Visit Winchester > Blog > Summer staycations
Gurkha Museum Summer 2022
Gurkha Museum Summer 2022

If you’re looking for a holiday closer to home, Winchester could be your next stop! The city centre and district’s market towns are packed with attractions, shops, restaurants, cafes and bars to suit all tastes and budgets – and the same can be said for its sleeping options…

A couple enjoying a Hot Tub at Blackwood Forest

 

Imagine waking up on a beautiful summer’s day and opening the doors of your very own cabin in Blackwood Forest, near Micheldever. All cabins at this woodland retreat come with a hot tub and some with a hammock or barbecue. Couples can enjoy Prosecco on arrival, while cabins are perfect for groups and families – with activities like archery and forest ranger experiences available. Why not explore The Great Outdoors with man’s best friend – the retreat is dog friendly too!

 

In the city…

If you’d rather be in the city, but desire a quiet corner – The Old Vine on Great Minster Street could be for you! An 18th century inn steeped in character with bags of charm, the six rooms feature Georgian, Victorian and modern décor; while downstairs, enjoy pub classics and traditional Sunday roasts in the bar restaurant. With views of Winchester Cathedral, why not relax out front and enjoy the lighter evenings with the inn’s selection of locally brewed real ales.

Exterior view of The Old Vine

In fact, if you want to be a stone’s thrown from the city’s attractions, the centre really is a great place to stay – with a wide range of old and new hotels (including star-rated and budget brands) and guest houses. Do your bit for the planet too by coming by train and staying in the centre to reduce the need for public transport. Winchester is compact enough to explore on foot.

On St Peter Street, the 16th century Winchester Royal Hotel has 81 luxury bedrooms – some with antique furnishings; an award-winning restaurant, secret walled garden and on-site car park. Some rooms come with delicious extras like fresh fruit and home made cookies; while eat in or out to enjoy seasonal favourites, light lunches and cream teas. Perfect summer fayre!

Another option is The Wykeham Arms on Kingsgate Street. A short walk from the cathedral and Winchester College, this coaching inn dates back to 1755 and features luxurious guest rooms (including one with a separate living room); a decadent menu with caviar and truffle; and across the road, its very own tea rooms – The Saint George Tea Rooms.

The Winchester Hotel and Spa on Worthy Lane (minutes from the train station on foot), features spacious rooms with in-room safes, some with Superking beds, SMART TVs, luxury coffee machines and slippers. The restaurant offers early bird specials, Steak Wednesdays and seasonal menus; while the spa (reopened in late Spring 2022 after an extensive refurbishment) features brand new hydro and thermal areas, relaxation and treatment rooms, a pool and fitness suite.

 

Outside the city…

For accommodation close to some attractions, Holiday Inn Winchester is right next to Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium – with interactive exhibits and shows. The hotel – fresh from a £2.5m refurbishment – has 131 modern bedrooms (children stay and eat for free); a gym and luxury adults only spa; business centre; a bar, restaurant and pizzeria. Local buses run to the city centre.

Marwell Hotel

Or check out Marwell Hotel, next door to the wildlife park. Built in 1989, this colonial safari lodge style bespoke hotel was inspired by African treetops and features 68 bedrooms (including ones with bunk beds for families) with woodland views. There’s a fitness centre, swimming pool; plus a restaurant with two AA rosettes, a child-friendly menu and complimentary organic baby food.

Heading out of town again, Lainston House, near Sparsholt, is a 17th century country house set in 63 acres of parkland. Stay in one of the 50 luxurious bedrooms, sample fine dining in the two unique restaurants or enjoy a walk or bike ride around the beautiful grounds. If you fancy learning something new, book a place on a seasonal cooking class at SEASON Cookery School or experience the best of fishing on a crystal clear lake close to the hotel.

 

Further afield…

For a self-catering option perfect for families, there’s Wallops Wood Cottages, Droxford, surrounded by beautiful Meon Valley countryside. Enjoy sunsets and stargazing – with the South Downs National Park an International Dark Skies Reserve. These multi award-winning cottages provide a great place to lay your head between walking and cycling and each one features a hot tub, patio furniture, a BBQ (in the summer). There’s also a games room and pets are welcome!

tents in a field at Holden Farm campsite

If you like camping, stop by Holden Farm, near Alresford, for a traditional campsite with fire pits and a spotlessly clean facilities block. Pitch up and relax! Surrounded by South Downs countryside, the wild flower meadows have led to wild native animal, bird and insect neighbours. The campsite is next to Holden Farm with free-range chickens, horses and sheep – and a team who are happy for you to watch them work. The site is also situated in the International Dark Skies Reserve!

For a peaceful B&B, consider Fairlawn in Bishop’s Waltham – set between the historic palace ruins and the south pond. It’s a two-minute walk to the town centre for a range of restaurants, traditional pubs and coffee shops; and close to the Pilgrim’s Way for a relaxing country walk.

Visit this page for hotel, guest house, camping, glamping, self-catering, city-centre, further afield options!