Happiness is a place called Winchester, according to the Royal Mail UK Happiness Index. The survey carried out in early 2019 measured happiness according to eight factors: well-being, life expectancy, earnings, inequality, carbon emissions, crime, deprivation and access to health services. So with our happiness top spot confirmed, let’s find out what’s going on to keep us smiling this month…
Tickets have sold out for Martin Kemp who will be presenting 80’s gold at the Guildhall on Friday 5 April. If you missed out, fear not because the Magic of Motown returns for its third year on 12 April at 7.30pm. Listen to 36 classics amid glittering costume changes, dazzling dance moves and superb musicianship. For details and to book tickets, visit the website here.
Whilst we are on the subject of glitzy costumes, the fashionistas of Winchester will be delighted to hear that Winchester Fashion week takes place this month, 29 April – 4 May. Details will be announced on their website soon so keep an eye out for them here.
The Theatre Royal Winchester have an exciting programme of cultural treats. Rambert 2 will be performing on 2nd April at 7.30pm. Rambert is world famous as Britain’s original dance company. Rambert2 takes the company’s reputation for bold moves with technical virtuosity, and introduces a new generation. Check out the trailer below and visit the website for more details.
David Baddeil’s ANiMALCOLM looks great on 11 & 12 April. Described as a vibrant, energetic and gloriously funny musical from the award-winning Story Pocket Theatre, ANiMALCOLM combines physical theatre, puppetry and the company’s outstanding storytelling style to bring David Baddiel’s magical and wonderfully comic story to the stage. There’s also a Young Theatre Royal workshop opportunity attached to the touring production. Young people aged 7 – 11 years are being invited to the theatre on 10 April to develop animal characters, working as an ensemble and then present a piece on stage. The workshop costs £50 and includes a ticket to see ANiMALCOLM. For full details, visit the theatre website here.
The Winchester Science Centre will be exploring the Science of Sweets this Easter holiday. Tickets are free when you pay for general admission. Described as an epic live science show featuring a sugar flame thrower and exploding fat, the sugary fun takes place daily at 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm between 5 – 23 April. For more details, visit the website here.
For some egg-citing Easter holiday fun, head over to the Westgate Museum for an Easter trail, 10am – 4pm over the school holidays, 6 – 20 April. The City Mill will also be hosting its annual trail, in partnership with Cadbury, 6 – 18 April. Winchester Cathedral is offering a free Easter trail for children aged 4 – 11 years. Chawton House will also be hosting an easter egg hunt and other appropriately themed activities.
Last but not least, don’t forget to visit Sparsholt College for their annual Easter Bunny Event. This year, Superbunny is visiting the village, 19 – 20 April. Meet real rabbits, dress up as your favourite superhero or villain and enjoy games and craft activities. There will also be a trail on offer too with a chocolate prize. For more details, visit the website here.
We’ll be bringing you more updates on Twitter @Win_Guide throughout the month. Have an eggcellent time, one and all!
Remember, remember, it’s time for a Win Guide to November. From fireworks to film festivals, here’s our guide to some sizzling events in the city this month:
It’s the 60th Charity Winchester Bonfire & Fireworks on Saturday 3rd November. Starting at 6pm on The Broadway by King Alfred’s Statue, the torchlight procession makes its way through the historical streets of Winchester to the fields behind River Park. At 7.15pm, the Bonfire will be lit, and at 7.45pm you can enjoy the legendary Fireworks Spectacular. Visit the website here for more details or to book tickets.
The Winchester Film Festival takes place from 3 – 10 November. Enjoy feature film premieres and award-winning short films selected from over 50 countries, at venues across the city of Winchester. For a full programme of films including dramas, thrillers, documentaries and animations, visit the 2018 programme here. To find out more about the Winchester Film Festival or to book tickets, visit the website here.
You Are Here! closes at the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium on Saturday 4 November. Join the hosts of Wow Tours on an out-of-this-world immersive adventure as they attempt to put everything in its place – in our Solar System, the Universe and beyond! It’s a 30-minute show designed for children and their families. Be inspired to look up at the night sky and it could be the start of a lifelong adventure. For more details, visit the website here. And here’s a trailer:
The annual Christmas Light switch on, takes place on 15 November! Celebrate the start of the festive period and join Heart Radio’s Rich Clarke, who will be hosting an evening of live entertainment and fun, with the city’s wonderful Christmas lights being switched on by local Winchester heroes nominated by members of the public. The festivities start at 4pm and will end by 7pm (lights switched on at 6pm).
And whilst we are in the festive mood, the Cathedral Christmas markets and ice rink will open on 16 November. The official opening includes professional ice skating displays and music from the Cathedral Choristers along with the blessing of the tree. Following the Opening Ceremony, you will be free to explore the Christmas Market until 8pm.
