Winchester is a beautiful city, packed with wonderful things to see and do. We feel lucky to live in such a great place, so we have created a list of 10 things that everybody should do in Winchester at least once. 

Whether you are a lifelong Wintonian, or a day visitor, we hope this list will inspire you to share some love for one of the best cities in Hampshire - if not the UK. 

1. Winchester Cathedral

One of the finest medieval cathedrals in Europe, it attracts huge numbers of visitors. It has been a place of worship for over 900 years and one of the most historically significant buildings in Britain. 

Explore the cathedral with guided tours from 10am to 3pm Monday to Saturday, 1,000 years of history in the Kings and Scribes: Birth of a Nation exhibition. Then take a trip to Cathedral Refectory for some delicious food.

The cathedral is a great day out for families whilst visiting Winchester and unlocking all its history.  

Entry to the cathedral costs £13.50 for adults, with children free. Concessions are available. Money made goes towards maintenance and running costs. People going to pray or attend a service are not charged.

The cathedral also recently became dog friendly. 

If you don't fancy paying an entrance fee, the grounds make a wonderful spot for a wander or a spot of relaxation, especially on a sunny day. 

For more go to

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Cathedral Winchester Cathedral (Image: Sophie Parr)

2. The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum

One of six excellent military museums in Winchester which tell the story of 250 years of campaigning. 

The museum, at Peninsula Barracks in Winchester, has an outstanding collection of uniforms and weapons, silver, paintings and medals.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is the 25 square metre model of the 1815 Battle of Waterloo with light and sound commentary. This remains an outstanding monument of Winchester. 

Take a moment to understand the history which is embedded in the museum and artefacts which will make you stop and think. 

The museum is open Monday to Saturday, 10am until 4pm. Entrance costs £5 adults, children free. 

If you are interested in military museums, Winchester is also home to the Gurkha Museum, which commemorates the service of Gurkha soldiers to the British Crown, a relationship that has endured since 1815.

Plans are underway, with money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to redevelop the museum. There is still much to see and do, with events planned for this summer, find out more at

The Gurkha Museum is open Monday to Saturday 10am until 5pm. Entrance costs adults £6.50, children free.  

Hampshire Chronicle: The Gurkha Museum The Gurkha Museum (Image: Contributed)

3. Winchester City Mill

The Winchester City Mill is a working water mill which dates to Saxon times, although the current building is Georgian. Now fully restored by the National Trust the watermill is most likely to be the oldest in the UK.

Visitors can see the real action behind the skills of the watermill production of wholemeal flour using the power of The River Itchen. 

If you are lucky, otters, water voles and wild trout can be seen from the onsite observation camera. 

Add this to your bucket list and pop in for the beautiful scenery which is home to a range of wildlife which includes kingfisher and grey wagtails. 

There is also an on-site café and an island garden area. 

The mill, in Bridge Street, is free to enter, with donations appreciated. It is open 10am until 5pm Tuesday to Sunday during the summer. 

Go to for more. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester City Mill Winchester City Mill (Image: Contributed)

4. Winchester Science Centre 

If you are captivated by the stars or want to know more about what surrounds our planet, this is the place for you. This is an experience featuring action-packed family adventure through the world of STEM. 

Interactive exhibits are something the centre takes seriously to ensure visitors are engaged and learning about the world we live in. 

Be taken out of this world with a 10-metre-long playable guitar and live science shows - and fly through the solar system in the UK’s largest standalone planetarium.

Surrounded by the stunning nature of the South Down National Park, visiting this place is a must. 

There is a range of exhibitions and events planned for this year. 

Tickets cost £12.90 if bought in advance, with children under the age of three free. Go to

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Science CentreWinchester Science Centre (Image: Winchester Science Centre)

5. Theatre Royal Winchester

A beautiful theatre in Jewry Street which offers a wide range of exciting entertainment with a café to enhance the visit. 

A range of productions are on every month, with the massive tragedy of Madame Bovary and Fleetwood Unchained just two of the shows during June. 

Why not give this a go, whether you are theatre crazy or are looking for a change of activity, the theatre welcomes everywhere to come and have fun.

