New shopping leaflet highlights Winchester's hidden retail gems

Winchester's boutiques and independent shops are as much a part of traditional street life in the city's historic centre as the annual carol singing around the Christmas tree or the weekly markets under St Maurice's Covert. These smaller shops, although forming an integral and vital part of the Winchester shopping experience, are often to be found in hidden quarters of the city - known well to local residents but sometimes undiscovered to the many visitors who throng the High Street. This is set to change with the launch of a brand new leaflet, Speciality Shopping in Winchester, which directs shoppers to the great retail opportunities to be found in the city's secret streets such as The Square, Great and Little Minster Streets, St Thomas Street and Parchment Street.

Produced by Winchester City Council's cultural services division, this colourful and helpful leaflet is part of a package of measures aimed at assisting the city's retail sector.  Although speciality shopping is already one of the key selling points for the Winchester District in the city council's tourism marketing activity, it is hoped that the leaflet will enable visitors to Winchester to enjoy their shopping experience as much as their immersion into the city's historic past.  It is one of a number of council-led initiatives which include the creation of detailed shopping pages on the tourism website and the recent installation of new signs to direct pedestrians to the shopping side streets.  The council has supported plans for the cathedral's first German-style market in the hope that this will attract many new shoppers to the city in the important Christmas trading period, and it is currently in talks with retailers about making the hammerhead section of The Square more pedestrian friendly to encourage a 'café culture' feel in future summers.

Cllr George Beckett, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Economy and Tourism, said, "The economic well-being of the Winchester District is high on the list of my priorities as Leader, and these initiatives come as a direct response to the difficult trading conditions that have faced independent retailers in the city centre during 2006."

So if you are keen to seek out the delights of a fabulous kitchen shop selling every utensil and gadget imaginable, fine handcrafted jewellery, contemporary art galleries or mouth-watering delicatessens, let Speciality Shopping in Winchester be your guide.

For visitors exploring the Winchester district, the leaflet also contains details of specialist shopping in the delightful market towns of Alresford, Bishop's Waltham and Wickham. Copies are available from various outlets around the district, or from Winchester Tourist Information Centre. Tel 01962 840 500, email or go to for further information.