Don’t forget to get booking for the Panto at the Theatre Royal which opens 1 December and runs until 6 January. This year, it’s Beauty and the Beast. Can Fairy Fifi bring Belle and the Beast together in time or will the evil Malevolent win the day? There’s only one way to find out. Visit the website here for times and tickets.
Speaking of the Theatre Royal, it’s a bumper month following on from the 40th anniversary celebrations since it was saved from demolition and re-opened as a performance venue. The one and only Nicholas Parsons will be starring in Just A Laugh A Minute on Saturday 3 November at 7.30pm. Book online here. The Winchester Musicals and Opera Society will be presenting Singing In The Rain from 7 – 10 November at 7.30pm. Tickets are available here.
The Armistice Centenary Recalled takes place on 11 November at 7.30pm featuring Michael Pennington, Pamela Miles and John Miller. Exactly a hundred years after the Armistice marking the end of the First World War, this dramatic recital draws on the contemporary writings in poetry and prose to recreate the moods and passions of those involved at the time. For more details, or to book tickets, visit the website here.
Also commemorating the 100th year anniversary of the end of World War I, Scamp Theatre’s award-winning production of Private Peaceful is full of vivid detail and dramatic narrative, superbly brought to life by Andy Daniel. For tickets, visit the website here.
BBC TV wildlife presenter and cameraman Gordon Buchanan will be sharing insight into his incredible experiences with some of the world’s most fearsome and majestic animals on 12 November. Book here.
If you missed our feature on the fantastic Welsh National Opera workshop for young people aged 10 – 18 years, you can read it here. The workshop takes place on 17 – 19 November. And, the Welsh National Opera cordially invites you to the World Premiere of the rip-roaring, uproarious musical comedy Rhondda Rips It Up! The production takes you on an unforgettable journey through the life and adventures of that unsung heroine of the Welsh Suffrage movement, Margaret Haig Thomas, the Viscountess Rhondda. Tickets are available to book online here.
Fans of comedy will be delighted to hear that Stewart Francis, star of Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and Crackerjack embarks on a brand-new show, Into the Punset on 21 November at 7.30pm.
The Chesil Theatre will be presenting Honour by Joanna Murray-Smith, directed by Heather Bradford, 17 – 24 November. Honour is a provocative drama that challenges our notion of honour, our sense of decency and our belief that love will prevail. The Singer by Nick Joseph will also be hosted 28 November – 1 December. After the sell-out success of ‘The Railway Plays’ in 2017, award-winning writer-director Nick Joseph presents another foray into the absurd and the unpredictable with the story of a man, so cut-off from society that his name has become a musical note (so cannot be written). For more details and to book tickets, visit the website here.
On Thursday 22 November, Dr Vanessa Harbour will be talking about the issues writers face when ‘Writing History as Fiction’ as part of the University of Winchester Tavern Talks. Dr Harbour is a writer whose recent novel Flight was published by Firefly Press in August and was described by the New Statesman as “an adventure mixing horses and Nazis” which balances its “gripping plot” with “real-life inspiration”. She will suggest that, as a writer, she aims to create narratives that engage the imagination using voices that are unlikely to have left any written records behind them, as she tells the stories of the invisible characters of history.
Finally, The Kings Chamber Orchestra are on a journey exploring time and space on the road to Christmas, 24 November at 3pm at The Middle Brook Centre in Middle Brook Street. Under 3’s go free and tickets are £5! What did the shepherds actually see? Why? How? When? What has that got to do with the note “C”? What is the most dazzling music of all?All these questions and more will be considered through a musical journey with fun for all the family in our day time teddy concerts, presented with wit and spontaneity by cellist Gerard Le Feuvre. Bring a Teddy! Tickets are available here.
It’s going to be quite a month in Winchester. We’ll be bringing you more updates on Twitter @Win_Guide. Enjoy one and all!
It’s half term in Winchester and time for some entertainment ideas. Here’s a Win Guide to what this week has on offer for families:
It’s all gone Boo at the Zoo. That Zoo of course is Marwell, where a resident wizard Lowedalf will be assisting aspiring flyers to earn their Level 3 broomstick license. Sessions last 20 minutes and will be taking place on the front lawn of Marwell Hall. For more information about this and other special events, as well as details about admission prices, visit the website here.
The Winchester Science Centre will be Firework and Fairground themed for half term week. What gives fireworks their different colours? Why do they go whizz and bang? Explosive live science shows will run hourly from 11:00am until 15:00pm. Visitors are invited to create fairground rides from recycled materials in the inventors studios. The week will finish with a big flourish on Friday 26 at 5pm in the form of a sing-a-long screening of The Greatest Showman in the planetarium. It will be a relaxed screening for younger viewers and costs £2 if you have paid to visit the centre, or £5 if you just want to sing like you’re Keala Settle or Hugh Jackman.
