Your visit to some well loved attractions in Winchester – what you need to know before you go…
As businesses start to reopen their doors are you excited to pay a visit to your favourite attraction?
When you visit it is important to know what to expect and what will be expected of you as a guest to make sure you have an enormous amount of much missed fun. Below are overviews of visitor guidance from some of Winchester’s beloved attractions – make sure you know before you go and visit the attractions website for more details.
Several of our attractions have also signed up to VisitEngland’s We’re Good to Go industry standard which is a way of letting you know which businesses have made necessary changes to their day-to-day workings, including social distancing measures and staff training. Keep an eye out for the marque when planning your trip online.
When visiting all businesses please continue to follow the government guidance on social distancing and if you have any symptoms please delay your visit until you have isolated for the required time to ensure the safety of others.
Winchester Cathedral is now open to visitors and as a place of worship.
The cathedral is open daily from 10am – 4pm, including the gift shop and the latest art installation ‘Held in a Burst of Colour’. There is reduced capacity within the shop and cathedral so visitors might be asked to wait outside before coming in – an extra chance to enjoy the outdoor views of the Cathedral Close. Hand sanitizer is available and there is signage indicating routes to follow and separate entrance and exit doors. The Kings and Scribes exhibition is currently closed.
The Refectory is open every day from 10am – 4pm offering teas, coffees, cakes, sandwiches, salads and their famous sausage rolls. Services in the cathedral are held on Sundays at 8am and Wednesdays at 12pm. The toilet facilities are currently closed. For more guidance please visit the Winchester Cathedral website.
Many of us have eagerly been awaiting the opening of Marwell Zoo to see our favourite animal friends and now, if we follow some new guidance, we can.
The team at the zoo has been busy making changes throughout the park to make sure guests, staff and the animals are safe during your visit so you can focus on a great day out. Tickets for Marwell are released four days in advance and need to be booked online before you visit, this includes members, children and carers as numbers in the park are limited to ensure everyone can keep a safe distance. While you are at the zoo payments can only be made by card and, wherever possible, using contactless (currently at a £45 limit). The zoo has floor distance markings and safety signage to help you and your little monkeys stay 2m from other guests and new hand sanitizing stations as well as sinks in the toilets.
The playgrounds are currently closed along with some animal exhibits. Please see Marwell’s pre-visit FAQs for full information and to plan your visit.
Indoor eating facilities are closed however some outdoor catering outlets will be open as well as extra outdoor picnic areas, and you can still choose a special souvenir of your day in the gift shop which has safety measures throughout.
Marwell’s SUPERSIZED! Summer brick adventure is on display now until 1 November 2020, so be prepared to be ‘shrunk’ on arrival before meeting toy brick models with eye-popping proportions. Book your tickets today and explore the 140 acre park which is home to over 3,500 animals – they can’t wait to welcome you back. For further guidance please visit the Marwell Zoo website.
Are you ready to get back to exploring the history of Winchester? Why not start at one of Winchester’s medieval fortified gateways, the Westgate Museum. Book your tickets in advance and enjoy 45mins to explore – your ticket is valid for 12 months so you can come back again. There will be hand sanitizer available in the museum and cashless payments should be used wherever possible. Please visit the Westgate Museum website for more details.
A warm welcome awaits you at Winchester City Museum. Book your tickets in advance ng for tickets with entry times every 20mins from 10am to 4pm, you can book your tickets in advance for all members of your party and your ticket will allow you to visit as many times as you like for the next year.
A one-way system has been introduced, not only to support social distancing but as an added bonus you can follow the story of Winchester through the ages without missing anything! Hand sanitising stations are located at the entrance to the museum and on each floor. The toilets and changing facilities are open for use and the gift shop is open as normal. Remember to use cashless payments for any purchases.
You can still enjoy the family activity trail and activity sheets, as well as the interactive digital units which are cleaned at regular intervals. For more details please visit the City Museum website.
Have you extensively been through your reading list during the extended time at home? Then news of Winchester Discovery Centre reopening their bookshelves must be a relief.
To ensure everyone gets a chance to grab their next page-turner, visits have been capped at a maximum of 30mins. You can pick up reserved items and return books during this time but newspapers and magazines are not available. Hampshire libraries are recording times of people visiting to support the NHS test and trace service.
Customers are asked to use self-service machines to borrow or return items where possible or download the new Libraries mobile app to check out books by mobile phone. For more information please visit the Winchester Discovery Centre website.
You can now take a wander through the beautiful gardens at Chawton House – the charming Elizabethan manor house that once belonged to Jane Austen’s brother, Edward. Enjoy distant views into the parkland and countryside beyond.
The house and library are currently closed but the gardens will be open from 11am – 4.30am, split into two time slots. Tickets will be released every fortnight and must be booked in advance. Children under 6 can visit the gardens for free, and pass holders will need to book a ticket in advance to keep track of numbers and avoid over crowding. Chawton House is also contributing to the governments’ Track and Trace system.
A one-way route has been introduced around the garden and hand sanitizer is available at the entrance and in the walled garden.
The gift shop is closed but a stall will be open in the Courtyard for visitors to browse a range of gifts, or have a look at the online gift shop.
No chairs or tables are available in the Courtyard so why not bring a rug and have a picnic. You can bring your own food, or order a picnic bag to enjoy – The Old Kitchen Tearoom will be open for takeaways and the outside toilets are accessible. Please make sure you have your bank card as cash they are unable to take cash payments.
For more information and guidance on what to do upon your arrival please visit the Chawton House website.
The stunning gardens, parkland and estate, along with the café, car park and toilets at Hinton Ampner are now open to visitors. Tickets need to be booked in advance by 3pm the day before your visit, this includes members but their entry will be free. Tickets are booked in time slots and will be released for booking every Friday. When you arrive at the estate things may seem a little different but the new measures have been put in place to keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe.
When you arrive you will need to show your ticket through your car window. There is currently a one way system around the formal gardens to avoid overcrowding and maintain social distancing. Some areas of the property have been closed and the toilet facilities and café are operating a ‘one in, one out’ system.
The shop is open for you to grab a souvenir of your day and the café is open serving a selection of food and drink.
Are you ready to solve mysteries in a parallel universe right here in Winchester? Then you’ll be happy to know Clue Capers escape room doors are open again.
New rules are being introduced to ensure visitor and staff safety – there are only eight game slots a day to give enough time for cleaning and to air the rooms between games. Teams can only be formed from members of one household or support bubble and players are asked to wear a face covering for their entire visit to Clue Capers.
The games are the same fun experiences you remember, no puzzles or challenges have been removed. Some small items have been substituted to make them easier to clean, and items that are harder to clean have been replicated and will be rotated after use for 72hrs. Find out more from their website here.
Are you itching to explore the extensive Beaulieu estate or discover the national motor museums? Well now you can. Beaulieu has introduced a Visitor Safety Promise to explain the steps they are taking to keep everyone safe during your visit to the site. Watch the video here to find out more. https://youtu.be/kUTa2qFUYOQ
The Beaulieu National Motor Museum holds the ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard introduced by Visit England/Visit Britain. They are excited to welcome you with a warm smile, albeit from a safe distance.
Tickets will need to be booked in advance and signage and members of staff are on site to help maintain a 2m distance, as well as a one-way system. Hand sanitiser is available throughout and visitor-facing staff will be wearing face coverings and gloves. The museum is operating a cashless system and toilets are being regularly cleaned.