Tag Archives: Panto

Win guide to christmas

Ho, ho, how did it get to a month before Christmas? Time flies in our fair city, but thankfully Winchester has a fantastic range of festive offerings to banish the bah humbugs and ring in the season.

Ice Rink

The Winchester Cathedral Christmas markets and ice rink are already open and looking splendid. Inspired by traditional German Christmas markets, the range of exhibitors offer a great opportunity to purchase a unique gift for friends and loved ones. You can also enjoy mulled wine, mince pies or perhaps a bratwurst as you shop. The markets will be open until 22nd December and the ice rink until 5 January 2020.

Whilst we are talking about shopping, don’t forget to take a short stroll from the Cathedral Christmas markets through to Kingsgate Village where you can visit the charming range of independent shops: Cornflowers Gift Shop, Kingsgate Wines & Provisions, Kingsgate Books & Prints and P&G Wells Booksellers. And to work off the mince pies, a walk up the hill to the top of the high street will lead you to Stardust Years for some vintage fashion gifts or perhaps some unique festive party wear.

The Christmas Lantern Parade is back on 28th November. If you want to join in, you will need to make your own lantern with Bella Crafts. To book a Lantern Workshop, please contact Bella Crafts, 02380517054 or visit www.bellacrafts.co.uk. Participants in the Lantern Parade should arrive at Winchester Cathedral between 5.30pm and 6.00pm. Enjoy festive Christmas Carols for all the family in the Nave, before the Lantern Parade begins at 6.30pm. Visit the Cathedral website for more details. You can also access a list of Christmas service times and details here.

Panto season is upon us, oh yes it is, so get ready for some light-hearted belly laughs. Dick Whittington opens at the Theatre Royal on 30th November and runs until 5 January 2020. Join Dick and his cat on their madcap adventures, as Dick seeks his fame and fortune in a London bedevilled by the sinister King Rat and his rabble of Revolting Rodents. Tickets are available to book online here.

Father Christmas has managed to make some time for visits at the Great Hall between 21 & 23 December. Ticket fees includes the opportunity to meet Father Christmas, a festive gift and some craft activities. For more details and ticket prices, visit the website here. He’ll also be making his usual appearance on the Watercress Line Santa Express between 30 November and 23 December. Details and booking is available here.

For some fresh air and exercise, take a trip to Hilliers Gardens and join in The Snowman and the Snowdog Winter Trail. Guides cost £5 and come with a special The Snowman™ and the Snowdog gift. Usual garden admission fees apply. The trail opens on 30 November and will be available until 5 January 2020. The Winchester City Mill also has a Christmas trail. Find all of the gingerbread people and solve the puzzle to help Santa Claus make his journey on Christmas Eve.

We’ll be bringing you more seasonal hints and tips throughout December on Twitter @Win_Guide. Meanwhile, wrap up warm and enjoy, one and all!

Win Guide to December

That’s right Wintonians, the countdown to Christmas in Winchester is upon us. Let’s face it, our city is pretty good at embracing this season. Here’s our Win Guide to December…

Firstly, have you booked your ticket to panto at the Theatre Royal Winchester? This year’s festive treat is Beauty and the Beast. Oh yes it is. Audiences have been saying great things in response to the opening previews on Twitter and it’s going to be a corker. There are relaxed performances in the schedule and the show is recommended for anyone aged 3+. Booking details, times and prices can all be found online here.  

Young Theatre fans may also enjoy a visit to Santa’s Christmas Party at the Theatre Royal Winchester on Monday 17 December. It’s an interactive family show for children aged 2 – 7 years with a chance to meet Santa at the North Pole and receive a gift! For details, times and ticket prices, visit the website here.

And here’s a trailer:

The Chesil Theatre is hosting A Fun, Funky, Christmassy Musical Entertainment Evening, led by Marcus and Pete Whitfield. Tickets are just £3, and it will be a fantastic social event to celebrate the festive season at the Chesil Theatre. Get ready for some funky festive frolicking fun.

The Waynflete Singers present A Christmas Fanfare at Winchester Cathedral, 8 December at 7.30pm. The programme includes Handel’s Coronation Anthems, interspersed with Gabrieli’s thrilling brass Canzonas, and Heinrich Schutz’s mighty setting for double choir of Psalm 100, Jauchzet dem Herrn. John Rutter’s setting of the Gloria provides a brilliant and joyous opener for the second half, which concludes with a selection of Christmas carols for choir and audience. Tickets and prices are available online here.

Christmas in Winchester wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to the Cathedral Christmas markets and a bit of ice skating. There are over 100 wooden chalets this year, open from 10.30am until 6.30pm Sunday  –  Wednesday and 10.30am – 8pm Thursday to Saturday so there are plenty of opportunities to do some Christmas shopping over a glass of mulled wine or a hot chocolate. For the Cathedral Christmas and Carol service times, visit the website here.