There’s a lot of entertainment on offer at the Theatre Royal this half term. Pigtails Productions, Polka Theatre and Oxford Playhouse present How to Hide a Lion based on the story by Helen Stephens, 22 – 23 October. Iris embarks on a mission to squash her new friend into a variety of sneaky tight spots as the misinformed town folk try and track him down. Suitable for viewers 3 years and upwards. Check out the trailer here:
Young Theatre Royal is offering a musical theatre workshop, Sing it in A Day for children aged 8 to 18 years on 24 October. All abilities are welcome.
Milkshake! Live arrives at the Theatre Royal on 25 October, 11.30am and 2.30pm. Starring Milkshake! favourites; Bob the Builder, Little Princess, Noddy, Fireman Sam, Shimmer & Shine, Pip from Pip Ahoy!, Winnie and Wilbur, Wissper, Milkshake’s very own Milkshake! Monkey and two Milkshake! presenters, this all singing, all dancing, musical masterpiece, will take audiences on a journey through the world’s favourite fairy tales. And just in case all those celebrity character names didn’t give you a flavour, here’s a trailer:
Time-travelling magicians Morgan & West return to the stage with a marvellous magic show full of crazy capers for the young, old and everyone in-between! Morgan & West: More Magic for Kids is recommended for children aged 5 years + but all are welcome. And you can round a week of family theatre off with the 45th Anniversary of Pam Adams’ best selling book There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly. It’s the perfect treat for anyone aged 2 to 102. For more details or to book tickets, visit the Theatre Royal website here.
The Discovery Centre is offering some Gruffalo storytelling and craft sessions all week. Half term is a great time to get down to the library. On 20 & 27 October, join the Let’s go! Construction Club for all budding lego builders aged 5 years and over. Duplo and colouring will be available for younger construction fun seekers. Nick Cope will be performing his family concert on 27 October at 10.30am. Nick has over 20 years of experience in music, including international success as lead singer and songwriter with The Candyskins in the 1990s. He now writes and records music for families. Tickets are £6 and available to book online here.
Winchester Cathedral is offering a Family Stained Glass trail this half term. Pick up a trail from the entrance desk and discover the beautiful shimmering stained glass that can be found around the Cathedral. Finish up at the craft table where you can create your own ‘faux’ stained glass window. Children under 16 go free but must be accompanied by an adult. For more details and times, visit the Cathedral website here.
Visit Winchester City Mill for the Hansel and Gretel trail. Things are getting spooky with the tale of Hansel and Gretel and their battle with the Wicked Witch. Explore the Mill to spot the trail of hidden breadcrumbs that Hansel has left. Use these to solve the cryptogram and lead you to the Wicked Witch’s cottage where there might be something sweet to take away. There will also be some Halloween pumpkin carving, 23 & 25 October from 11am – 3pm. Don’t forget to bring a pumpkin! Mike Rogers will be telling spooky stories on Friday 26 October. For more details, times and prices, visit the mill website here.
We’ll be bringing you more half term tips on Twitter @Win_Guide. Enjoy, one and all!
Happy New Year, Wintonians. The christmas festivities may be over but we’re very excited about 2018 in Winchester. Here’s our guide to some invigorating arts and culture in the city this January.
To start the year off with some live music, take a look at the Railway Inn’s programme. Events include Riteoff (12 Jan), Who Killed Nancy Johnson? (13 Jan), Lucy Bernandez and Friends (19 Jan), Blackstone Jones (20 Jan) and the Department electro party (26 Jan). For full details or to book tickets, visit the website here.
From the Jam will be taking the Guildhall by storm (26 January) whisking you back to the early 80s. The band is comprised of legendary former ‘The Jam’ bassist Bruce Foxton, vocalist & guitarist Russell Hastings, drummer Mike Randon, and Andy Fairclough on Hammond and piano. Tickets (14+) are available here.
For a different aesthetic, Index Cantorum will return with an immersive musical performance at Winchester Cathedral 20 Jan, 12pm & 1pm. Experience the music in a promenade or sit in the nave whilst the singers encircle the audience. The event is free with a retiring collection. For details, visit the cathedral website here.
Tom Kempinski’s ‘Duet for One’ is a thought provoking piece at the Chesil Theatre (20-27 Jan). The play which premiered starring Frances De la Tour in the 1980s is inspired by the story of Jacqueline du Pre and her conductor husband, Daniel Barenboim. A virtuoso violinist, Stephanie has lived for music since the age of four. She and her composer husband appear a golden couple until she is struck down with multiple sclerosis. Can she adjust to a different life? The story is told through successive interviews with a psychiatrist whose quiet probing unveils the true picture. For ticket details, visit the website here.
