WINCHESTER is set for an early autumn boost with the Cathedral Flower Festival expected to attract more than 10,000 people over the next few days.

Illumination: A Festival of Flowers runs from Wednesday September 5 to Sunday, transforming the great church into a blaze of colour.

More than 100 people from the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies have been involved setting up the event this week.

This year’s Flower Festival will feature a stunning array of flower arrangements inspired by the magnificent Winchester Bible, the largest and finest surviving 12th-century English bible.

Visitors will be invited to immerse themselves in a riot of colour and admire a variety of flower arrangements evoking the Winchester Bible’s exquisite illuminated initials and elaborate decorative schemes coloured with gold and lapis lazuli.

The event is not held every year and the last one was three years ago.

A spokesman said: "People are coming from all over the country. Many people are interested in flower arranging on such a grand scale in a church. Chelsea and Hampton Court are outside. This is cathedral based and that is something quite different."

Returning to the festival is creative director Angela Turner, having designed the Cathedral’s Flower Festival in 2013. She is a regular exhibitor at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and has won many of their highly coveted RHS gold medals.

Canon Annabelle Boyes, the Cathedral’s Receiver General, said: “We are delighted to welcome Angela back to Winchester Cathedral for this year’s Flower Festival. I have no doubt that Angela’s skill and creativity will result in a truly unique and spectacular event.

“This year our Flower Festival is inspired by the 12th-century Winchester Bible, a medieval masterpiece and a national treasure. We look forward to seeing the exquisite decorative schemes within the Bible brought to life through the medium of flowers, as we share the story of the Winchester Bible with visitors from far and wide.”

Ticket prices range from £7 - £12 with a variety of concessions available (including groups of 15+) and can be booked via Winchester Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857 275 and A full list of prices can be found on the website.

One volume of the Winchester Bible is currently on display in the North Transept of Winchester Cathedral. From next year, all four volumes of the Winchester Bible will be on display in the Cathedral’s new multi-million pound exhibition Kings and Scribes, opening in 2019.