Summer in Winchester
the great winchester outdoors in summer
Whilst there are a lot of outdoor events happening in Winchester during the summer months, you don't need an event to enjoy all Winchester and the wider area has to offer during these warmer months.
If the crowds at organised events don't appeal to you, or you just fancy a quiet break away in the UK, Winchester and Hampshire can still tick all your holiday boxes and fill your nature cup up with goodness.
Oram's Arbour is a beautiful park within Winchester city centre that's perfect for sitting and watching the world go by or having a picnic with friends.
Winchester Cathedral grounds are a lovely place to escape the hussle of the city whilst the shops and centre of the city is only a few hundred metres away. There is usually a coffee van situated here too to keep you watered during your visit.
Abbey Gardens is another small quiet spot in the heart of Winchester, right next to the King Alfred statue. There are plenty of benches in these gardens as well as public toilets.
St Giles Hill is accessed from the road behind the King Alfred Statue. With the statue behind you and on your left walk past the large roundabout. Follow the bridge over the river then at another roundabout continue ahead. When the road curves left and uphill, take the footpath into the trees. Go up the steps and follow the path to the top of the hill.
Winnall Nature Reserve is the jewel in Winchester's crown of glorious outdoor spaces. Situated only 3/4 mile from Winchester train station this 65 hectare nature reserve is a picturesque patchwork of wildflower-rich meadow, pasture and woodland, with a beautiful, clear chalk stream running through its heart.
Winnall Nature Reserve, Winchester
Just Outside Winchester
The South Downs is a National Park covering over 1600 square kilometres. The South Downs Way is a National Trial that covers 100 miles from Winchester to Eastbourne. Of course you don't have to cover the whole distance (at least not in one go anyway!), you can walk, cycle or horseride as much or as little as you like. The official start point of the trail is Winchester City Mill.
St Catherine's Hill is just over 2 miles south of Winchester and has a dramatic 220ft climb up wooden stairs to the amazing views of Winchester, the Itchen Valley floodplains and the downland it sits in. At the summit are the remains of an Iron Age fort, buried ruins of the Norman chapel that gives the site its name, and a copse of beech trees. In the summer you’ll can hear the cackle of a woodpecker, spy buzzards and kestrels hunting in the valley below, and meet our friendly British White cattle that graze the site to encourage wildlife to flourish.
St Swithuns Way is a 34 mile footpath between Winchester and Farnham. A lot of the original route is now the A31 but St Swithuns Way still follows some of the county’s best countryside paths. Starting at Winchester Cathedral, the route passes through the Itchen Valley. It then continues northeast passing the towns of Alresford and Alton, as well as Chawton, the home of Jane Austen. Following the path of the River Wey, the route reaches Farnham in Surrey and continues to Canterbury.
South Downs Way
Calshot Beach forms part of a mile long shingle spit which reaches out into the mouth of Southampton Water. From here you get a great view of the ships coming and going from one of the UK’s largest ports. The beach also offers panoramic views of the Solent, Southampton and the Isle of Wight so it is little wonder the beach is the site of a 16th century castle. Built in 1539 by Henry VIII, Calshot Castle is one of number of similar forts built to defend the south coast from the French and Spanish. Calshot beach is home to one of the UK’s biggest outdoor and watersport centres with activities including windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing and climbing.
Milford on Sea beach is a long shingle beach with sand at the waters edge during low tide. Located near Lymington on the New Forest coast, character beach huts line the beachfront and there are great views of the Isle of Wight & The Needles.
The New Forest is a National Park in Hampshire in the south of the UK. Famed for it's New Forest ponies roaming wild and it's amazing woodland and open grasslands. There are many waymarked paths through gladed woodlands, across the purple heather-clad heathland or along our beautiful coastline to explore. From kite flying to wild swimming in the sea, from walking to picnicking in the glades, summer in the New Forest is beautiful.
The New Forest
Whether you stay within Winchester or travel further afield, Winchester is a great place to base yourself to be able to explore the city and the wider area of Hampshire.
The British summer can be unpredictable weather wise, but being outdoors and experiencing all Winchester and Hampshire have to offer doesn't need good weather, just the right clothing and an explorers mentality. Winchester and the surrounding areas really are beautiful all year round, but summer is one of our favourite times.
We look forward to seeing you in Winchester soon.