With flights being cancelled and budgets being squeezed, why not take away the stress and have a staycation closer to home in a beautiful city with a village feel?
Winchester is easily accessible without a car and many of the attractions can be reached on foot or by public transport. It is also a great base for a holiday in Hampshire. Winchester is just a short journey to the South Coast beaches and close to the New Forest and South Downs national parks. The area is also home to three of the most vibrant and picturesque market towns in Hampshire – Alresford, Bishop’s Waltham and Wickham, also well worth a day exploring.
Here are just some highlights of what to see and do on a trip to Winchester this summer. Take a look at our What’s on page to time your visit with an event or find more attractions on our Things to do page.
Get set for an action-packed summer of family fun at the Winchester Science Centre. There is a brand new free live science show, Sparks, all about electricity. There are also family activities inspired by the new Disney and Pixar movie Lightyear, spectacular Planetarium shows, outdoor adventures, immersive exhibits and huge science demos.
Open weekends and summer school holidays from 9th July to 11th September 9.20am to 5pm (last entry 2.20pm).
Tickets £15 per person, under 3s free.
Advance booking only via www.winchestersciencecentre.org
Step inside Winchester’s awe-inspiring Cathedral for a range of family-friendly activities. Venture beneath the floor of the Cathedral on an underground crypt tour; explore the Cathedral grounds on the summer family activities trail; discover over 1,000 years of unearthed treasures and stories inside the Kings & Scribes exhibition – all included in the price of a general admission ticket. With a general admission ticket, you can buy today and visit as often as you like for the next 12 months. www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/explore/tours-and-trails/
Adult £10, Concession – £8 Children under 16 (with family) – Free
BRICKOSAURS! Evolution is the latest new species to join Marwell Zoo. A collection of towering dinosaurs made using more than two million toy bricks, BRICKOSAURS! Evolution is a world first of 55 prehistoric creatures. Highlights include an incredible seven metre long Spinosaurus, a nodding Heterodontosaurus and a huge Mosasaur emerging from the water.
The brick dinosaurs will join more than 140 exotic and endangered species and over 2,500 real animals.
BRICKOSAURS! Evolution is included in general admission and on until 4th September. For more information and to book tickets visit www.marwell.org.uk.
From July 20 to August 31 every full priced day ticket purchased for Marwell Zoo, will come with a free return ticket valid for seven days. You’ll be given a voucher for your return visit when you come through admissions. So, if it’s too hot, too wet, or you have little legs and can’t make it around the whole 140 acre site in one day, you can take your time and come back another day and do all of the bits you missed the first time.
For more information and to book your tickets visit marwell.org.uk.
Adult £25, Concession £22.50, Child £21, under 2s free.
Founded in 1382, Winchester College is believed to be the oldest school in the country.
The College’s Treasury Museum is open to the public every afternoon, free of charge, and houses the school’s unique collections of art and archaeology. These include artefacts from Egypt, Greece and Rome, casts of the Parthenon Frieze, and Chinese ceramics from the Tang to Qing dynasties. This summer, the Museum has free ‘make and take’ craft sessions for children and their families. On 8th and 24thAugust, children aged 5-11 and their parents or carers will be welcomed into the museum to make simple craft items based on the objects we have on display. Book via www.ticketsource.co.uk/winchester-college/winchester-college-treasury-museum-make-and-take-craft-morning/e-jrzxyz
More information about the Treasury Museum can be found here: treasury.winchestercollege.org
Located in the historic heart of Winchester, City Museum tells the story of England’s ancient capital, the seat of Alfred the Great. This summer there are a range of activities included in the admission price including Medieval tile making and knights training, Commander Blunt’s pirate school and a magic show and magicians workshop. www.hampshireculture.org.uk/winchester-city-museum
Pay once and you can visit all year round.
Adult £7, children £3.50 (under 5s free), concessions £5.50, family ticket (max two adults) £19.50.
Hampshire Cultural Trust presents Out of the Blue, a touring exhibition from The Fashion and Textile Museum, celebrating the work of influential design company, Designers Guild. The rich riot of colours and patterns of Designers Guild will be exhibited across both The Gallery and City Space at The Arc. https://www.hampshireculture.org.uk/event/out-blue
Adults £6, children £3, concessions £4.75, families £16.75
There is a range of workshops for children this summer at The Arc. These include Stop-motion animation, make a dreamcatcher and make your own worry dolls. For more information and to book visit www.arcwinchester.org.uk
Take a wander around the Winchester streets and parks and you will find history at every turn. This summer you’ll also find hares too! Hares of Hampshire is a spectacular public art trail brought to the city by The Murray Parish Trust and Wild In Art. Each giant sculpture has been individually designed and beautifully created by local artists.
Families are well catered for in Winchester and alongside the popular chains you’ll find some great budget-friendly independents. These include great sourdough pizzas from Three Joes Pizza, Piecaramba, a pie and comic shop and Shoal, a traditional fish and chips restaurant. In Winchester there is also a vibrant café scene offering plenty of opportunities to warm up the family with a hot drink and treat. A new popular spot is the Cobbles outside the magnificent Great Hall, home to King Arthur’s legendary Round Table. Take a look at our Food and drink pages to find something to whet your appetite.
We recommend staying over to get the most out of your visit and you’ll find something to suit your style and budget on our accommodation pages.