The 400-seat theatre is run by charity Play to the Crowd, which runs a programme of cultural activity in Winchester, including the city's famous Hat Fair.  It was originally built as a cine-variety theatre in the early 1900s and was nearly demolished in the 1970s to be replaced by a supermarket.

Go to

Hampshire Chronicle: Theatre Royal Winchester Theatre Royal Winchester (Image: Google Maps)

6. Itchen Way
The Itchen Way is a 30-mile walk following the River Itchen from its source to Southampton Water. The walk finishes at Sholing Railway Station. 

This beautiful walk offers time to relax and appreciate the beautiful nature which surrounds the river.

Adding excitement and not being your average walk there is no time limit on this walk whether you are moving fast pace or want a calmer experience, the Itchen Way is out there waiting to be explored.

Hampshire Chronicle: Itchen Way by Lloyd Owen Itchen Way by Lloyd Owen

7. Abbey Gardens

Located in the city centre these gardens are not ones to be missed if you are visiting Winchester. 
Dated back to 1751 they were built on the site of King Alfred's Nunnaminster and were the garden of Abbey House. 

Later they were bought by Winchester Town Council in 1890 and laid out as a public pleasure ground.

Enjoy the beauty of the blossoming flowers with the city streets surrounding, grab some food from the café Inn The Park.

A recently redeveloped enclosed children’s play area and a specialised rose garden are perfect for families. There's also a handy public loo too! 

Hampshire Chronicle: Abbey Gardens Abbey Gardens (Image: Sophia Wale)

8. Winchester Distillery

Launched by Paul Bower in 2014 from his small kitchen in Winchester, little did he know what would come from his skills and perseverance.

Winchester Distillery focuses on home-to-hand-crafted premium spirits using traditional methods but a modern-day twist with energy-saving equipment and botanicals sourced locally.

If you have a love for premium spirits, then this place is a must. See for yourself the difference Paul is making for the community and the way these products are made to make a better world.

The distillery, Unit C St Martins, Winchester Trade Park, is open to visitors during scheduled events or by prior appointment. To book a tour - or to buy the products - go to

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Distillery Winchester Distillery

9. The Arc

One of many free things to do in Winchester, The Arc highlights the best of the thriving arts and heritage scene. 

As well as being the main city library, it has a a vibrant and versatile gallery in which local artists and groups can promote their work.

The Gallery - a ticketed part of the Arc - is currently hosting an exhibition by famous artist Grayson Perry as part of a special tour, until June 12. 

The Arc hosts a wide range of events and classes, from art exhibitions to comedy and live music. 

It also has an on-site café and a great children's area, often hosting crafts and hunt trails. 

For a full list of events and opening times, go to

Hampshire Chronicle: The ArcThe Arc

10. The Brooks Shopping Centre

If you are looking to browse or shop, Brooks Shopping Centre in the heart of Winchester is where to go.

From Primark, Waterstones, Sports Direct, The Works, The Entertainer, HMV and TKMaxx, there is something for everyone. 

Thirsty customers can find beverages at ShakeAway - and then work off the calories at 

While independent stores such as Ballet Pointe, a specialist ballet shop, and 99 Vintage, a buy/sell/trade clothing store, add something different. 

If you have young children a free soft play area is open to burn off any extra energy.

Open Monday to Saturdays 9am until 6.30pm and Sunday and bank holidays 10am until 5.30pm. 

As well as shops, the centre is home to 878 AD Winchester. This interactive attractive allows visitors to take a whirl into history with projections, live performances and realistic adventure.

Be wowed by the early medieval Wessex, reborn by majestic details by Assassin Creeds Valhalla.

This realistic design will uncover a new sense of what life was like during this time and give you a new experience.

Whether you live in the local area or just popping in, be amazed by this one of kind experience and uncover Winchester’s history.

Tickets are £15 for adults and £10.50 for children aged between five and 15.

Hampshire Chronicle: The Brooks Shopping Centre The Brooks Shopping Centre (Image: Adele Bouchard)

  • This article was written by Sophia Wale, from the University of Bournemouth.