Don’t forget to stroll to Kingsgate Village for Kingsgate Books & Prints, Cornflowers Gift Shop, P&G Wells Booksellers or Kingsgate Wine and Provisions. And there are many more hidden boutiques or purveyors of luxury items so get some walking boots and knitwear on.  Chococo is a must for edible gifts, and we urge you to stop off for a hot chocolate whilst there. If you want pure vintage, climb up the hill to Stardust Years for authentic ladies fashion and accessories.

The University of Winchester Carol Service takes place 11 – 12 December 2018, 6.15pm & 12.15pm.  Traditional carols and seasonal refreshments, as well as the contributions of students, staff, governors and, of course, the University Chancellor Alan Titchmarsh, all combine to make these events a suitably rich conclusion to the University’s calendar. The Service will be held at the University Chapel, King Alfred Campus, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road.

Winchester City Museum will be hosting a Christmas Family Make and Take craft event on 22 December, 10.30am – 1pm. There is no need to book and the event is free but places and resources will be limited.

It’s worth a visit to the Brooks Centre this year to enjoy some Christmas at the Brooks activities. Christmas Wonderland is open between 3 – 8 December. Watch festive films inside an Igloo or visit Father Christmas himself on 8 December. You can decorate a cupcake in Mrs Claus’ Kitchen on 15 December and, on 22 December there will be a chance for some Christmas Face Painting. For details, visit the website here.

If you feel like watching a good old Christmas movie on a big screen, the Everyman Christmas season will hit the spot. There will be a feast of Christmas feel good films on offer throughout December from the Sing-a-long Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to Love Actually, Home Alone or the unmissable It’s a Wonderful Life. For times, dates and prices, visit the cinema website here.

The Railway Inn is throwing a Christmas party on 22 December from 8.30pm. Expect Christmas hats, mince pies, DJs, funk ,disco, friends, hip-hop, bass and anything else that gets a party going. To book tickets, visit the website here.

We’ll be bringing you more seasonal tips on Twitter @Win_Guide. Wrap up warm one and all and enjoy!

Win Guide to December

It’s officially time to get festive.  December is here and Winchester is already embracing its identity as the “perfect” city for Christmas. Here’s the Win Guide to what’s on offer:

Woolly Hat Fair
Woolly Hat Fair

Fancy a little live art to keep you entertained until Christmas day?  This year, the Woolly Hat Fair team have launched a Live Advent Calendar, and between 1-24 December at 5pm a door will open somewhere in the city  behind which a “small moment of magic will take place”. And good news, there is an online version which gives you full details of where this impromptu artistry will be appearing each day, along with a hint on what it might entail, so you don’t have to run from door to door hunting for the hatters. All the events are free to attend but there is a maximum capacity at each venue so arrive early if you’ve set your heart on a particular date or door.

Santa Fun Run
Santa Fun Run

The Naomi House & Jacksplace 5k Santa fun run will take place in the city, 6 December.  It’s a fabulous event all in aid of supporting the great work of the hospices this christmas. Entry into the run has sold out this year, but you can join a waiting list or get in touch to join a team of volunteers helping out on the day.

Winchester Christmas Market
Winchester Christmas Market

The Christmas Market and Ice Rink has officially opened and will be celebrating its 10th birthday this year.  Perhaps one of the most picturesque ongoing events of the season, it’s a chance to get a taste of the fairytale Christmas that many travel to the continent to enjoy. With mulled wine, stollen and christmas gifts galore on offer, visit the germanic wooden cabins by the Cathedral when you are in the mood to slowly amble through a sensory yuletide experience.  Christmas shopping in a hurry this is not, but a seasonal staple it certainly is.

Cathedral Christmas Carols
Cathedral Christmas Carols

The Cathedral Christmas Carol Concert evening will take place on 11 December hosted by BBC South Today’s Sally Taylor. Starting at 7pm, tickets cost between £15 – £40 and will feature the Cathedral Choirs with guest appearances by popular trio BlakeAlternatively, there will be the public Carol Services at the Cathedral on Saturday 19, Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 December at 6.30pm.  The Saturday 19 event is ticketed, with a limited number available directly from the Cathedral Box Office (not online).  Doors will be open from 5.20pm and seats must be taken by 5.50pm. These are popular events so be prepared.

Holidays are Coming - Coca Cola truck
Holidays are Coming – Coca Cola truck

Apparently the ‘Holiday’s are coming, holiday’s are coming’ Coca Cola Christmas juggernaut truck is a ‘thing’ and you can embrace the commercial jazz-hands of a post-modern christmas by standing near it, taking a ‘selfie’ and well, drinking a bit of the iconic fizzy pop by it.  If this tickles your fancy, the “truck” will be makings its way to the city on the 17 December between 12-8pm.

Jack and the Beanstalk, Theatre Royal
Jack and the Beanstalk, Theatre Royal

Looking for some Fe, Fi, Fo Fun? Oh yes we are. Well, it is going to be a factory of festive fun at the Theatre Royal when they open Jack and the Beanstalk, running until Sunday 3 January.  Suitable from 3+ with original songs, evil Giant’s, magic beans, this year’s show will be packed full of participation, dames and good old panto hilarity.


We’ll be bringing you a few more festive tips later this month for you to mull over with some mulled wine and a mince pie.  Welcome to December one and all.