The Theatre Royal will be hosting the World Premiere of Mark Bruce’s dance theatre adaptation of Macbeth 31 January. That’s right, you can see it here first. Goaded by the whispers of demons, the Macbeths unleash murder for their own gains and set in motion their path to madness and self-destruction, unravelling events in a nightmare they cannot control. To book tickets, visit the theatre website here.
If you take a stroll through the city you’ll see that the wooden cabins have been constructed, the lights are hanging above the high street and Winchester is ready to get festive. But fear not, whether you are ready to get into the spirit or not, there’s plenty of entertainment to amuse this month. Here’s our guide to whats on in the city in November…
It’s the 6th edition of the Winchester short film festival, with screenings taking place between the 3rd and 11th November. Screenings take place at various locations throughout the city, and you can view the full programme here.
Winchester University is running its weekly faculty of arts talks on a Wednesday afternoon between 4.30pm – 6pm on campus. These are free to attend and an opportunity to hear about some of the research being undertaken at the University. November’s programme is:
8 November | 4.30pm | SAB203
A Nexus of Creativity: Musical Comedy at Daly’s Theatre, 1894-1899 (Presented via video link).
Prof. William Everett (University of Missouri-Kansas City)
15 November | 4.30pm | SAB201
The Facts and Trials of Jane Griffin, hanged for the murder of Elizabeth Osborn, 29 January 1720
Debbie Webber (Winchester)
An ekphrastic inspiration for a writer: Bruegel’s depictions of Carnival
Lisa Koning (Winchester)
22 November | 4.30pm | SAB203
Prof. Toby Miller (Loughborough University London)
29 November | 4.30pm | MB5
‘Meaningless secretaries and humourless bitches’: Mad Men, mediations of women’s work, and the vexed question of feminism
Prof. Caroline Bainbridge (University of Roehampton)
Have you bought your panto ticket yet for the Theatre Royal’s Peter Pan? There’s an exciting programme of work to explore meanwhile. The celebrated Motion House Charge will be bringing their exciting dance circus show about energy on 10, 11 November. Motionhouse is working with partners from Oxford University to support the creative and choreographic process, putting science at the heart of artistic practice. Tickets are available here.
Other highlights include the Shakespeare Schools Festival, which gives local schools a change to tread the boards staging a Shakespeare play, 7-8 November. John Boden will be bringing his fiddle, guitar, concertina and trademark stomp box, 12 November. Wayne Ellington will be singing Nat King Cole on 22 November. Or if you can’t wait to get festive, join the Winchester Musical and Opera Society for Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, 15 – 18 November. For a full programme or to book tickets, visit the website here.
Heart Radio’s Rich will be leading the city in the Christmas Light Switch on 16 November. There will be live entertainment on offer, with events taking place between 4 – 7pm. The lights should be officially switched on at 6pm. Event details can be found here.
Don’t forget to visit the Chesil Theatre for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles adapted by Steven Canny and John Nicholson. When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on his estate, a look of terror still etched on his face and the paw prints of a gigantic hound beside his body, the great detective Sherlock Holmes is summoned from Baker Street. The production will run between 17 – 25 November and you can book tickets here.
Finally, the Winchester Cathedral Christmas market opens 20 November and will be available daily until 22 December. The Ice Rink also opens 20 November and will be open until 7 January. The Cathedral have produced a helpful guide to festivities in the city which you can visit here.
Have a wonderful month, Wintonians. We’ll be bringing you more updates on Twitter @Win_Guide…
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.
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 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 Spiritby 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!
Come & celebrate culture & heritage in Winchester this September as part of the Heritage Open days national festival. Thurs 7- Sun 10 Sept 2017
Why not be a tourist in your own town for a day or even two?
Come and discover some of the many hidden places and secrets in Winchester and the surrounding villages all completely FREE! Over four days there will be more than 70 events celebrating our local heritage: 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 Editiongames.
Andrew Smith & Son – Antiques & Asian Arts valuation evening 17.00-20.00 (7th)
Pilgrims Hall, The Close, Winchester SO23 9LT Join us by 5:30pm to listen to Asian Art specialist James Hammond, on the changing nature of the market in Asian Art, and Andrew Smith who will give an insight into the modern auction world. Throughout evening a full team of specialist valuers will be on hand for informal valuation advice on any antiques or works of art brought in on the evening.
