WINCHESTER'S second book festival is preparing to welcome big names for a wide range of events. 

Winchester Books Festival, first held last year, is back with more events and a children's books festival running alongside it. 

There will be workshops, talks, and panels, held from April 19-21. 

On Friday, April 19 BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner will be at Winchester College to talk about his Sunday Times bestseller Outbreak.

He will be speaking about his life, his broadcasting career, his writing and will offer insights into current world issues drawing on his years of reporting on the world’s conflicts.

Hampshire Chronicle: Frank Gardner, photo: Colin Thomas

Saturday, April 20 will see historian Alison Weir speak about Winchester Queens at St Michael's Church. She has published twenty-one history books,  her most recent being Queens of the Age of Chivalry, the third volume of her England’s Medieval Queens quartet. Alison has also published fourteen historical novels, including the Six Tudor Queens series about the wives of Henry VIII, which was launched in 2016 to great critical acclaim; each of the six books was a Sunday Times top-ten bestseller. Alison’s latest novel is Henry VIII: The Heart and the Crown, the second book in the new Tudor Rose series.

Hampshire Chronicle: Alison Weir

READ MORE: Residents celebrate completion of North Walls repair works

Historian James Holland will be at the Theatre Royal to discuss his book The Savage Storm. He will be taking a fresh look at the crucial first months of the Italian campaign, explaining why it took place, the wider context in which it was fought and the constraints and prime issues affecting both sides. He will also be looking at the conditions in which the campaign was fought and what it was like for those involved, whether Allied or German troops or Italian civilians.

Hampshire Chronicle: James Holland, photo: Mike Lawn

This year, a children's festival will be running alongside the main festival. Author of the popular Charlie and Lola, Lauren Child will be talking about her writing and illustrations along with her new book Clarice Bean: Smile. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Lauren Child

On Sunday, April 21, wellbeing expert Liz Earle will be at the Theatre Royal to talk about A Better Second Half. Sharing the latest information about the gut-brain axis, nutri-genomics and the best types of exercise and diets, Liz is passionate about showing people all how to live longer and better.

Hampshire Chronicle: Liz Earle

Liz said: "Taking the reigns of your health and happiness is the most important intervention you can make, and only you can make these positive changes.

"I want this book to inspire you and give you the confidence and tools to create a better second half where you don’t just survive, you dial back the years so you can thrive. This is the book I have always wanted to write - and read!”

For the full list of events and more information, visit