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Nightlife in Winchester - Cozy Corners and Historic Venues

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It may be a small city, but Winchester has after-dark activities to suit most visitors. There are charming pubs - most of which also serve food - and relaxed bars for a glass of wine or a cocktail. Live music happens in one form or another throughout the week, and there is a well-maintained cinema that screens a mix of blockbusters and artsy fare. Some of the summer festivals also offer evening social activities, so be sure to check their programs.

Contemporary music

 

Although touring bands stop at the Theatre Royal, most high-profile musical acts bypass Winchester in favor of nearby Southampton. Instead, what you’ll find in Winchester is a small but dynamic local music scene comprised mainly of solo artists. These performers often pop up in pubs and restaurants, so it's worth asking around to find out which drinking and dining venues are currently putting on shows.

 

The Railway

 

This is the only venue in Winchester that focuses on live music, and it's popular with students and mature rockers alike. There are 2 performance spaces, The Barn and The Attic. On any given night, you might hear pop, blues, or electronica.

 

3 St Paul's Hill, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 5AETel: +44 1962 867795

 

The Railway website

 

No.5 Bridge Street

 

This popular bar and restaurant hosts acoustic acts every Friday night from 9 PM and has a house band that plays semi-regularly. There are often one-off musical events in summer and around Christmas.

 

5 Bridge Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 0HN. Tel: +44 1962 863838

 

No.5 Bridge Street website

Pubs

 

Winchester residents spend a great deal of time in their local pubs - and once you've visited the city, you'll understand why. These venues are more than simply places to drink: most offer food, ranging from the basic to the gourmet, and many feature quirky memorabilia and personalized decor. Some of these pubs have been standing for hundreds of years, so dropping in for a drink can be a great way to get in touch with Winchester's history.

 

St. James Tavern

 

Diverse locals visit this low-key pub on their way to and from the nearby train station. With well-stocked fires in winter and a cheery beer garden for the warmer months, it's a reliable choice. A collection of manual sewing machines adds a touch of the eclectic.

 

3 Romsey Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 5BE. Tel: +44 1962 861288

 

St. James Tavern website

 

Hyde Tavern

 

The Hyde attracts Winchester residents of all types with eclectic evening entertainment such as poetry readings and folk-music performances. People love the laid-back feel here: You can pick up food from the Indian restaurant across the street and eat it with your ale.

 

57 Hyde Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 7DY. Tel: +44 1962 862592

 

Hyde Tavern website

 

Bars

 

Although pubs dominate the drinking scene in Winchester, there are a few places that focus on wine and spirits. You'll find a couple of "hybrid venues" - places that offer café food during the day but become a bit more upscale in the evening, drawing in cocktail-lovers. Winchester's sole nightclub is the aptly named Vodka: It's popular with students and has a reputation for wild parties.

 

Bar Rouge

 

Recently opened by the proprietors of Vodka nightclub, Bar Rouge is a cocktail venue with a bit of an edge. The crowd here is young, dressed-up, and sometimes boisterous. There are regular Latin dance nights and the occasional live performance.

 

Upper Brook Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8AL. Tel: +44 1962 877767

 

Bar Rouge website

 

Greens Bar & Kitchen

 

During the day, the family-run Greens draws those looking for a light lunch with a glass of wine, but in the evening it becomes a friendly cocktail spot for those who work in the city centre. Street-side seating makes it a great place for people-watching in the warmer months.

 

4 Jewry Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8RZ. Tel: +44 1962 869630

 

Greens Bar & Kitchen website