Happy May everyone!  There are lots of things noteworthy about this month, not least that we are almost halfway through the year already!  If you haven’t had a break since 2024 began, we humbly suggest that now is the perfect time!  The holiday makers are not yet in full swing, most of the buzzing inhabitants of Winchester are not yet awake enough to liberate items from your picnics and we have so many places worth visiting.

Did you know that the 2nd of May was Harry Potter Day?  It’s a real thing!  When Cameron was Prime Minister, he announced that “Every year May 2 will be observed as Harry Potter Day to remind people of Harry's resilience and courage”.  Winchester high street has some truly wonderful independent shops, not least The Old Fashioned Sweetie Shop stocking traditional favourites the likes of which would rival Honeydukes itself!  So, invoke your inner Dumbledores and perhaps go with, “A sherbet lemon. They're a kind of Muggle sweet I'm rather fond of.”  Yum!

There were some seriously good movies released in the month of May; Star Wars (May the 4th be with you!), Smokey and the Bandit, Spider-Man, the Avengers and The Fifth Element are a few among thousands!  This reminds us of just how many times “lights, Camera, action!” has been uttered in our fair city.

Did you know that in 2012 Les Misérables was filmed at Winchester College?  The halls were graced by none other than the amazing Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway!  You can visit the college today, it’s open to the public seven days a week.  You can walk around the museum, the treasury and even join the guided tours to learn about the secrets the halls have seen.  The College was also used in The Riot Club, Goodbye Mr Chips and Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj.

Have you seen The Da Vinci Code? - (We just love Tom Hanks).  Ron Howard chose Winchester Cathedral as the backdrop for the ‘Vatican’ – a truly inspired choice!  If you haven’t visited the Cathedral yet, then it’s something wonderful to look forward to during your stay with us.  This medieval work of art holds events throughout the year, from markets to tours and exhibitions, from concerts to outdoor theatre.  There is always something for everyone, or you can simply walk the paths well-trod and stop for a coffee and a slice of something sweet in the Cathedral café.

The Cathedral was also used as a filming location for The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, The Crown, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and The Many Lovers of Jane Austen.  Rather fitting since Austen resided in Winchester and wrote her 6 novels right here.  Today you can visit Austen’s house which is now a museum rich in her artistry.

The Watercress Line dates back to the 19th Century and is home to various events throughout the year and chugs through vintage stations.  Once aboard the visitors receive all day free travel so you can make your way around the heritage stations.  The Watercress Line was used in films such as Children of Men, High Heels and Low Lifes and Bullseye!

The Hospital of St Cross is a grade I listed building and steeped in history.  It was used as the location of choice for Wolf Hall, The Day of the Triffids and Heist.  It used to be an almshouse, founded by Bishop Henry of Blois in 1132, now it’s open to the public.  You have to book in advance to experience the guided tours.  The architecture is stunning and definitely worth adding to your itinerary.

As we mentioned, there are SO many places worth visiting here; Westgate Museum was used in BBC Politics Show, the Guildhall Winchester was used for BBC Question Time and Flog It, Marwell Zoo appeared in Fierce Creatures and the list goes on!

Once you have walked in the footsteps of our favourite characters, why not visit Winchester’s Everyman luxury cinema, which also happens to be a converted Grade II listed chapel complete with a bar and outdoor decking area.  You can even go one step cosier and curl up in your luxury lodge, on a very comfy sofa and make use of the DVD player and large smart TV.  You can even have your dinner delivered to your door and really relax in style!

Why not check out our May availability right here: - we hope to see you soon!