Aspects of Winchester – an exhibition at Winchester Heritage Centre 10.00 – 16.00 (7th, 8th & 9th)
Address: Winchester Heritage Centre 32 Upper Brook Street Winchester SO23 8DG The City of Winchester Trust has invited a group of artists in Winchester, who meet regularly to paint and sketch around the city, to produce an exhibition representing their work. Limited edition prints and cards will be available for sale.
Carter Marsh & Co 11.00 – 16.00 (7th, 8th)
Address: Carter Marsh & Co 32A The Square Winchester SO23 9EX Carter Marsh & Co are renowned dealers of antique clocks and watches and will be celebrating their 70th anniversary in the city this year. Come and watch skilled craftsmen at work and delight at some of the finest examples of antiquarian horology on display in the showroom.
Cosmic Walk and Labyrinth Tours: 11.00-12.00 & 12.30-13.00 (7th, 8th)
Address: University of Winchester, West Downs Student Village Romsey Road Winchester SO22 5HT Stroll with us from the beginning of time as we discover the unfolding story of the Cosmos and reconnect with our world. The Cosmic Walk features a Labyrinth and offers visitors the opportunity to reflect upon their relationship with the Earth and the Divine.
Chesil Theatre: (9th, 10th)
Address: Chesil Theatre 4 Chesil Street Winchester SO23 0HU Discover the delightful 12th century church of St Peter’s Chesil, converted to an intimate 75 seat theatre about 40 years ago. See behind the scenes, the stage and lights along with costumes, set designs and photos which will also be on display. Members of the Winchester Dramatic Society will be available to answer your questions.
Gieves and Hawkes Archive 09.00 – 17.30 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th, times vary)
Address: Gieves & Hawkes Ltd 1-2 The Square Winchester SO23 9ES For more than two centuries Gieves and Hawkes has been the world’s foremost in bespoke tailoring and has dressed every British Sovereign since George III. Come and learn about the company’s military history and view some of their archive pieces, including Princess Diana’s original Hampshire Regiment colonel in chief uniform jacket.
HCT: Abbey House Collections Tours 1000, 1200 & 1430 (7th)
Address: Abbey House The Broadway Winchester SO239BE Take a guided tour of some of the city’s collections of paintings and furnishings rarely on display to the public. Originally built as a private house around 1700, Abbey House was bought by Winchester City Council in 1889 and restored to its original 18th century splendour following extensive refurbishment in the 1980s. It is now the official residence of the Mayor of Winchester.
Hyde 900: Medieval tile display & workshop 1000-1600 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th)
Address: Winchester Cathedral Chapter House Garden Winchester SO23 9LS A display of encaustic tiles found on the site of Hyde Abbey. Discover their history and how they were made and why not have a go at making them in the medieval manner– but be prepared to get your hands dirty! For a fee your tile can also be glazed and fired.
Kingsgate – A Walk Through Time Walk: 1500 (7th, 8th & 9th)
Address: Kingsgate Arch Kingsgate Street Winchester SO23 9PD This walking tour takes in Wolvesey Palace, site of the medieval palace of the bishops of Winchester, continues down College Street past the College and the house where Jane Austen spent her last months, and ends with Kingsgate Arch and the 13th century church of St Swithun above.
Old Hyde House, ADAM Architecture offices Tour: 1000 & 1200 (7th, 8th)
Address: Old Hyde House 75 Hyde Street Winchester SO23 7DW Built on part of the original 12th century Hyde Abbey Precinct, Old Hyde House is Grade II* listed and has served many uses over the years. Visitors will be given a guided tour of the offices, hear the building’s rich history and see remnants of the old buildings that still exist today. Unsuitable for children under 15yrs.
Oram’s Arbour: a walking tour Walk: 1800-1900 (7th)
Address: Oram’s Arbour, Winchester A guided walking tour with local architect, George Saumarez Smith, describing the district around Oram’s Arbour. The walk will explore how it has changed since medieval times and how the area to the west was developed around West End Terrace.
Peninsula Barracks: a walking tour Walk: 1000 (7th, 9th)
Address: Peninsula Barracks Romsey Road Winchester SO23 8TP Join local architect Huw Thomas on a guided tour of the Peninsula Barracks and discover the history behind this five acre site. Huw will regale you with tales of executions, ghosts, mass graves, bloody 13th century battles, and his very own battle to save the buildings from demolition in the 1980’s.
Serle’s House Tour: 10.00 (7th, 8th 10.00 & 14.00)
Address Serles House Gar Street Winchester SO23 8GQ A rare chance to see inside this 18th century building built in the English Baroque style. Join a guided tour to see the staircase, reception rooms and period items and paintings from both the military and Hampshire County Council collections.
