Visit Winchester > Blog > Top tips for a money-saving summer in Winchester

Top tips for a money-saving summer in Winchester


August 2023

The summer holidays are finally here, and with the kids off school and the sun shining, you can enjoy days out with the whole family in Winchester. Let Visit Winchester take the sting out of the planning – and the purse strings – with these money-saving tips…

🚀 Take the bus to Winchester Science Centre to unlock a special offer

Winchester Science Centre

Did you know you can catch the 64 bus from the centre of Winchester and be at the Science Centre within 10 minutes? From 21st July to the end of the summer holidays, Winchester Science Centre are partnering with Stagecoach buses to offer any visitors who travel by bus 10% off hot drinks! To claim the discount, all you need is a valid bus ticket for the day of your visit.

Top tip! Book in advance on the Winchester Science Centre website and save as much as 25% by planning ahead. If you plan on coming again soon, make sure you upgrade to an annual membership for free entry on your first trip and 10% off planetarium entry. Pre-book now.

🚂 Travel by train or bus and get 2 for 1 entry to Winchester Cathedral

Get 2 for 1 entry to Winchester Cathedral when you book your journey through National Rail. For half the price you can explore stunning medieval architecture, the Norman crypt and experience magnificent views from the Cathedral Tower. Brush up your history with the ‘Kings and Scribes’ exhibition and the 17th century Morley Library.

In support of Days Out by Bus, Winchester Cathedral are also offering visitors who have travelled by Stagecoach bus 2 for 1 admission on Mondays and Tuesdays. Just present your ticket for travel to the Cathedral’s admissions desk on arrival. If you hold a concessionary bus pass or Stagecoach smartcard, ask your driver for an attractions voucher, they will print off a dated receipt for you.

Alternatively, for just £5, the kids can join the Winchester Cathedral Learning Team for an hour of crafting and story time this August. Budding historians can also experience a tailored tour of Winchester Cathedral especially for children and families for free! Pre-book now.

🎫 Save on joint tickets for 878 AD, City Museum and Westgate Museum

Discover the history of Winchester from its roots in the Iron Age to the emergence of the Anglo-Saxons and its part in the final journey of King Charles I with a joint ticket to three historic Hampshire Cultural Trust Winchester attractions – 878 AD, City Museum and Westgate Museum.

Don’t miss the this exclusive offer – at just £49, a family of five can enjoy unlimited visits to all three venues for a whole year, exploring the city’s unrivalled heritage and its pivotal place in the history of England. Book your Winchester trio tickets.

🐵 Five go to Marwell for just £15 per person

Children in playground

Marwell Zoo has got a fantastic August offer set to help as many people as possible connect with nature this summer! For £75 guests will be able to buy a ticket that admits up to five people for a full day of family adventures (excluding Thursday Fun Days) during August. That’s just £15 per ticket, and a saving of more than £40 for a family of two adults and three children.

If that’s not enough to get you excited about a visit to the zoo, everyone that buys a family ticket during August will be entered into a free prize draw! Five entrants will be selected at random to win membership for the family members they visited the zoo with, giving them a year’s worth of visits to enjoy together!

There is always something new to enjoy at the zoo – among the new arrivals are a Przewalski’s foal and blesbok calf that arrived within days of each other. Don’t forget to explore Marwell’s wide open spaces, animal walk-throughs, adventure playgrounds, and a variety of cafes and shops to help you make the most of your visit. Book now.

💂 Six Military Museums for the price of 1

Military Museums

Winchester’s Military Quarter is a grouping of six regimental museums situated within yards of each other on a historic site, close to the city centre of Winchester. Each museum offers a unique experience and has its own story to tell. There are fantastic collections of medals, paintings and military objects on display across the whole site, making a trip to Winchester’s Military Museums worth a visit.

You can now visit all six military museums at Peninsula Barracks in Winchester for one price! You can purchase your tickets at the museums or online here to pick up at the Royal Green Jackets Museum. Alternatively, check out the Military Quarter’s free museums: The Rifles Regimental Museum, The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum, and the Adjutant General’s Corps Museum. Find out more.

🏰 Get ‘Fit for the Fort’ for free at Fort Nelson

Take a visit to the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson and enjoy free admission. At the weekends, the Fort Nelson instructors will be giving young recruits the opportunity to learn the skills a soldier would be expected to have to be considered ‘Fit for the Fort’ – completely free! Each weekend will focus on a different period in history including and will be a chance to learn about military drills, Morse code, survival skills and more! Book your free tickets now.

This summer Fort Nelson’s daily junior assault course is back for more fun and . At just £3.50 to pay on the day, the kids can enjoy obstacles, challenges and plenty of adventures.

🚌 Hop on the South Downs Rambler Bus

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

The South Downs Rambler Bus is the perfect opportunity to explore the South Downs Way – without breaking a sweat or the bank! The Rambler runs every Sunday from 10 July to 11 September, as well as the August Bank Holiday Monday.

The bus takes a scenic view from Winchester to Petersfield railway stations and back again – via the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium, views at Cheesefoot Head, the gardens of Hinton Ampner, the Iron Age fort at Old Winchester Hill, the luxurious Langrish House Hotel and a number of traditional village pubs and villages.

Adult single fares range between £2.00 and £6.50, with returns between £3.30 and £8.20 depending on the stops. Child fares are £2.00 for a single journey and £3.00 for a return. You can also hop on and off all day with a Bluestar Network Ticket at £8.30 for adults, £6.20 for children and £25 for groups of up to five people travelling together. Concessionary pass holders are welcome. Find out more.

🚲 Explore the King Alfred’s Way cycle route

biking along the south downs path

Grab your bike and helmet and challenge yourself to the 220-mile King Alfred’s Way cycle route, taking you on a journey through the heart of Hampshire, Surrey, Wiltshire and Berkshire. The route begins and ends at the Westgate Museum at the top of Winchester high-street, so be sure to pop in before setting off on your journey. Find the route here.

If you’d prefer to stay closer to the city, you can try the 19-mile Itchen Valley Cycle Route. It begins in the city centre and takes you through some of Winchester’s most picturesque market towns and villages such as Easton, Itchen Abbas and Alresford, where you can stop into some of its fabulous independent shops and eateries. Find the route here.

🌄 Discover the South Downs on foot

Wharf Mill river view

The Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail stretches from Winchester in the north, to Woodmill near Swaythling in the south. As it follows the route of a waterway, the trail is mainly flat and level, however there are some locations with stiles, gates or gradients. The walking route is well way-marked with the Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail logo directional arrows on posts. It is the perfect way to explore the Hampshire countryside for free. Find the route here.

From tracing the footsteps of King Alfred to Jane Austen, you can download Visit Winchester’s range of brochures for free. If you prefer a hard copy you can purchase them for £1 in our Visitor Information Centre on The Broadway. There, our friendly and knowledgeable visitor guides can help point you in the direction of your perfect Winchester walk. Download the brochures here.

*All offers valid as of August 2023. Offers may not be valid after this date.