Sunday 18 June 2023
Gilbert White’s House and Gardens are hosting their 30th Anniversary Unusual Plants Fair this Father’s Day weekend. Explore the extraordinary array of plants on display, talk to experts, and treat yourself to the onsite BBQ, café and 1765 brewery. In celebration of their 30th Anniversary, entry is free for children and half price for adults.
For more glorious greenery, be sure to visit Hinton Ampner House and Gardens. This stunning National Trust property is just a stone’s throw from Winchester and offers one of the finest examples of 20th century garden design.
With paintings on loan from Gainsborough’s House, the Royal Academy, Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum, you won’t want to miss The ARC’s new exhibition, Constable: The Dark Side. It explores the light and dark of Constable’s life and works and gives a rare look into the emotions that inspired some of England’s greatest landscapes.
As a free companion exhibition, James Murray: In Flow explores the transformative and healing nature of abstract art. For a Father’s Day treat, be sure to enjoy some coffee, cake or a light lunch at The ARC café, before heading over to the shop to discover books, gifts and exclusive exhibition items.
Winchester Cathedral is also welcoming art-lovers this Father’s Day with The Elements of Sculpture. The incredible contemporary sculptures on display celebrate the historic and artistic significance of the Cathedral’s interiors. Once you’ve had your artistic fill you must visit the newly refurbished Cathedral Café, just opposite the main entrance.
To dive into Winchester’s Anglo-Saxon and medieval history, visit 878 AD and enjoy three historic attractions for the price of one with your ticket. Experience a multi-media immersion into Anglo-Saxon life at 878 AD, take a journey from the Iron Age to modern day at the City Museum, and discover Tudor and Stuart Winchester at the Westgate Museum. It is the perfect day out for every history buff.
For a glimpse of modern history, visit Fort Nelson’s outdoor installation: Standing with Giants. A moving commemoration to those whose lives were lost in the Falklands War, the 258 life-size statues have been touring the country since 2022, making their way to the south for the first time this summer.
Theatre Royal Winchester has some fabulous shows lined up this Summer – a great last-minute Father’s Day gift! The mystical Forest of Arden awaits in Flabbergast Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on 13 and 14 June. Or maybe you’d like to venture into the Town of Titipu in Sasha Regan’s all-male production of The Mikado, running from 3 to 8 July.
For some family fun, be sure to join for Sing-a-Long-a Encanto and The Greatest Showman on 17 June. Fancy dress is strongly encouraged, and full audience participation is essential at these two movie musical sing-alongs!
For the gorgeous vistas of the South Downs, venture along one of the many cycle and walking trails in the Winchester district. And whether you need a mountain bike for the South Downs Way, or a gravel bike for the King Alfred’s Way, Bespoke Biking have a great bike line up for you to choose from. If your trail takes you along St. Catherine’s Hill, be sure to grab a coffee at the Handlebar Café, a popular destination for cyclists and walkers! Or why not pick up one of the walking and cycling books available for sale in Winchester Visitor Information Centre – the perfect gift to entice cycling enthusiasts to explore the Winchester district by bike.
Situated in a 140-acre park, Marwell Zoo is home to 100s of animals and natural wonders. Explore the grounds, meet some furry friends, and learn about the conservation efforts of Marwell Wildlife, whose projects help conserve species and habitats all around the world.
Treat your foodie friends and family to a meal at one of our Winchester independents! Supporting local talent – and tastes – is the best way to experience the city. Stop for a quick bite of Nepalese food at Marse, or a gourmet meal at Winchester’s most historic restaurant, The Chesil Rectory. Wash it all down at Inn the Park wine bar in Abbey Gardens, or cosy local favourite, The Old Vine.
Did you know that Bombay Sapphire Gin is distilled in the heart of Hampshire? For your cocktail connoisseurs, join the Discovery Experience at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery. Learn about the history of the Distillery, while enjoying complimentary cocktails and a tour from your Distillery Host. It’s bound to be a gin-credible time!
On 18 June, meander along The Broadway, Lower High Street and Middle Brook Street for Winchester’s monthly Art & Design market, open from 9am until 5pm. Meet our local makers and maybe even pick up a special Father’s Day gift!
Whether you are buying for an aficionado (Hayward Guitars, Elephant Records), a trendsetter (99 Vintage, Bluberri, Sass & Edge) or a bookworm (Kingsgate Books & Prints, P & G Wells) you’ll find something unique and wonderful in one of Winchester’s independent hidden gems. Take a look at the FREE #IndieWinch Pocket Map to help you find your next purchase!
Still need a gift?
Don’t forget to pick up a locally made gift or Winchester souvenir from Winchester Visitor Information Centre.
If you’d like a bit more time to organise your trip to Winchester, find out what’s on this summer here. Make sure you keep up to date with latest news by subscribing to our Visit Winchester newsletter and following us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.