St Bartholomew Church 1000-1600 (7th, 8th, 9th 9:30-10:00, 10th Church closed after 9:30am morning service)
Address: St Bartholomew Church King Alfred Place Winchester SO23 7DN St Bartholomew was built by the monks of Hyde Abbey in the 12th century. Parts of the original church survive, including the Norman doorway. When the Abbey was destroyed by Henry VIII, its stones were used to build the church tower. King Alfred the Great is long rumoured to be buried in the churchyard.
St John the Baptist’s Church 1000-1700 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th)
Address: St John the Baptist’s Church St John’s Street Winchester SO23 0HF Winchester’s oldest parish church is situated on the ancient Pilgrim’s Way between Winchester and Canterbury. Built in the 12th century, later features include a spectacular south window, wall paintings and screen. Described by Sir John Betjeman as ‘a gem’, major restoration has revealed its medieval simplicity and beauty.
St Lawrence-in-the-Square 10.00-16.30 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th times vary)
Address: St Lawrence Church The Square Winchester SO23 9EX St Lawrence was a deacon martyred in Rome in AD 258. The Church stands on the site of the chapel of William the Conqueror’s Palace. It is called the Mother Church of Winchester, for it is the only surviving church of Norman foundation within the city walls. Before a new Bishop of Winchester is enthroned, he is first presented at St Lawrence.
St Swithun-upon-Kingsgate 1000-1630 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th times vary)
Address: St Swithun-upon-Kingsgate St. Swithun Street Winchester SO23 9JP St Swithun is the only church above a gate in the UK still holding church services. It was built in the 13th century and named after a local bishop, Swithun, thought to have been the tutor of King Alfred the Great. When Swithun’s bones were moved to the Cathedral against his wishes, a terrible storm occurred, giving rise to the legend that if it rains on St Swithun’s Day (15th July), it will rain for 40 days.
The Great Hall 10.00-17.00; Special Tours 1100 & 1500 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th times vary)
Address: The Great Hall Castle Avenue Winchester SO23 8UJ Explore the history and legend of The Great Hall, join our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides with 2 tours on offer and storytelling for children. Visitors will have a rare chance to see the 18th century Former Grand Jury room and discover Charles II’s vision of a King’s House in Winchester.
Warren & Son 09.00-17.30 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th times vary)
Address: Warren & Son 85 High Street Winchester SO23 9AE Look inside the big safe which is rarely open to the public. There you will see memorabilia and several tokens from the past including some first edition books published by Warrens.
Whitchurch Silk Mill on Tour 9am – 5pm (7th, 8th, 9th times vary)
Address: Hampshire Record Office Sussex Street Winchester SO23 8TH Whitchurch Silk Mill has been awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to assist with the restoration of its machinery and buildings to preserve these unique gems of Hampshire’s industrial heritage. Closed from September 2017 the Mill’s Roadshow will give people a glimpse of this exciting project.
Winchester Cathedral: tours of the close Tour: 10.00 & 14.00 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th)
Address: Winchester Cathedral The Close Winchester SO23 9LS Cathedral guides will be offering tours of the Cathedral Close, including some buildings not normally open to the public. The tour itinerary will vary but may include the brand new Wessex Learning Centre and apothecary garden, the stonemasons’ and carpenters’ workshops and private gardens
Winchester College – College tours 1015, 1130, 1415 & 1530 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th times vary)
Address: Winchester College College Street Winchester SO23 9NA Believed to be the oldest continuously running school in the country, Winchester College was founded by William of Wykeham in the 14th century and has been described as one of the finest collections of historic buildings in southern England. Join a guided tour to find out more. Unsuitable for children under 11yrs.
Winchester College – War Cloister tour Tours at 14.00 and 15.00 (7th)
Address: Winchester College College Street Winchester SO23 9NA Winchester College was founded in the 14th Century and has been described as one of the finest collections of historic buildings in Southern England. Within the precincts is the beautiful and peaceful War Cloister, a memorial to Old Wykehamists who died in both World Wars and subsequent conflicts. Listen to their stories and the story of the building of this wonderful memorial. Unsuitable for young children.
Winchester Embroiderers Guild 1000-1700 (7th, 8th 09.30-16.00)
Address: St Lawrence Church 18-19, The Square Winchester SO23 9EX An opportunity to meet Winchester Embroiderers Guild members demonstrating stitched textile techniques. There will also be a small display of members’ work in a range of styles. We are a diverse group of textile artists who enjoy celebrating our heritage in contemporary as well as historical embroidery. We look forward to meeting you.
Gilbert White’s House 10:30am -17:00pm (7th)
Address: High Street Selborne Alton GU34 3JH A rare chance to view items from the collections store not on display in the Museum. From personal items belonging to 18th century naturalist Gilbert White, to artefacts brought back from Africa by Victorian explorer Frank Oates, and memorabilia from the tragic Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole in 1912 led by Captain Scott.
