Things to do in Winchester for free

1. Go to the top of the Westgate. It has a straight view down the High Street all the way to King Alfred, and there is a free museum which is certainly worth a look

2. Eat a free sample from Montezuma’s.

3. Go shopping, but don’t buy anything. Winchester has such great shops that it’s an entertainment in itself to just look around them. Plus, you won’t buy anything on impulse, and you’ll know whether something is really worth buying if it sticks in your mind for the rest of the day. Then you can go back and get it when you have money!

4. Go for a walk out on the Water Meadows. If it’s a warm day, you could stop and dip your feet in the river.

5. Read a book in the Discovery Centre

6. Borrow a book from the Discovery Centre and read it in the Abbey Gardens or on a bench by the weirs.

7. Climb St Catherine’s Hill

8. Climb St Giles’ Hill and compare the view with St Catherine’s.

9. Go up to Oram’s Arbour and look back on St Catherine’s and St Giles’.

10. Watch one of the hundreds of buskers and street performers who are regularly in Winchester. Though you may feel guilty if you don’t put any money in their hat after having enjoyed the show.

11. Take a peek inside some of the city’s churches – though be careful not to interrupt a service. Some of the city’s best artists have work in churches. Have a look in St Lawrence’s in the square for Tracy Sheppard’s beautiful new glass door panels.

12. Go into the Great Hall to admire the round table. However, my favourite thing to look at is the sculpture of Queen Victoria, because it captures the feel of the material in her dress so well. Even though she wore black for a major part of her life, she was still a pretty stylish lady.

13. Drink a sample of the fruit tea of the day in Whittards.

14. Find out about any free exhibitions which are on. The Discovery Centre always has two, and the Theatre Royal always has one in the Back Garden Cafe.

15. See how many statues you can find in the city. There’s a lot more than just king Alfred you know.

16. Dress up as a Roman at the City Museum (except don’t if you’re not a child because the costumes aren’t really big enough).

17. Take some arty pictures of a friend using the romantic ruins of Wolvesy Castle or the Cathedral as a backdrop.

18. Visit the Dean Garnier Garden, a hidden-away spot within the Cathedral Close. It’s so peaceful.

19. Go to Hyde Gate and read about its history.

20. Sit on a bench near the cathedral and listen when the bell-ringers or choir or practicing.

words Alys Key @FashionMoriarty

first three photographs Alix Rothnie @alixroth

last three photos Alys Key


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