We are officially in summer!  This long-awaited season of yellow sun, blue skies, and greenery so abundant that all you can think about is ice-creams, blankets laid on the grass and a sudden urge to collect seashells.

So, what are your plans this summer?  If the thought of planning a summer holiday, buying two for ones on sun cream and insect repellents, checking your passports are in date and purchasing travel insurance makes you feel like you need to plan a second holiday to recover from it all, then we have just the ticket!  The ultimate Summer Staycation is right here at South Winchester Lodges!

So, what exactly is a summer staycation we hear you ask? It is simply all the fun and excitement of a summer holiday without the stress and months of forward planning.

These days, more and more of us choose to holiday in the UK, in fact, over 50% of Brits prefer to staycation rather than vacation.  Let us tell you why:

Top 5 reasons to staycation:

1. It’s much less expensive for a start. You will immediately save money on car parking, breakfast at the airport, plane tickets, accommodation, and travel insurance.  This means more money to spend on the things you love that will make your holiday even more special.  From eating out, to day trips, to free walks exploring the local scenery and of course the odd souvenir or two!

2. Less travel – since you will be staying closer to home you don’t have to get up at 3am to beat the airport traffic, you wont experience delays which eat into precious holiday time, and you can plan a fun road trip knowing that there won’t be any jetlag waiting for you at the other end. We recommend packing your favourite CD’s, some car-friendly snacks, then simply sit back and enjoy the ride.  You can even find some sights along the way to stretch your legs and snap a few pics.

3. Travelling with young families can be a challenge. Staycations are much easier because you simply don’t have the all the stress.  When you stay with us you can even bring the dogs, so you don’t have to worry about finding the right kennels and planning extra time out of your holiday for drop off and collection.  This way you choose the route, the timings, the rest stops and whether you want a short mid-week break or a longer stay, we are the ideal location.

4. You can support the local economy. You can buy fresh local ingredients and make your own picnics, dinners and snacks or you can dine out in one of the must-visit local cafes, tearooms, and restaurants.  Kids can be fussy eaters so at least you know you will have access to foods they are used to eating as well as having the option to try more unique cuisines.  Winchester also offers a vast range of local attractions, from theme parks (Peppa Pig World), to zoos (Marwell), to walks (Keats walk), to museums (Winchester City Museum, Winchester’s Military museum) and much, much more.

5. Nothing is lost in translation – you don’t have to rely on travel agents to explain to you what you are signing up for. You can speak directly with us, peruse our website for our handpicked activities both in and outside of our lodges and we can answer any questions you may have.

How to staycation successfully:

1. A modest amount of research: if you think you might like food delivered to your door in the form of groceries or prepared dinners, check out the what’s available and place your order before you arrived. Have a look at what’s on in Winchester, lots of tickets are cheaper if you buy in advance of your trip.

2. A gentle itinerary is a great idea, but with plenty of free time to enjoy spontaneous walks, nature, family meals, picnics, golf, and shopping. We think you will find that once you step foot in Winchester the temptation to go wherever the wind takes you is a great way to spend a day.  You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your lodge, you can pre-book cream teas, pamper treatments and have everything you need delivered straight to your front door.

3. The rest is a breeze, step outside your door and explore! Enjoy the local beauty, atmosphere, and unique experiences right here in our fair city.

Why we are the ultimate staycation destination.

1. Our stunning lodges have everything you need. They are private, surrounded by ancient woodlands and full of local wildlife to discover.  We have local shops (who also deliver) so you don’t have to worry about packing everything, including the kitchen sink.  We are dog friendly and family friendly and have many safety features for the little ones from travel cots to safety covers on the hot tub…did we mention we have hot tubs?

2. When you journey through the South Downs, meander your way the New Forrest and climb Saint Catherine's Hill Circular, just look at the view. You could be anywhere in the world.  But why travel for a whole day, pack 2 extra suitcases ‘just in case’ and spend three times the amount of money when you can have all this a mere drive away from your home?

3. Winchester has some of the best local attractions all year round as well as seasonal favourites. We have theme parks, theatres, shopping, museums, walking trails, history, and some of the best restaurants to choose from – including Michelin star establishments.  Highcliffe Beach is a mere hour away, with beautiful golden sands and views worthy of a selfie stick.

4. Our lodges offer beauty treatments, discounts at the local Lake-side Restaurant & Bar and Sun Terrace, a private guest putting green, Posh Picnics & Dine in menus, English cream teas and all the walking, cycling, and hiking trails anyone could wish for. Not to mention the luxury, five-star gold award winning accommodation we offer.  Check out the photos on our website and choose from the 2 Bedroom Classic Lodge or the 3 Bedroom Lodge with Hot Tub.

5. If that wasn’t enough to tempt you, we can also tell you that this June you can experience art exhibitions (James Murray: In Flow and Constable: The Dark Side) as well as some history and entertainment (Guided House Tour: Mansfield Park, a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a Historic Garden Tour at Chawton House) and of course a chance to visit Winchester Farmers’ Market – award-winning and named in 2023 as one of the top 20 best farmer’s markets in the UK.

Have we convinced you that you don’t need to look to another country to enjoy a perfect summer holiday?  If you have any questions, we would love to answer them! For more information and exploration into our city’s activities, visit the Facebook Community Group Windependents.  To check out our lodges and availability click here.