Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote,
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licóur
Of which vertú engendred is the flour;
- Geoffrey Chaucer
Well said Geoff! We also love April. Did you know that ‘April’ comes from the Latin verb aperire which simply means ‘to open’. This word personifies this month beautifully in the opening of new buds, the blooming of bulbs and the unfolding leaves filling the empty branches. The air has a sweet scent, and the watery blue skies are changing to richer hues enticing us out into the open.
With this in mind, we thought it would be fun to share with you some of our local places perfect for experiencing things out in the open. Read below as we humbly suggest some places to visit while staying with us:
Five great places to enjoy the outside while you eat:
- The Ivy Winchester Brasserie - 103-104 High Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 9AH
One of the more idyllic places in the heart of Winchester. Choose from modern British dishes to café-style classics, enjoy your meal and drinks inside the bright airy, high-ceiling dining room or venture out and eat on the terrace as you watch the world springing into life around you.
- The Winchester Stable - 31b The Square, Winchester SO23 9EX
If you are in the mood for sour dough pizza and craft pints, then look no further! Choose from a large variety of pizza, all made with flavour in mind. You can also enjoy a Bottomless Brunch on Saturdays and try them all! This establishment offers inside and outside dining, so you can enjoy Winchester whatever the weather.
- The Old Vine - 8 Great Minster St, Winchester SO23 9HA
Particularly charming this time of year, enjoy the buildings 18th century charm as you eat outside and relish in the comings and goings of the locals. Happily situated just a few minutes’ walk from the cathedral, so you have a perfect setting to walk off your lunch and take in a bit of history as you go.
- The Wykeham Arms - 75 Kingsgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9PE
This award-winning country pub has a real feel of luxury surrounded by history, rich heritage, and pretty views. This pub is famed for using locally sourced ingredients and changes its menu to match the seasons. With a garden, outdoor seating, and the family canines welcome, no wonder they have such a warm atmosphere.
- The Winchester Orangery - 11 The Square, Winchester SO23 9ES
This relaxed and inviting restaurant also offers takeaway just in case you want to eat your delicious morsels in a picnic location of your choosing. From toasties to soups to waffles, the Orangery is a relaxed setting, transporting you with its hanging vines, beautiful flowers and open air tables. Yes please!
Did you know that being out in nature is good for your health? Not only does it get the blood flowing and keep you active, it also gives you a healthy dose of Vitamin D which we lack when the sun hides behind the rain clouds! It is our pleasure to modestly recommend some of our favourite paces to be out in nature.
Five stunning locations for exploring the outside:
- Winnall Moors Nature Reserve - Durngate Place, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8DX
Packed full of cycling trails, walking trails, and grazing animals to spot, Winnall Moors is a great day out with the whole family. Follow the River Itchen and join the playful kingfishers, roe deer, reed warblers and chiffchaffs all enjoying April amongst the beautiful flowers.
- Old Winchester Hill - Hampshire GU32
One of our most beautiful places to visit with spectacular views across the valley to Beacon Hill. This area boasts 150 acres of green hills and chalk grasslands providing a home to many birds and butterflies. The land is buggy friendly and hosts some excellent spots for a picnic, perfect for a selfie or two. #saycheese!
- Keats trail - Winchester Visitor Information Centre, Winchester Guildhall, High Street, Winchester, SO23 9GH
If you love the outdoors but haven’t yet build the trust in our British weather to venture out on a rocky hike, then why not meander through the city and its stunning landscape as you walk the paths well-trod by Keats himself, these very lands inspired him to create his famous ode ‘To Autumn’. Should you be struck by a surprise shower, duck into one of the many cafes and sops along the way!
- Itchen way – follow the River Itchen, Hampshire
Pick a location along this 30-mile walk, this impressive chalk river has many things to see along the way. From water meadows to villages to visit to pubs full of delicious home cooked meals to peruse. A beautifully gentle way to explore the great outdoors!
- St Catherine's Hill Nature Reserve - Garnier Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9PA
Here we have a trail to suit all abilities, from gently flattened-grass paths to steeper climbs 70 meters above the river valley. Full of wildlife from grazing animals to brilliantly coloured butterflies (25 species at the last count), all prettily laid out at the base of a dramatic climb up the famous hill herself – perfect for a sunny day with whispers of summer on the breeze.
We hope this has whet your appetite for sumptuous cuisine and rolling hills in and around our fair city of Winchester. We would love for you to stay with us and begin your exploration into Winchesters open-air offerings. For more ideas and information about places to visit, look at our Facebook Community Group Windependents. Or to find out more about our lodges and what we can offer you during your stay, click here!