AN exciting new programme of regular and themed walking tours around Winchester has launched.

Bringing more than 10 different experiences, the Winchester Tourist Guides promise to inform and entertain visitors and locals alike.

Themes range from Saxon Winchester, which offers the opportunity to discover the city's important role from the time of King Alfred to 1066, to a whistle stop tour through a 1,000 years of crime, law and punishment.

Returning favourite the Chesil Railway and tunnel tour is back for three dates including a summer evening.

Children's Tours are available during the school holidays which fill an hour with weird and wonderful stories of Winchester.

Another popular tour which is also on three dates this year is Hidden Waterways. This walk explores the many hidden brooks and streams which run under the city centre. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Walking guides gathered outside the information centre for the launch.Walking guides gathered outside the information centre for the launch. (Image: Winchester Tourist Guides)

George Shepherd’s Regency Winchester tour takes place on a midweek summer evening in August and features Shepherd’s beautiful watercolours and compares his views with what we see today. 

For Regency fans there is also a Jane Austen tour on the Saturday closest to the anniversary of her death in the city in 1817.

Other tours this summer include Medieval Jewish Winchester about the flourishing Jewish community prior to their expulsion in 1290 and Royal Connections which looks at the many links the city has had with royalty since Saxon times.

The popular adults-only Halloween tour returns on October 31, with one of the Children’s Tours taking place in October half term close to Halloween. 

This Christmas there is an opportunity to tour Abbey House, the official residence of the mayor of Winchester, and finish the visit with mulled wine, mince pies and a chat with the mayor.

Additionally, regular tours of the city's highlights take place, come rain or shine, on Saturdays and weekdays from April to Christmas.

Tickets to the tours can be booked in advance from or bought on the day from the Winchester Visitor Information Centre in Winchester Guildhall.

The new programme leaflet can be collected from the visitor centre and private tours are available for groups of all sizes and needs.