Visit Winchester > What’s on > Festivals in Winchester

Festivals in Winchester

Winchester College
Winchester College

The city of Winchester hosts a multitude of festivals throughout the year that inspire, intrigue and enchant thousands of visitors every year.

Come and immerse yourself in Winchester’s festival scene and you’ll find the city it at its vibrant best – showcasing an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colourful events. With more events being added to our already diverse and busy calendar there is bound to be something up your street happening on one of ours!

If you are looking to find out what is happening for the rest of 2024, please take a look at our What’s on pages and remember to check out the website of the event before you plan your trip. You can also sign up to our Visit Winchester e-newsletter for event news and top tips for great days out.

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Literary enthusiasts and aspiring poets must look out for the biennial Winchester Poetry Festival in October which brings local and international poets to enthral audiences with readings and workshops. Online events are currently taking place up to September and look out for the new Poet on the Street project – you don’t know who you’ll bump into.

Don’t miss Hat Fair – the UK’s longest running festival of outdoor arts when Winchester’s High Street welcomes performances of all kinds in July – from jugglers, fire eaters and trapeze artists to stage theatre – a great day out for the whole family.

Take a chance to meet many of Winchester’s talented artists at the Hampshire Open Studios weekend in August.

If you are looking for a super-chilled, family-friendly summer music festival then look out for the Wickham Festival which takes place in August.

The new Mucky Weekender Festival takes place at Vicarage Farm, Woodmancott in September.

Winchester Jazz Festival in September offers an amazing array of acts performing throughout the city – for a sound bite head to one of the jazz nights at the new Cafe bar at Theatre Royal Winchester.

Looking for a real belly laugh? The annual Winchester Comedy Festival continues into September, showcasing the talents of established and up-and-coming comedians plus personalities from the arts.

Winchester Jazz Festival

Winchester Jazz Festival

Winchester is also home to a growing feast of food and drink festivals.

Celebrate Alresford’s local leaf at the annual Watercress Festival in May and sample delicious watercress chocolate and sausages or visit a watercress farm.

Food is celebrated for a whole month in July as the Hampshire Food Festival serves up a mouthwatering feast of over 75 events including vineyard and brewery tours, farm walks, festival menus, pop-ups restaurants and more across the district.

Winchester’s Cheese & Chilli Festival is a fantastic festival for all the family with live music, cooking demos and magic shows.

Family entertainment at the Cheese and Chilli Festival

For style inspiration then make sure you are dressed and prepared for Winchester Fashion Week. For a sneak peak at the creatives of the future take a look at the work of final year degree students at Winchester School of Art’s BA Degree Show in July.


Winchester Fashion Week 2017

Winchester Fashion Week 2017

Every September Heritage Open Days celebrates the nation’s fantastic history and culture.

Your chance to see hidden parts of Winchester, and try out new experiences – all of which are free to explore.

Heritage opens days

Heritage Open Days

The Christmas festive season starts in Winchester in November with the switch on of the Christmas lights.

Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market is recognised as one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe because of its unique location, high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere. Wonderful festive gifts, decorations and festive foods can be found in abundance.

Glow Marwell invites guests to explore the zoo in a whole new light… a twinkling wonderland full of fairy lights, magic and delight.

Families looking for a traditional panto should head to Theatre Royal Winchester to see some of the most popular favourites transformed for the stage and promising plenty of jokes, singing and laughing.