th Earl was present at the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb), for an association with HRH Elizabeth II’s race horses (the 7th Earl was racing manager for her majesty) and now synonymous with the thespian equivalent of royalty in the form of Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville et al. as the filming location for Downton Abbey. This weekend, Sunday 5th April, the Highclere team will be holding an Easter Egg Hunt event to raise funds for local charity Naomi House and Jacksplace. Lady Carnarvon herself will be judging an Easter bonnet parade. Spider-Man and Elsa from ‘Frozen’ will be wandering the grounds, and there will be market stalls, a vintage car display, a climbing wall and zip wire, a petting farm and birds of prey on offer to boot! Tickets are a steal at £5 on the door.
Closer to home, Sparsholt College will be holding an ‘Easter Bunny and Chick’ weekend from Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th April. It’s an Alice In Wonderland – themed affair with a Mad Hatter’s tea party, Easter egg hunt and classic craft activities such as egg painting. Not forgetting the newly-hatched chicks and young bunnies on display, it sounds like a must visit for families.
Winchester Cathedral will be holding its own ‘Easter Egg Trail’ between the 5th – 19th April. Ten decorative eggs will be hidden amongst the stunning architecture for ‘eggsplorers’ to discover, and free chocolate prizes can be claimed in the Cathedral gift shop. Services on Easter Day itself (5 April) will be 8am Holy Communion, 10am Choral Mattins (Preacher: The Bishop), 11.15am Festal Eucharist (Preacher: The Dean) and 3.30 Choral Evensong.
The Winchester Bunny Hop will be celebrating its sixth birthday this year. It’s a great initiative on the part of Winchester City Council, Winchester Bid and, this year, Chococo the chocolate shop and cafe have rightly got in on the action. The quiz allows children to hunt for egg-shaped clues hidden in participating shops in Winchester and rearrange them into an Easter themed word to claim a Chococo prize. And if that’s not incentive enough, the Chococo team have recently been hailed as experts in the field of Easter chocolates. Their ‘Robot’ egg was dubbed by the Telegraph as ‘best egg for children’ on 28th March 2015. Even better news: they will be open every day over the Easter weekend. Quiz sheets can be collected from the Winchester Tourist information centre or downloaded here: http://www.visitwinchester.co.uk/winchester-bunny-hop-2015.
A spring-time stroll to Kingsgate Village is always worthwhile to walk off the chocolate and browse for an Easter gift, curtesy of Cornflowers Gift Shop, Kingsgate Books and Prints, P&G Wells Booksellers, Kingsgate Wines and of course a visit to the Wykeham Arms for rest and refreshment awaits. Finally, don’t forget to visit to the 17th Century City Mill who will be offering hot cross bun baking on Friday 3rd April, and a Cadbury Eggsplorer Easter Egg trail over the weekend.
Have fun, and stock up on Gaviscon…