Hinton Apmner – National Trust 10:00-17:00 (9th)
Address: Hinton Ampner Nr Alresford SO24 0NH A house lovingly rebuilt by Ralph Dutton, after a fire in 1960. Beautifully proportioned rooms house an exquisite collection of ceramics and art. Manicured lawns lead the eye down avenues of sculptured topiary, past borders full of roses, to views across the South Downs. Explore the grounds with a brand new Quiz Trail App and follow clues to discover the secrets of Hinton Ampner.
Long Barn 0900-1700 EXHIBITION ONLY (7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, paid talk available on some dates)
Address: The Old Sheep Fair Bishops Sutton Road Alresford SO24 9EJ Long Barn home & garden store loves all things lavender! Visit their free exhibition of artefacts showcasing English lavender growing.
Matterley Bowl Tour 09.00, 11.00, 13.00 (7th)
Address: off A31 alresford road Alresford SO21 1HW Discover the recent history of the Matterley Bowl and join a guided tour of this stunning natural amphitheatre within the SDNP. Learn about traditional land management and go in search of late flying butterflies. This event is not suitable for small children.
The Brickworks Museum, Bursledon 11.00 – 16.00 (7th & 10th)
Address: The Brickworks Museum Swanwick Southampton SO31 7HB
Come and be amazed at the authentic sights, sounds and smells of the last steam-driven Victorian brickworks in the UK. Make your own brick, get close to the massive brick making machines and see how the men used to run 15 miles a day in the big drying sheds.
Watercress & Gin 18.00-20.00 (7th)
Address: The Watercress Co Old Alresford Alresford SO24 9DH Explore the history of watercress in Hampshire, take a guided walk around the beds and learn more about the health-giving properties of watercress and wasabi. Afterwards visit the Winchester Distillery site for a tour and free tasting of their award-winning watercress gin. This event is not suitable for children under the age of 18yrs.
Pre-booking essential, for over 18yrs only
Other exciting events include:
Antiquarian Bookselling in Winchester over the years: Weekend Archaeology at St. Cross Hospital: Friday only Austen abridged: Saturday only Barter Memorial Chapel: Saturday only Free Vintage Bus Service: Saturday only Friends Meeting House: Weekend HCT: Behind-the-scenes at Chilcomb House: Friday only HCT: Brass rubbing at The Westgate: Sunday only HCT: Musicians at the Westgate: Saturday only HCT: The Winchester Model at City Museum: Sunday only Hampshire Record Office Open Day: Saturday only Jeremy France Jewellers: Saturday only Morally Insane, Inverted, Born This Way: Medical Treatments for Lesbianism in Britain: 1830-1950 Saturday only Pilgrim’s Hall: Friday & Sunday St Cross Meadows: Friday only Storytelling at Winchester City Mill: Sunday only The Chesil Rectory & more: Friday & Saturday The Colour Factory Studios: Sunday only The Guildhall tour: Sunday only The Hospital of St Cross: Friday only The Stable: Cider Tasting & Talk: Saturday only The Tree Line: Poetry at Pilgrims Hall: Saturday only Theatre Royal: behind the scenes tour: Saturday only Vintage Make Do & Mend: Weekend vOx Chamber Choir: Saturday only Winchester City Mill – Flour Milling Weekend: Weekend Winchester College – Archives tour: Saturday only Winchester College – Fellows’ Library tour: Friday only Winchester College – Science Collections tour: Saturday only Winchester College – Treasury: Weekend Winchester Lido: Saturday only Winchester MG Owners Club Display: Saturday only Winchester’s Historic Journey Through Paper Cut: Friday & Saturday Winchester’s Military Museums: Weekend Wolvesey Castle guided tour: Sunday only Bullington Craft Fete: Sunday only Heathcote Mausoleum: Sunday only Hockley Watermill: Sunday only Hursley House: Sunday only The Granary Creative Arts Centre: Weekend The Grange at Northington: Friday only The Vyne: Weekend Walking Tour of Winchester’s Historic Sites and Best Real Ale Pubs: Saturday only
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…
It’s beginning to feel a lot like December, and you can’t fail to notice the lights in the city or the selection boxes and crackers that are lining the supermarket aisles. ‘Tis certainly the season, so let’s see what our fine city has to offer in the lead up to Christmas:
Start off the month with a ho, ho, ho! at the Pin Drop Comedy ‘Christmas Special’ standup comedy night, 1 December 8pm at the Wintonian Bar, Winchester Guildhall. It is hosted by James Ross & Andrew Johnston. Entry is free and you can enjoy your christmassy chuckles with some food and drink from the bar.
