More than once in recent times, Winchester has been named as the ‘happiest place to live in the UK’*. Thanks to its friendly and welcoming community, England’s ancient capital city often feels more like a village. Its residents, known as Wintonians, are very proud of their heritage, culture, green spaces, independent retail and foodie scenes.
A group of new ambassadors has assembled to share what they love about Winchester. These passionate locals will be providing insights and tips to help visitors find their happy place. Each Winchester Ambassador was chosen to represent different areas of interest. They cover everything from heritage and culture through to accessibility and sustainability.
Let’s meet our new Winchester Ambassadors…
Through my work with schools, community groups and events, I have met and worked with people from all walks of life, welcoming them into this incredible space, sharing with them their hopes, joy, grief and fears. The people of Winchester have made me a part of their life here, which is important to me as someone who started off as a stranger!
I want everyone to know how much our town has to offer in terms of cultural gems, some obvious, but others little jewels in unexpected places. My favourite place in Winchester is the Water Meadows, both for their beauty and for their historical and literary associations – St Cross and Keats, what more could you want?
I am keen to be an ambassador as I am passionate about arts, heritage and experiences and sharing that with as many people as possible. I want to enable as many people as I can to make lifelong memories with people they care about.
I think what I love about Winchester is that it has all the facilities of a city but is small enough to escape to the country – you can walk right out of town into the countryside.
In the city itself I love the fact that there is a story around every corner whether that be historic, literary, the built environment, or just whispers of the past.
I am keen to help champion local independent businesses across the Winchester District as I believe they make us unique. Each business has a unique story and I love getting to know the people behind the businesses who deserve a louder voice. I hope to help them reach more people and inspire others to shop locally when in Winchester.
I think we are so lucky in this district when it comes to great food. We have so many brilliant local food producers who are passionate about what they do, and many wonderful restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars on our doorstep. I love introducing people to them.
My favourite thing about Winchester has to be the buzzy café culture. It is SO easy to get a VERY GOOD cup of coffee in part due to the excellent roasteries on the edge of town. I also love the vibrant food and drink scene across the district with so many people establishing and growing their food businesses.
As I head up the county’s food and drink group, I am always out and about round Winchester and the wider Winchester district, visiting, championing and connecting our food and drink members. These include a diverse assortment of cafes, restaurants, farm shops, and food and drink producers, who range from artisan chocolatiers to bakers, wineries to watercress growers. Their passion and commitment never fails to inspire me.
I was really excited to be part of the Winchester Ambassadors as I love showing off our city; telling people about hidden spots, off the high street businesses and my favourite places to eat. As a local business owner, it’s so important that visitors get the true experience of what it’s like living here; and support both high street and independents when they arrive.
I was so excited to be selected as the Style Ambassador of Winchester, as it meant I could talk about two of my favourite things…Winchester and style. My favourite thing about this city is that it feels more like a small village. The streets are adorned with lots of beautiful independently owned boutiques and stores, it just has a really warm community spirit, and lots of personality.
I moved to Winchester in 2005 and quickly realised how great it is to get around the city by bike. As I raised my children, I wanted to introduce them to cycling as a great means of transport. Bespoke Biking promotes ways to help everyone cycle more. I love leading our tours introducing folk to the sites and history of the city, seeing more than you can by bus or on foot.
I’m a mum to three boys and have been living in this beautiful city for 15 years. When I was invited to be one of the Ambassadors I jumped at the chance because, as a mum of a disabled child, I can showcase the many places to visit, things to do and places to eat that are accessible to families like mine.
I’m so excited to be the Winchester family ambassador, as I have had such a love for Winchester and all it offers families. There is always something for families to do in Winchester, and even though it’s the size of a city, being a part of this community… It makes its feel like the village that every family needs.
We love working in Winchester. It’s a city of two halves. It’s not only a vibrant place filled with culture and history, but where we work, in the South Downs National Park, there’s so much nature to admire and learn from. We love incorporating the natural sciences of Winchester’s surrounding areas into our shows and workshops and inspiring young people and their grown-ups to learn more about our stunning and diverse local environment.
*From research released by Raisin UK in 2020 and The Royal Mail in 2019.