The Christmas holidays are a time for everyone to relax and have fun, visit some attractions, and catch up with friends and family for a drink or meal.
So here is some useful information and website links to help you plan your days over the Christmas and New Year period – as attraction opening hours, public transport and park and ride services, may differ at this time. Please note that the visitor information centre and council offices will be closed between 23 December 2021 and 4 January 2022.
Many of the attractions are open every day apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Check below for closures and standard opening hours. Before you visit remember to check the website of the place you are going to for any last minute updates.
Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Open daily except Tuesdays, 11am – 4pm (with last entry 30 minutes before closing).
Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Open from 10am – 5pm, except for 27 and 28 December when open 11am – 5pm. Check website for opening hours from 2 January, as they differ again.
Closed 25 – 28 December. Open daily 10am – 5pm (last entry 4.30pm). Click the link to book a time slot.
Hospital of St Cross
Closed Christmas Day. Open daily 10.30am – 3.30pm, closed Sunday except for church services. Tea room closed for winter.
Check website for services, opening hours and services. Please note there is no ice rink this year and the Christmas Market finishes on 22 December.
No tours from 22 December 2021 – 4 January 2022. Standard tour times: Monday – Saturday 10:15, 11:30, 14:15 and 15:30; Sunday 14:15 and 15:30.
Winchester Discovery Centre
A major refurbishment is underway. Until the end of the year a pop-up library will provide a selection of children’s and adult books, ‘Go Online’ internet access terminals and printing/photocopying facilities. However, City Space and The Gallery are closed until further notice. From 1 January 2022 the building will be closed for approximately seven weeks to ensure the safety of our customers, staff and contractors during the refurbishment.
Winchester Military Museums
Please check individual websites or phone 01962 877826 as most will be closed at some point over the holiday period.
The Adjutant Generals Corps Museum
Closed from 18 December 2021 – 4 January 2022.
The Gurkha Museum
Closed from 24 December 2021 – 1 January 2022. Open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm (last entry 4.30pm).
Horsepower, the Museum of the King’s Royal Hussars
Closed until 10 January 2022.
The Rifles Museum
Closed from 18 December 2021 for the holiday period.
The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum
Closed from 20 December 2021 – 3 January 2022.
The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum
Closed from 18 December 2021 – 10 January 2022.
The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) Museum (at Worthy Down)
Closed from 17 December 2021 – 11 January 2022.
Chawton House (Alton)
Closed Christmas Eve – Boxing Day. Open daily except Tuesdays, 11am – 7.30pm (last entry 7pm, New Year’s Eve last entry 3.30pm).
Jane Austen’s House (Alton)
Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and 2 January 2022. During winter (December and January) the House will be open at weekends and on 29 and 30 December 10am – 5pm, plus New Year’s Eve (with last entry on 31 December 1pm). Please pre book admission tickets.
Marwell Zoo (at Colden Common)
Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Open daily 10am – 4pm (last entry 90 minutes before close).
Watercress Line Steam Illuminations
Next services 10 – 23 and 27 – 31 December 2021; 1 – 3, 7 – 8, 14 – 15 January 2022.
Winchester Science Centre (at Morn Hill)
Closed 24 – 27 December. Open to families and the general public Wednesdays during term time 2.30pm – 7pm, and weekends and school holidays 9.20am – 5pm. Click the link to book a time slot. Open weekdays during term time (except Wednesdays) for school groups only.
Aladdin is on at Theatre Royal Winchester until 2 January 2022. Can our hero find the magic lamp and marry the girl of his dreams, Princess Jasmine? Or will his plans be thwarted by the villainous Abanazar? Click the link for more information, performance times and to book tickets, or call the Box Office on 01962 840440.
For information and blogs about attractions, businesses, walking trails, tours and more across the Winchester district, check out Visit Winchester.
For coach travel, visit the National Express website (coaches run throughout the Christmas and New Year period, pre booking advised); and for local bus routes, the Stagecoach and Bluestar websites. Or click here for more information collated by the Visit Winchester team. For trains, check out National Rail Enquiries or the South Western Railway website (for local services).
If you’re visiting the district by car, Winchester Park and Ride will be operating a reduced service – with no services from Christmas Eve – 28 December, and New Year’s Eve – 3 January 2022. Normal service resumes 4 January 2022. Click the link for Christmas timetables. Visit here for parking options.
These website suggestions may be of use if you’re trying to find out if services are running in the event of snow or severe weather.
For up to date weather reports, BBC Weather.
Check the National Express website for coaches running to the London and Bournemouth airports; and the Stagecoach and Blue Star websites for updates relating to which parts of Winchester city centre and district the buses cannot reach.
Visit the National Rail Enquiries and South Western Railway websites for details of service disruptions between London, Weymouth and Portsmouth.
See the British Airways website for information relating to flights leaving London Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports. For flight information from Southampton and Bournemouth, click here and here.
We hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday and enjoy plenty of festive fun. Please remember to stay safe and Respect, Protect and Enjoy Winchester district and keep up to date with the latest government advice on coronavirus here.