Visit Winchester > Blog > May Half Term – City Break for Grown-Ups

May Half Term – City Break for Grown-Ups

Mysteries & Mayhem
Mysteries & Mayhem

Saturday 27 May – Sunday 4 June

If you plan on staying in the heart of Winchester, find out what must-see exhibitions, festivals and tours are on this half-term, specially tailored for a grown-up getaway.

James Murray: In Flow

Step into the minds of two artists at The ARC’s upcoming exhibitions. Firstly, explore the light and dark of Constable’s life and works at Constable: The Dark Side, running from 26 May until 16 August at The Gallery. With paintings on loan from Gainsborough’s House, the Royal Academy, Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum, you won’t want to miss this rare glimpse into the emotions that fuelled some of England’s greatest landscapes.

In conjunction with this exhibition, James Murray’s abstract works will be on display at City Space, celebrating the way in which painting both reflects and heals the mind. In Flow is free entry and is Murray’s first solo exhibition, so take the chance to explore the transformative nature of art both old and new at The ARC. See all upcoming exhibitions here, and 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 similarly celebrating the connection between the old and new with The Elements of Sculpture exhibition, running from 12 May until 2 June. The exhibition will explore the historic and artistic significance of the Cathedral’s remarkable interiors through modern sculpture. Once you’ve had your artistic fill you must visit the newly refurbished Cathedral Café, sheltered behind an ancient flint wall opposite the Cathedral.

Take a short walk from the Cathedral to the High Street and Middle Brook Street for Winchester Farmers’ Market on Sunday 28 May. Rural small business owners from seven towns and cities across Hampshire will bring only their very best (and local) produce to the heart of Winchester for you to enjoy!

For those with a taste for history, visit Winchester City Mill, a rare surviving example of an urban working corn mill. While the mill has stood at the heart of the city’s historic waterways since the Saxon period, the current structure dates from 1744. Stepping inside – which is free for National Trust members and £4 for non-members – you can see the mill in action and learn more about its fascinating history and restoration. Alternatively, on Saturdays and Sundays, at 11am and 2pm, the mill offers free talks and tours to all visitors.

Visit Bombay Sapphire Distillery, based at Laverstoke Mill, by taking the 86 bus between Winchester and Basingstoke which includes several key stops in Whitchurch and Overton and stops outside Laverstoke Mill.

Friday 2 June, sees the return of the out of this world ‘Science Lates‘ at Winchester Science Centre. This is an over 18 years old only event as there’ll be a live DJ, fully stocked bar, huge live science demos and an out-of-this-world journey through the stars in the Planetarium.

Bridge over river with mill in background

Winchester City Mill

If you haven’t decided where to stay on your Winchester city break, check out our array of hotels, pubs, campsites, and self-catered accommodation here.

For accommodation just a stone’s throw away from the city’s main attractions, we recommend The Old Vine or the 16th century Winchester Royal Hotel. Or, if you prefer a self-catered stay, why not have a look at Magdalen House, Westgate Cottage, or Walsingham House, all a few minutes’ walk from the city centre.