Visit Winchester > What’s on > Christmas

Christmas

Rediscover what's on your doorstep
Rediscover what's on your doorstep

Dubbed ‘England’s Christmas Capital,’ from the moment the lights switch on midway through November, Winchester is alive with a range of festive activities carrying on into the New Year. However this year things will be a little bit different as we all try to stop the spread of coronavirus.

So some of our festive favourites may not take place this year or there may be alternative ways to enjoy this yuletide season with your family or a small group of friends in Winchester. We are working with our businesses across the district to bring festive cheer to Winchester in both traditional and new creative ways whilst ensuring the safety of visitors, residents and staff. We will publish updates here.

Health and safety continues to be of the highest priority so please make sure you keep up to date with the latest government advice and follow restrictions currently in place.

If you are dreaming of a winter escape to Winchester, please do make sure you plan ahead and visit the websites of the venues you wish to visit before you arrive – take a look at our useful hints and tips to make sure you ‘know before you go’.

The Watercress Line is delighted to announce an exciting, new event this winter: Steam Illuminations.

Steam Illuminations is a unique, world-first digital LED train which creates an incredible light show both on and in the steam train, consisting of thousands of fully controllable colour mixing LED lights and LED wristbands. The lights are programmed to perform a wonderful light show, consisting of different colours and flashing patterns that are a marvel to see. Everyone is given an LED wristband to wear on the train to be part of the show and can take them home after the event.

The event will start on the 14th November and run through to the 3rd January. Trains will depart from either Alresford or Alton and complete a round trip, back to the starting station.

Tickets will need to be booked in advance. For more details and to book, click here.

 

Just how often do you shop locally for your Christmas gifts? Take the stress out of Christmas shopping this year and take a look at what’s right on your doorstep.

Now is the perfect chance to rediscover what is made in the Winchester District and try out local delicacies – from English sparkling wine and gin to lavender soap and watercress and much more.

For foodie lovers give them a taste of Winchester, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to unique gifts and treats for that person who is always difficult to buy for and find traditional toys for the grandchildren.

For more ideas and gift inspiration take a look at our support local page and if you can’t get into our market towns or city centre, many of our retail outlets are now offering click and collect, ring and reserve and deliveries to make Christmas shopping even easier this year.

So Christmas parties might not be on the calendar this year but let’s embrace our new found love of virtual get-togethers and set up a Zoom office party! You don’t even have to do the cooking – grab a festive takeaway from one of our great restaurants across the Winchester District. There’s so much to choose from you could have a party every night, click here to choose your menu.