We’re getting excited about the Woolly Hat Fair Twelve Days of Christmas. Throughout December, in all sorts of surprising places, 12 free events will take place inspired by the cherished carol. Events will be free to attend and will take place at 5pm every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday between 3 – 22 December. Keep an eye on the Hat Fair website for details of locations. Day 1 is A Partridge in a Pear Tree at the Winchester School of Art Gallery, with work from Live Canon, a collaboration between fashion and textiles students from Winchester School of Art and with budding poets from Winchester’s local community.
The Theatre Royal panto will be Cinderella this year and it’s opening 6 December until 2 January. Oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is! There are relaxed performances, family performances and this year the Theatre Royal is offering a Touch Tour at 10am on Sunday 11 December, one hour prior to the 11am performance offering an opportunity for those who are visually impaired to experience the stage, and feel the set and costumes to enhance their enjoyment of the show. For more details and to book tickets, visit the theatre website here.
Christmas is a time for giving and there are some worthwhile charitable events taking place this month. The annual Naomi House and Jacksplace Santa Run will be held on 3 December. Starting at the Winchester Guildhall, the 5k will run through the city from 9.30am with details available here. There’s a Charity Christmas Concert at the Discovery Centre, 9 December at 7.30pm. Winchester Fusion Choir will be singing in aid of Winchester Fusion Choir presents a concert in aid of Winchester Homestart , Winchester Youth Counselling and Winchester Friends of the Family. Tickets are available to book online here.
Winchester Cathedral will be offering their Twilight Tower Tours from 3.30pm lasting 90 minutes on various dates until 17 December. There will be mulled wine and mince pies after the tour and it’s a fantastic way to see views across the city, Christmas market and ice-rink. It is a climb, so the Cathedral advise sensible clothing and footwear and the event is not suitable for young children or those with walking or breathing difficulties. For dates and booking details, visit the website here. Details of the Christmas services at the Cathedral are available here including the Carol services and Midnight Eucharist.
Winchester City Museum will be hosting a festive family quiz for super sleuths. Entry is free and there will be a tasty prize at the end (donations are welcome). Why not follow this up with a trip to Santa’s Grotto at the Tourist Information Centre. As this is his busy period, he’ll only be in on Saturday’s and booking is recommended. For more details, visit the website here.
There are some fabulous opportunities for Christmas shopping in Winchester. The Cathedral Christmas Market cabins and ice-rink are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, a seasonal staple for a sensory trip into the spirit. 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. The Square has been described by the Telegraph as “the beating heart of chic Winchester”. Cadogan & Co has certainly earned this reputation. Featured in Vogue’s 100 best shopping destinations outside London, it’s a treasure trove of couture, sumptuous service and the perfect spot for those wanting to enjoy the act of trying and buying clothes. If you linger in the Square you could find some specialist kitchenware at Dinghams. 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.
Remember, Winchester is so good at Christmas it has a website dedicated to it and you can download a handy guide here. We’ll be bringing you more seasonal tips throughout the month @Win_Guide. Enjoy, city folk, and we’ll see you next month for some new year’s resolutions!
Cult Screens present an outdoor seated cinema experience at Cathedral Inner Close showing Labyrinth (4th Aug), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (5th Aug) and Dirty Dancing (6th Aug). Expect pitcher cocktails, craft beers, wines, fresh popcorn and different street food stalls to enhance the experience. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are available to book online in advance here.
Now in its eighth year, the immersive world of BoomTown Fair returns to the Matterley Estate from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th August 2016. This independent, artistic festival affair includes ska, folk, gypsy, reggae, world, punk, pirate and disco to electro-swing, jazz, blue-grass, bass, jungle and techno. The Kidztown area provides facilities for families with a separate entrance, experiential learning, an inflatable obstacle course with foam and child friendly entertainment on the Sandcastle stage. For full details, visit the website here.
The Graze Festival returns to Twyford, 28th August 2016. Going into its second year, the event includes live music, performing arts, pop-up restaurants and entertainment, complete with a dedicated kids’ area for families to enjoy the day. For more details, visit the website here.
If you would rather head indoors, Winchester Cathedral will be offering free lunchtime recitals 9th, 16th and 23rd August, with a retiring collection. For programme details, visit the website here.
RicNic Hampshire return to the Theatre Royal with the musical comedy, Guys and Dolls! from 24th – 27th August. Established in 2004 to give young people between the ages of 16 – 21 years the chance to stage a musical, RicNic has opened the world of theatre to hundreds of young people. To book tickets and support the team, visit the Theatre Royal website here.
Lots on offer to stimulate the senses and tickle the ear buds as summer gets into full swing. Enjoy it, Wintonians!
The arts & culture guide for the city of Winchester in Hampshire.