Around Winchester

Just a couple of miles from the city centre, the Intech Science Centre & Planetarium opened a new hands-on exhibition zone about the science of sport in March 2012. In ‘Push the Limits’ both adults and children will be able to get involved in such activities as moving a ball by your brainwaves to illustrate concentration, a rowing race simulator, wheelchair basketball and be an outside TV broadcaster from the stadium.

In the Science Centre there are over 100 hands-on exhibits, each one on a different aspect of science and technology. The Planetarium is the UK’s largest digital planetarium playing shows for all ages and interests. Please note, a small charge is made in addition to the Centre’s entrance fee. See for more details

Winchester is the gateway to the South Downs National Park, which stretches eastwards all the way to the white chalk cliffs of Eastbourne. The Hampshire area of the Downs is characterised by its steep wooded hills and hidden valleys that are home to picture-perfect villages and peaceful market towns.

Nestling beside Winchester, you’ll find great walking, cycling and riding country. Invigorating long-distance trails and circular routes dip and rise through ancient woodlands, and out onto the high ridges of the Downs.

An abundance of gardens, castles and historic houses can be found within easy reach of the city and one fine example is Hinton Ampner Garden, a few miles east. Hinton Ampner is the concept of one man, Ralph Dutton, who designed the 12 acre garden, rebuilt the mansion and assembled the collection in the mid - to late 20th century.

The garden is a masterful example of a formal layout complemented by rich informal plantings in mainly pastel hues, with numerous magnificent vistas over 80 acres of parkland and rolling Hampshire countryside.

A visit to Marwell Zoo, situated six miles southeast of Winchester, is a chance to get close to the wonders of the natural world and play a big part in helping to save them. From ring-tailed lemurs to Amur tigers, curious coatis to pygmy hippos – their 140 acre park is home


Wickham Church

to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species in beautiful landscaped surroundings.

Spend time with loveable primates at ‘Lemur Loop’, an immersive walkthrough exhibit. Home to four different types of lemur, you can get up close to these playful primates whilst learning about the evolution of the species.

Spanning two levels the Tropical House offers fantastic vantage points where guests can experience face-to-face encounters with a diversity of wildlife and exotic plants in a tropical climate, while learning about the flow of energy through life.

Experience the African wilderness first hand at Marwell’s newest and biggest exhibit to date – Wild Explorers. Marwell is actively involved in conserving the three iconic species - white rhinos, scimitar-horned oryx and Grevy’s zebra - housed in this new exhibit, so its setting and design reveal how they study and observe these species in the wild.

There are fascinating daily talks and feeds on a range of animal species and school holiday activities. The park is open daily with family tickets available.

Hinton Ampner House 32

Take the A272 to Petersfield for a few miles through the lovely Hampshire countryside, and head for East Meon where Ye Olde George Inn (GU32 1NH) awaits. A 15th century coaching inn with the River Meon running alongside, it offers comfortable accommodation, inglenook fireplaces and a very warm welcome. Dogs are allowed in the bar and patio area.

The Tourist Handbook Wessex 2018-19

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