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What to do this bank holiday

Winchester College
Winchester College

Winchester on a bank holiday offers a blend of history, culture and relaxation that promises an unforgettable experience for visitors. Nestled in the heart of Hampshire, this charming city boasts a rich tapestry of heritage, from its ancient roots as the capital of Anglo-Saxon England to its majestic medieval cathedral.

For history buffs, Winchester is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Wander through the cobbled streets of the city centre and discover iconic landmarks such as the Great Hall, home to King Arthur’s legendary Round Table. Tickets include entrance into the Westgate Museum which tells the story of this remarkable building and the history of Tudor and Stuart Winchester. It also offers unrivalled views over the city from its roof.


New for 2024, are the Winchester College War Cloister Tours which run on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Commemorating 100 years since the opening of the College’s tranquil private war memorial, these thought-provoking tours bring to life the stories of the pupils and teachers from Winchester who died in both World Wars and subsequent conflicts, as well as the architecture, symbolism, and impact of War Cloister today. It has been described by Historic England as the largest private war memorial in Europe.


Tour party in Abbey Gardens

Running daily at 11am and 2pm from the Visitor Information Centre are the Upper and Lower City Highlight tours*. Join a qualified tourist guide to discover the sites and hear a few stories and scandals along the way. The guides’ love of history, sense of humour and passion for Winchester will guarantee a memorable visit and inspire you to return.

But Winchester isn’t just about the past; it’s a vibrant hub of culture and creativity. Immerse yourself in the thriving arts scene with galleries showcasing both international and local talent or catch a performance at the Theatre Royal.

Visit The Arc’s, Grayson Perry: Essex House Tapestries – The Life of Julie Cope exhibition until 12 June as well as Hearth, a site-specific installation by local artist Suna Imre (which runs until 1 October).

The Winchester Chamber Music Festival also takes place over the bank holiday weekend. The main festival venue is St Paul’s Church but events are also happening in the Theatre Royal Winchester, The Nutshell and St Lawrence Church.

For those seeking relaxation, book a revitalising spa day at the Ana Spa. Or Winchester’s picturesque parks and gardens provide the perfect escape. Take a leisurely stroll along the tranquil River Itchen or enjoy a picnic in the sprawling green spaces of the Water Meadows.

And let’s not forget about the culinary delights awaiting you in Winchester. From quaint tearooms serving traditional afternoon tea to stylish eateries offering contemporary cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Visit our Where to Stay page for inspiration on accommodation, there is something to suit every budget.

*Tours start at £11 per person and can be booked either online or on the day from the Visitor Information Centre.