Greetings to you all during this month of celebration, from May Day to the Kings Coronation to National Devil’s Food Cake Day! We have witnessed explosions of colour and budding blooms, now we embrace the explosion of culture and entertainment that this month has to offer. LA is commonly known as the arts and entertainment capital of the world, we humbly suggest that Winchester rivals this statement!
We love culture and entertainment in this city, it’s a beautiful way to communicate love, moods, feelings, things out of the ordinary and without the need for words. That means we can speak to everyone, even if they don’t speak the language. Whether through canvas, theatre, moving art or museums, Winchester has something for everyone.
It is without further ado that we invite you to peruse our list of potential days out, new memories and fun activities to take part in. What better place to start then a smattering of festivals to really welcome the summer months…
1.The Alresford Watercress Festival - Various locations in New Alresford including the High Street and Broad Street SO24 9AR
This classic event encompasses good clean family fun, from a traditional Punch & Judy show in the kids’ zone to farmers markets and cookery demonstrations. With many culinary treats to tempt you from the various food and drink stalls as you wander, this really does have something for everyone.
2. Winchester Mayfest - Various locations in Winchester City centre SO23 9GH
Mayfest is a much-loved annual event which takes place right in the heart of Winchester. This must-see showcase features Morris Dancers, sword dancing, clog dancing and Appalachian dancing to name just a few. With over 30 groups performing for you throughout the day it promises to be the very personification of entertainment!
3. Hampshire Choral Festival - Romsey Abbey, Church Road, Romsey, SO51 8EP
This is a unique opportunity to enjoy the breath-taking tones of all seven constituent choirs in this beautiful location. Be transported as you listen to this stunning overture of the arts including a concert of Elijah choruses and David Beck's "The Life of Universal Song".
4. Cheese and Chilli Festival - North Walls Recreation Ground, Winchester SO23 8DJ
If you plan to visit us at the end of May this festival is a really fun opportunity to welcome the start of June. Sample your way through the stalls, be swept away by the amazing entertainment and watch the foodies compete for best in show! Can you stand the heat?
5. Hampshire Food Festival – Various locations around Hampshire
Who doesn’t love a good food festival? It makes us hungry just thinking about it! This festival runs for the whole month of July, but we thought you could visit us first, get your bearings and then visit this wonderful event upon your return! From chef demonstrations, tours, tastings and workshops, LA eat your heart out!
Museums and Galleries
1. The Great Hall - Castle Avenue, Winchester SO23 8UJ
Time for a spot of culture. Inside this historic building there are stories of medieval mythology, myths and legends and stories to be told. Fan of King Arthur? Come and see the round table in all its glory, try on costumes and smile as you capture your memories on the modern-day tapestries, AKA, your iPhone!
2. Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery - The Old Courthouse, St Peter’s Road, Petersfield GU32 3HX
Didn’t we promise culture and entertainment? This venue celebrates local history, local artwork and even agricultural artefacts and archives. Expand your repertoire and have an exciting talking point when you get home.
3. Buckler’s Hard - Buckler's Hard, Beaulieu, SO42 7XB
Step into history and visit the banks of the Beaulieu River and wander around this interactive Maritime Museum. How about a cruise along the river where you can take photos of the local wildlife and finish with a well earned cream tea at the Captains Tea Rooms.
4. The Arc Winchester - The Arc, Jewry Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8SB
You don’t have to venture to France for this Arc! This unique cultural destination promises an exciting venue to truly experience the arts, including live music, theatre shows, comedy and a chance to visit the beautiful library where books tell ancient stories and act as a backdrop to your own adventures.
5. Winchester City Museum - The Square, Winchester SO23 9ES
No trip to the heart of our city would be complete without a visit to the City Museum, history featured in here is echoed throughout the town in statues and walks. From Jane Austen to King Alfred, this museum boasts 3 galleries and will leave you wanting more.
Entertainment and Walking
1. Take a Sunset Walk - Winchester Guildhall High Street Winchester Hampshire SO23 9GH
One of the true beauties of ‘entertainment’ is that it can be whatever you want it to be. Whatever speaks to you. We suggest the simple pleasure of a romantic sunset walk, meander the city and enjoy the spectacular views, take in some history and perhaps make some time to sup at a location of your choice.
2. Winchester City Mill Talks and Tours - City Mill Bridge St Winchester SO23 0EJ
Explore this old city mill residing on the banks of the River Itchen. This Grade II listed building has free talks and tours on weekends so you can ask as many questions as you like. Perhaps find a delightful little spot along the riverbanks and soak in the various flora and fauna and why not choose a treat from the local tea rooms.
3. Mysteries & Mayhem at Winchester Science Centre - Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium, Telegraph Way, Winchester, SO21 1HZ
This month plays host to Mysteries & Mayhem – orienteering, exploration, animals, live demos and mystery solving. Don your detective hats, have magnifying glasses at the ready and join in this scientific fun filled day out which is sure to be explosive!
4. Theatre Royal Winchester - Theatre Royal Winchester, Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8SB
This 400-seat theatre housed in an Edwardian-style building is home to many an entertaining night. From dance, family theatre, musicals, drama, and talks – take your pick. You can even take part in a backstage tour and see what goes on behind the scenes. Are you not entertained!? (Sorry, we couldn’t resist!).
5. 878 AD - Upper Floor, The Brooks Shopping Centre, Winchester SO23 8QY
This new attraction draws on history and brings it to life through the modern medium of video games. This enveloping experience takes you back in time to see what really went down in the Great Battle. This atmospheric experience is fun well worth a visit for something a little different.
Just a little spoiler alert to tempt you into a midweek or weekend break - May it be everything you hope for! Book here for your perfect staycation!