Drawing on its rural resources, the ancient capital of England enjoys a growing reputation for local produce and fine fare, endorsed by the size and popularity of its thriving monthly farmers’ market.
When you’re out and about browse the menu for Winchester’s local specialities. Take a trip to a farm shop, delicatessen or restaurant across the district to see what’s fresh and seasonal locally.
Sample some of the freshest local flavours – from Watercress – Winchester’s local leaf, wild trout fresh from the chalk streams of the Rivers Test and Itchen and award-winning English sparkling wine from Hambledon Vineyard.
Hampshire Fare’s free guide to local producers of food, drink and craft in the county will help you seek out the best the region has to offer and includes details of foodie events throughout the year. Visit the Hampshire Fare website to request a copy.
Winchester plays host to the largest Farmers’ market in the country (second and last Sunday in the month) – with over 90 local producers showcasing the diverse range and quality of food available from Hampshire. Taste, try and buy delicious, fresh and locally produced food. You’ll find everything from ostrich meat and home-baked bread to crabs fresh from the Solent.
If you’re looking for a quintessential country inn with a roaring log fire, a cosy candlelit restaurant for two or a charming tea room to grab a quick bite to eat or afternoon tea, you’re sure to find something in the city or countryside surrounding Winchester.
You’ll find a range of cuisine from Sushi, Thai, Indian and Spanish to great British favourites served in some of Winchester’s atmospheric and oldest buildings.
Have a go at milling flour at Winchester City Mill, a delightful National Trust property perched over the fastflowing River Itchen. Children can also have a go at quizzes and enjoy interactive exhibitions.
Take part in a 900-year-old tradition and request the Wayfarer’s Dole – a morsel of bread and beaker of ale – at The Hospital of St Cross, a medieval almshouse. Why not purchase a souvenir bottle of ale as a reminder of your visit?
Travel through 10 miles of Hampshire countryside aboard the Mid Hants Railway and stop off in Alresford – hub of the UK’s watercress industry – for a riverside walk past the watercress beds where you can purchase a souvenir bunch. Look out for family events and dining trains throughout the year.
And of course make sure you allow for a visit to a local restaurant, pub or cafe to fuel your exploration.