…“Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—

While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;”…

Put beautifully by John Keats – who wouldn’t be inspired by beautiful Winchester?  The above is a mere snippet of his famous poem, To Autumn, which he composed after being inspired late one autumn eve whist walking near Winchester.  In fact, this was one of the last poems he wrote before saying goodbye to the life of a struggling poet to earn more money.  The beauty of Winchester is still everywhere you look, a landscaped, in many ways, untouched by the passage of time.

With Spring just around the corner and all the beauty that it promises – flowers blooming, lighter evenings, bluer skies and of course, much more fashionable attire, we wanted to invite you to visit us!  We love Winchester whatever the season, but we happen to think the potential of Spring makes it all the more special.

Our historic city holds many an alluring activity, restaurant, or landscape to enjoy.  With this in mind we have put together a starting point for you to explore the great outdoors, in no particular order…

  • The Winchester Treasure Trail

Not your average walking trail with arrows pointing the way!  Download your very own map of clues which will take you all over town, you lead the way; fresh air, sights, history and routes lined with cafes and pitstops along the way.  It’s a great whistle stop tour which you can race through or meander and wander at will.

  • Winchester Cathedral

It’d be rather like flying to Italy and not visiting the Colosseum or landing in India and bypassing the Taj Mehal – Winchester’s Cathedral is a must see.  It is perhaps the most historic part of the city boasting over 1000 years of comings and goings.  The building itself (covered in 12th century wall painting, medieval carvings and contemporary art) has open-air terrace and beautiful gardens – perfect for breathing in fresh air and feeling part of nature.  There is also a children’s trail to follow, guided tours, an open-air theatre, concerts, a café, a gift shops and more history than the average buff can absorb!

  • Hensting Alpaca Walking Experience

Most of us have walked dogs, but can you tell your friends you have walked with an alpaca? (We’d love to see their expressions)!  For a fun filled and exciting way to get back into nature visit this family run business – walk with, stroke, converse with take a selfie with these beautiful creatures!  Not your average walk in the park!

  • Marwell Zoo

This 140-acre park will surely leave your checks rosy, your hair windswept and your feet ready to rest!  Enjoy the animals, swing like monkeys in the adventure playground and refresh in the on-site café.  A memorable way to enjoy the great outdoors and help to raise funds and conservation awareness as you do so.

  • Nature & Parks in Winchester – don your walking boots and pack a bottle of water!

Winchester City Mill – Visit this working mill (one of the oldest in the UK) and see if you can spot the elusive water vole as you amble your way along the banks; don’t worry if they elude you, simply view them through the underwater observation camera!

South Downs Way – See nature in its truest form as you embark on a walking / hiking trail along this 160 km path from Winchester to Eastbourne – don’t worry you don’t have to walk the whole way! 😊

St Catherine's Hill – For the more avid of hikers, this 110 acre hill stands about 70m above  the river valley, there is a flatter, more accessible path so that you don’t miss out on the spectacular views this trail has to offer

Winnall Moors Nature Reserve – This stunning reserve in Winchester is full of grazing animals, walking trails and cycling paths, something to suit everyone!

  • Things to do at our lodges

Our luxury lodges are very happily situated in wild woodlands ensconced by tall trees, hidden trails and a few paths well-trod.  We are right on the edge of the South Downs National Park, Farley Woods and King Alfred's walk.  We also have several cycling trails so you can go in search of the perfect picnic spot and simply enjoy being outside!

We love being out in nature, we love that it’s on our doorstep and we would love to share it with you.

For more information and outdoor locations to visit in Winchester visit the Facebook Community Group Windependents or to see some of out handpicked places to visit click here!