Winchester Discovery Centre
Winnall Moors Nature Reserve
A stone’s throw from Winchester city centre, Winnall Moors nature reserve is a picturesque patchwork of wildflower-rich meadow, pasture and woodland, with a beautiful, clear chalk stream running through its heart. Free entry (donations welcome)
With the Adventure of Winnall Moors story trail, you can help the creatures of Winnall Moors rescue the Kingfisher from the evil clutches of the Toad Emperor and his army. Follow the sculptures and clues around the reserve to help you on your way to victory.
You can also follow the water vole trail, which takes you from Winchester city centre into the reserve. Look out for these charismatic little mammals, or listen out for the distinctive ‘plop’ of one dropping into the water as you follow the winding path along the River Itchen.
Winnall Moors has long, surfaced paths and boardwalks, making walking with a pushchair easy.
St Catherines Hill Nature Reserve
A dramatic 220ft climb up St Catherine’s Hill’s wooden stairs reveals showstopping views of Winchester city, as well as the Itchen Valley floodplains and the downland it nestles in. At the summit are the earthworks 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 be able to 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.
On the way down look out for some of the 25 species of breeding butterfly that call it home, including chalkhill blues, brown arguses and marbled whites. Keen eyed visitors might also spot some of the rarer orchids dotted across the hill’s slopes and meadows, including musk orchids, frog orchids and autumn lady’s tresses. St Catherine’s Hill is a fabulous place to enjoy a summer walk and free (donations welcome)
Other Family Days Out