Guided Walking Tours with a Difference

A brand new leaflet with full details of the line-up of walks offered by Winchester’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides in 2004 is now available from Winchester City Council’s award winning Tourist Information Centre (TIC).

The latest edition features a host of interesting themed walks alongside their regular city tours. These include a close encounter with the old Chesil railway tunnel; a ‘Domesday to D Day’ tour marking the 60th anniversary of D Day; and a commemoration of Mary Tudor’s wedding to Phillip II of Spain in Winchester 450 years ago.

The Blue Badge Tourist Guides have been leading groups of visitors and residents around the District of Winchester for over 25 years. Their love of history, sense of humour and passion for the city is contagious and encourages visitors to return time and time again. Regular city tours take place throughout the year, departing from inside the TIC. Tickets cost a modest £3 and accompanying children are free.

The themed tours, which run in addition to the city tours at certain times of the year, are ideal for local residents who wish to find out more about their home or for regular visitors who have already tried out a city tour. This year’s spring series in March is entitled ‘Winchester through the ages’ and offers the chance to explore the city’s evolution through Roman, Saxon, Norman and Stuart times. Ticket-buyers can benefit from a newly-introduced ‘four for three’ offer on this series.

Next on the list is ‘Winchester’s east side’ which includes a rare glimpse inside the Chesil tunnel, which proved to be overwhelmingly popular when piloted during last year’s Winchester Open Weekend. The season eventually draws to a close with a spooky Hallowe’en tour. Tickets for all themed walks can also be obtained from the TIC and cost £4 for adults and £1 for children.

Chairman of the Winchester Area Tourist Guides Association Elizabeth Proudman stated: "The guides enjoy their work and I think this year’s programme reflects their enthusiastic approach and their versatility."

The leaflet also outlines services for groups, foreign language speakers and customers with disabilities, one of the options being an ‘Armchair Tour’ for those who prefer not to walk or who are seeking a more specialised talk or lecture.

In addition, the guides offer a half-day or full-day tour-planning service, with meal stops and entry to key local attractions included, and a number of ‘off the shelf’ themed tours for groups ranging from Royal Scandals and Literacy Winchester to Come into the Garden."

Tourist Information Centre Manager Alison Woods said: "The guides play a vital role in welcoming visitors to our District. They also bring our rich heritage alive for local people, too. Winchester City Council is very appreciative of the work they do, and we are all looking forward to a very busy year of tours and talks."

The TIC, which was named ‘Tourist Information Centre of the Year’ for the Tourism South East region at the end of last year, is located on the Broadway and is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. The TIC can be contacted on tel 01962 840500 or e-mail Tour details can also be found on