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9 Exciting things to do in May Half Term in Winchester

Winchester is a charming city steeped in history and brimming with exciting activities for families and individuals. As the weather warms and May half term approaches, families are gearing up for a well-deserved break. From exploring ancient landmarks to picnicking in picturesque meadows, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or seeking fun-filled adventures, here are the top things to do in May half term in Winchester.  

1. Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral and First World War soldier statue bathed in gorgeous light
Image Credit: SWfoto via iStock.

Start your half term break in Winchester with a visit to one of England’s most iconic cathedrals. Winchester Cathedral boats stunning medieval architecture, a magnificent stained glass window, and a rich history. This must-see attraction in Winchester is the ideal place for everyone whether you’re a family, a solo traveller, or a business traveller on a lunch break. 

Take a guided tour and learn about the cathedral’s thousand-year-old history. Marvel at the size of the impressive stained glass window and soak up the tranquil atmosphere. This impressive building will leave a lasting impression making it the perfect stop on your visit to Winchester.

2. Wolvesey Castle

Run by English Heritage, Wolvesey Castle is a fascinating ruin that will transport you back in time. Also known as the Old Bishop’s Palace, this historic site gives you and your family a glimpse into Winchester’s medieval past. With its picturesque surroundings and intriguing architecture, Wolvesey Castle provides an excellent backdrop for exploration and learning. It’s the ideal destination for those seeking to immersive themselves in Winchester’s medieval heritage.

3. Take a walk

Winchester offers a variety of picturesque walks. Explore the banks of the River Itchen admiring the tranquil waters and abundant wildlife. Spend the afternoon strolling through the Water Meadows or Beacon Hill Nature Reserve. There’s something here for all ages and abilities. Every walk provides opportunities for relaxation, exploration and outdoor adventure, making it a must-do activity for your half term break.

Check out these walks in Winchester.

4. Winchester City Mill

Winchester city mill view Hampshire England medieval architecture Bridge over Itchen river. England, UK.
Image Credit: Alla Tsyganova via iStock.

Step inside the Winchester City Mill and discover the fascinating history surrounding this working watermill. With interactive exhibits, kids can get involved in learning how grain is milled and they can even try and grind some themselves. It’s a fun educational experience for the whole family.  The mill is also home to a variety of wildlife including kingfishers, wild trout, water voles and grey wagtails which can be spotted from the tranquil Island Garden. 

5. Enjoy a picnic

When the sun shines bright and warm, why not spend as much time in it as possible? Pack a picnic and head off to one of Winchester’s many outdoor spaces. Discover the picturesque Abbey Gardens, lay your blanket down in the cover of the trees by St Giles Hill, and go wildlife spotting in the tranquil Orams Arbour. 

Check out more Winchester picnic spots via the Visit Winchester website.

6. Marwell Zoo

Guianan Squirrel Monkey at Marwell Zoo
Image Credit: Thomas Allsop via Unsplash

If you’re looking for something to do in May half term in Winchester, why not head off to the zoo? A firm family favourite, Marwell Zoo is just a short drive from Winchester and offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. This sprawling wildlife park is home to a fascinating array of animals from around the world. Spend the day exploring the various exhibits, from big cats and towering giraffes to playful primates and penguins. 

The spacious enclosures are designed to mimic the animal’s natural habitats, visitors can observe animals up close while learning about conservation efforts to protect endangered species. Participate in interactive exhibits, and watch daily feeding sessions and informative talks, whilst looking at your favourite animals.

7. Ghost Tour of Winchester

For those brave enough, put on your walking shoes and discover the city’s dark past with a Winchester Ghost Tour. These tours offer an intriguing and spine-tingling experience for those seeking something different during their visit. Led by knowledgeable guides, the ghost tours wil take you through the city’s dark alleyways and hidden corners revealing spine-chilling tales of ghosts, ghouls, and paranormal encounters.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply looking for a thrilling adventure, a ghost tour will be nothing short of thrilling. You’ll see Winchester in a completely new light.

8. Winchester Science Centre

Spark your child’s curiosity with a visit to the Winchester Science Centre. Participate in a range of workshops and activities designed to engage young minds and inspire a love of science. Their out-of-this-world planetarium will have you and your children shooting for the stars and learning about all things related to the solar system. This action-packed thing to do in May half term in Winchester will educate and excite you to no end.

9. Bike Ride

Just like walking trails, there are plenty of cycling routes in Winchester that are perfect for the whole family. So lace up your trainers, hop on your bike, and explore the South Downs National Park for a day of outdoor adventure. One popular cycle route is the King Alfred’s Way and it takes you on a picturesque path through some of Hampshire’s nicest countryside.

Accommodation in Winchester

Living room at No 5. winchester
No 5. Winchester

It’s not too late to book a break in Winchester. At Short Let Space, we have a range of properties to suit your every need. From dog-friendly properties and romantic boltholes to family cottages and quaint cabins, our team are happy to help you pick the perfect home away from home. Call our team on 01993 222200 or email us at stay@shortletspace.co.uk.

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