Visit Winchester > Blog > Time for a staycation

Time for a staycation

Winchester College
Winchester College

Are you looking to escape the everyday and explore somewhere new but closer to home? Winchester is the perfect place to book your staycation with accommodation to suit everyone and a host of activities to delight all ages. Check out our suggested itineraries below and be inspired to visit this beautiful district.

Please check the individual business websites for opening details and COVID-19 safety measures so you know before you go. Please continue to follow the latest government guidance.

City and country getaway

Winchester is a vibrant city nestled in the beautiful Hampshire countryside and a gateway to the stunning South Downs National Park. Base yourself in the heart of Winchester city centre and explore all the city and countryside have to offer.

Book your stay at the Winchester Royal Hotel right in the middle of the city and a short walk from the train station. With 81 beautifully designed rooms, an award-winning garden restaurant and one of Winchester’s best kept secrets – a stunning walled garden – your stay at the Winchester Royal Hotel will not disappoint.

Just a short walk from the hotel is Winchester City Mill, the official gateway to the South Downs Way. Grab your walking shoes or bike and travel through the South Downs National Park with stunning panoramic views and an abundance of wildlife and nature – enjoy the fresh air.

A family of four walking along a grassy hill with a view of the South Downs National Park behind them

The South Downs National Park

Another hotel in the heart of the city centre is the Hotel du Vin & Bistro. Book your stay in luxury and enjoy the intimate ambience in the bistro and winery, champagne bar and delightful walled garden.

Just a short cycle or drive from the city centre will bring you to one of the many unique and stunning market towns that sit in the Winchester district. Take a journey to Alresford and explore the Alre Valley Trail as you walk along the River Alre.

Around sunset take a walk along the Sunset Trail which will lead you to the top of St Giles Hill with amazing views over the city.

After a day of exploring the countryside head back into the city centre to one of the fabulous eateries on offer. Why not try the cuisine of Japan at Kyoto Kitchen, have a romantic meal for two at the historic Chesil Rectory or dine in style at the Ivy Brasserie. Be sure to browse the programme at the Theatre Royal Winchester for a night of entertainment, but stop in at Cabinet Rooms across the street first for an outstanding and delicious cocktail.

The stage at the Theatre Royal Winchester from the auditorium

Theatre Royal Winchester

Spa break

Are you in need of a little rest and relaxation? Winchester is the perfect place for you. Book your stay at the Winchester Hotel and Spa and pamper yourself. This four star hotel is the perfect place to base your escape to Winchester with a luxury spa and health club to help you feel more yourself.

If you would like to relax in the beautiful Hampshire countryside then a stay at Wallops Wood could be just what you need. Step outside your cottage and straight into your hot tub with views over the surrounding green open space.

Holiday lodge with hot tub in front

Cottage at Wallops Wood

After a day of relaxation it might be time to treat your wardrobe – sometimes nothing makes you feel better than that perfect outfit. Take a trip to one of the stunning market towns in the Winchester district and shop in the unique boutiques and shops on offer or browse the city centre high street for fashion from popular big name brands before popping into one of our independent retailers to complete your outfit.

Finish your day of relaxation with a visit to one of Winchester renowned eateries. Delight in the delicious menus on offer and find your favourite dish. Let your taste buds travel to Italy at Piccola Roma in Bishop’s Waltham, find fresh, seasonal cuisine at The Hinton Arms in Cheriton or enjoy a classic pub meal at The Fox in Crawley – you could even take a take-away back to your cottage at Wallops Wood.

Be sure to take some pampering home with you with a visit to Bay Tree Beauty. Indulge in their fantastic products that are sure to help you bring the rest and relaxation home.

Family fun

Book that get-away for the whole family and plan some family fun. Book your spacious and comfortable family room at the Holiday Inn Winchester for a great night sleep before you set of on an adventure. Right next door is the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium – the perfect place to explore. Venture into an enormous 10m long guitar as you explore sound, hearing and vibration, take an epic journey through the solar system with Explorer:Space, or sit back and relax in the planetarium as you fly through space.

If you’re looking to walk on the wild side plan your visit to Marwell Zoo and discover the animals on your own walking safari. Get a giraffe’s eye view in Wild Explorers as you look out over the exhibit or watch the penguin dive under the water – there is so much to see.

If you are looking to burn off some steam Little Beaulieu at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum is the perfect place to visit. Let your little ones imaginations run wild as they explore the magical wooden palace, take on the epic climbing wall or crawl through the secret tunnels and passages.

Children playing at Little Beaulieu

Little Beaulieu

With all this excitement don’t forget to pack your picnic. Winchester is brimming with beautiful green space to still down and relax with your favourite treats. Why not stop at some of the fantastic independent cafes and delis in the district to fill your basket with?