Things To Do In Hampshire In The Autumn

We love autumn in our city; the days are getting shorter, there’s a crisp chill in the air and the beautiful open spaces are transformed into a riot of colour.

We’ve rounded up our favourite events in Winchester and a bit further afield – so whether you’re a local or just visiting, make sure you don’t miss a thing!

Illumination: a Festival of Flowers at Winchester Cathedral (5-9 September 2018)

Winchester Cathedral Flower Festival returns from 5-9 September 2018 with a stunning array of flower arrangements inspired by the magnificent Winchester Bible, the largest and finest surviving 12th-century English bible.

Immerse yourself in a riot of colour as the cathedral is transformed by striking and fragrant floral displays evoking the Bible’s exquisite illuminated initials and elaborate decorative schemes. ​Find out more here.

The Exploded Circus (7-8 September 2018)

A breath-taking mix of acrobatics, surprising aerial feats and masterful juggling at Winchester’s Theatre Royal. Six female performers have to come together to seek order in the chaos and create a new normal. With striking imagery and subtle humour, the show explores themes around change, hope and belonging.
 Mimbre is a female-led contemporary circus company. They use their unique blend of physicality and narrative to tell intimate stories about human connections. ​Find out more here.

Winchester Heritage Open Days (13-16 September 2018)

Every September local volunteers organise over 100 events to celebrate our fantastic history, architecture and cultural heritage. Whether you live in Winchester, Hampshire or further afield this is your chance to discover hidden places, hear fascinating and unusual stories and try out new experiences. It’s fun, fabulous and FREE!. ​Find out more here.


Winchester Oktoberfest (15 September 2018)

The finest in Bavarian tradition returns to Winchester once again packed with Premium authentic German Food & Drink and one of the UK’s most popular Oktoberfest bands ‘Oompah Brass’. More information here.

Winchester Jazz Festival (20-23 September 2018)

Winchester Jazz Festival 2018 will take place from 20th-23rd September in venues across the city centre, with an amazing array of acts performing throughout Winchester; audiences will enjoy four days of top quality entertainment from the jazz world. We’re hosting performers Julie Lewis and Pete Mansfield at the Old Vine on Sunday 23 September at 4pm! More information here.

Winchester Poetry Festival (5-7 October 2018)

The programme of the third Winchester Poetry Festival draws from the deep well of contemporary writing and performance and features poets from across the UK, Ireland, the USA, Syria, Macedonia, and the Caribbean. Whatever their debt to poets who have gone before, whatever the culture, language or style from which their work springs, these poets are connected by similar concerns of identity and place. Poets include Hollie NcNish, Ian McMillan, Vahni Capildeo, Ishion Hutchinson, Luke Kennard, Clare Pollard, J O Morgan, Pascale Petit, Karen McCarthy Woolf and many more.  More information here.

Boo at the Zoo! (20-28 October 2018)

Spooky fun at Marwell Zoo! Marwell’s resident wizard is putting trainee flyers through their paces to earn their Level 3 broomstick license. Sessions last 20 minutes and take place each day in the ‘flying arena’ on the front lawn of Marwell hall on a first come first served basis. Information here.

Wizard Weekend on the Watercress Line (27-28 October 2018)

Dress up as a Halloween spook and take unlimited rides on the Wizard Express steam train in the Harry Potter style coaches, one of which featured in the films.

As well as riding on the line, there’s lots of scary family fun including meeting some familiar Harry Potter characters, walking over the famous Kings Cross footbridge from the Harry Potter films, getting close up to some hairy creepy crawlies, marveling at magic tricks, seeing hooting owls and large falcons and taking part in the fancy dress competition. More information here.

Winchester Film Festival 2018 (3-10 November 2018)

Feature film premieres and award-winning short films selected from over 50 countries, at venues across the city. More information here.

Winchester Bonfire (3 November 2018)

Welcome to the home of Winchester’s largest annual charity event. Every November, we light up the city as around 20,000 people join together to celebrate Bonfire night and to raise money for charities and good causes throughout the city of Winchester. Information here.

Christmas Lights Switch-On (15 November 2018)

Celebrate the start of the festive season with an evening of live entertainment and fun, culminating in the live switch-on of Winchester’s Christmas lights. More information here.

Winchester Ice Rink and Christmas Market (17 November-21 December 2018)

Winchester Cathedral Ice Rink is spectacularly situated in the centre of the Cathedral’s historic Inner Close and, until 22 December, it is surrounded by the Christmas Market. The clear roof guarantees a rain-free skate whatever the weather and fun skate aids make it an ideal rink for adults and children alike. For details visit the website

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