Spend a Festive Weekend in Whimsical Winchester

The historic streets of Winchester are always a sight to be seen over the festive season. Trimmed with twinkly lights and shop windows lit up with yuletide displays, the cosy, quaint atmosphere is a must if you love this time of year.

Whether you're a local or visiting, here's our weekend itinerary...

Friday evening

Winchester at night is enchantingly beautiful. Take a wander down the High Street and head towards the Guildhall, lit up with sparkly lights, next to the Guildhall you'll find Shoal - where you can grab yourself award winning fish and chips for supper (with unlimited chips!). There's a vegan and vegetarian menu and their ice cream sundaes are the talk of the town.

A plate of delicious crispy battered fish and chips with a wedge of lemon. A side of mushy peas in a small dish and a homemade scotch egg.

Saturday Morning

Get your comfy shoes on, today we're going exploring. But before we do, let's grab a delicious breakfast (or brunch, if you're a late starter!) at Open House Deli. They're a sustainable deli where everything is made fresh, on site, from scratch.

A delicious feast! Three plates of whole mushrooms, sauteed potates, mixed beans and poached egg of sourdough. One breakfast bap. Two coffees with fun milk designs.Now, the best way to explore Winchester is on our popular guided walk with a historian. Dr Lillian Cespedes Gonzalez will guide you through this picturesque city that used to be the old Anglo-Saxon capital of England. The tour will last approximately 2h 30 min - we said you'd need comfy shoes!

Take a look at Discover Winchester with a Medieval Historian

6 people stand on Winchester High Street looking at the Buttercross monument. The sun is shining and the tour guide is pointing to the monument explaining what it is to the other guests.

Saturday Afternoon

After all that walking it could be time to grab a hot drink and bite to eat at the Winchester Christmas Market. Situated at the back of the famous Winchester Cathedral, the Christmas Market is always a firm favourite for visitors. Lined around the Cathedral Grounds you'll find cosy wooden huts decked out with all sort of gifts and treats, from Christmas garlands and wreaths, to handmade ceramics and locally brewed beer. In the centre quarter you'll find plenty of delicious things to feast on, we recommend the Bratkartoffeln; crispy fried potatoes with onions and sausage topped with tonnes of raclette cheese.

Now you've rested and you've got your energy back how about a bird's eye view of Winchester? See the dazzling lights and hustle and bustle of the Christmas market from the top of the Winchester Cathedral with a Twilight tour of the tower of Winchester Cathedral.This special 90 minute guided tour of the tower at Winchester Cathedral offers an immersive journey into the heart of England's architectural and historical heritage. The views are spectacular and well worth the steep steps to get there. Tickets are £18 and £3 of each ticket goes to our local charity, Trinity Winchester,

A beautiful blue evening sky, looking down from the Cathedral at the glowing red and yellow lights of the Christmas market.

Saturday Evening

Winchester is known for it's independent eateries and there's plenty to choose from. We recommend The Wykeham Arms if you fancy traditional pub food in a quintessentially British cosy pub. For upscale sushi check out Kyoto Kitchen, they've just moved into a larger space as they continue to grow in popularity. Head to The Gurkha's Inn for traditional Nepalese and Indian cuisine, always a favourite of the Winchester locals.

Interior view of Wykeham Arms. Long floral bench seats with small wooden tables set with napkins and cutlery. There are various sized frames on the walls and knick knacks lining the wooden shelving. There's an overhead sign saying Wykeham Arms 1755.

Sunday Morning

What...more food? Of course! This time we suggest visiting The Basil Leaf. A wonderful deli and restaurant with fabulous coffee and a perfect atmosphere to enjoy a hearty breakfast. They also stock plenty of interesting food, especially their cheese selection.

Basil Leaf employee is sat in front of huge bountiful platter of grapes, fruit, cheeses, chutneys and meats. The window has snowflakes and is decked out with festive wreaths.

After breakfast, it could be time for something cosy and chilled so we suggest a Private pottery class for 2 people. It's located in Twyford, about 15 minutes drive from Winchester City Centre. You'll be guided through all you need to know to create two pieces which will be fired and glazed for you (these can be picked up or delivered to you at an extra cost.)

Find out more about Private pottery class for 2 people.

Two people sat side-by-side with their pottery wheels concentrating on their pottery creations.

And there we have it! A jam packed weekend in Winchester filled with festive delights, plenty of sights and yummy dishes.

Want to have an entire weekend tailored to you? Email Roger@experiencehampshire.uk for a free itinerary service. He will hand pick Experiences to your budget, timings and interests.

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