What’s on in Winchester: 2019 Events, Exhibitions & Festivals

With a vibrant calendar of events, exhibitions and festivals, Winchester always has something exciting for you to enjoy. As the year comes to a close, see what's on in 2019 to keep you busy while visiting the UK's ancient capital.

Winchester Cathedral: Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation
Opening Date: By Summer 2019

Winchester Cathedral has embarked on a major development programme:  Kings and Scribes – The Birth of a Nation. The £20 million HLF-funded experience will feature three new permanent exhibitions, including A Scribe’s Tale, The Birth of A Nation and Decoding the Stones. The exhibitions will tell the story of Winchester Cathedral and Winchester’s role in the birth of the nation.

The exhibitions will also offer spectacular views of the Cathedral and transform public access to some of the most treasured artefacts from its collections, including all four volumes of the Winchester Bible, the finest surviving 12th-century Bible in England.

Marwell Zoo Presents BRICKOSAURS!
5 April – 1 September 2019

A one-of-kind event is coming to Marwell Zoo in 2019! It will become the first attraction in the world to host a collection of giant LEGO® brick dinosaurs.

BRICKOSAURS is a prehistoric experience featuring 50 life-sized sculptures built with LEGO bricks. Created with more than two million bricks, the interactive expedition is sure to excite families, LEGO and dinosaur enthusiasts alike.

Highlights include the largest touring LEGO brick dinosaur model ever made – a massive eight-metre T-Rex – plus fantastic displays all over the 140-acre park.

Bordon-based LEGO building company Bright Bricks will need more than 10,000 hours to create the exclusive event.

BRICKOSAURS will be included with general admission. Guests will also be able to make their own creations at BRICKOSAURS Basecamp, enjoy a free spotter’s guide and more.

The Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre
January – September 2019

The Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre is a stunning exhibition space showcasing works and artefacts of international importance. In 2019, visitors can look forward to exceptional displays from the most important galleries, museums and private collections in the country.

Elizabeth Blackadder: From the Artist's Studio
18 January – 27 March

87-year old Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, one of the country’s greatest artists, was the first woman to be elected both to the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy. In 2001, she was given the prestigious title of Her Majesty’s Painter and Limner in Scotland. Such public accolades highlight her distinguished career, but her art remains quietly personal.

This specially curated exhibition, drawn mainly from the artist’s studio, will show the breadth and variety of Blackadder’s work, aiming to reveal and celebrate her exceptional career.

BP Portrait Prize
6 April – 13 June

The BP Portrait Award, the world's most prestigious portrait painting competition, will be visiting Winchester for the first time ever in 2019.

2018's winning entry by London-based artist Miriam Escofet is An Angel at my Table, a portrait of the artist’s mother drinking tea. The work was selected from more than 2,500 entries from 88 countries and submitted for judging anonymously by a panel that included journalist Rosie Millard and artist Glenn Brown.

On tour from the National Portrait Gallery, London, this exhibition of 48 works represents the absolute best in contemporary portrait painting.

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel: A Different View
5 July – 29 September

Artist Michelangelo (1475 – 1564) spent four years on scaffolding under the vaulted ceiling of Rome's Sistine Chapel painting the world’s most famous frescoes: his interpretation of the history of creation. Before this, a simple starry sky adorned the ceiling of the chapel in the Vatican. Faced by structural challenges, Michelangelo developed outstanding painting techniques, setting new standards for future generations of painters.

Michelangelo' s Sistine Chapel: A Different View – the UK premiere of this acclaimed, international exhibition – provides an unprecedented closeness to the magnificent works which adorn the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, 22 metres above visitors’ heads.

Officially licensed by the Vatican Museums, the images have been reproduced at high resolution and transferred to special fabric webs mounted on scaffolding in the shape of the roof. This technique allows a true-to-life reproduction of the ceiling and gives visitors a unique opportunity to view this monumental work up close.

Festivals in Winchester

Winchester Cocktail week in February kick starts a vibrant season of over 20 festivals happening in Winchester over 2019. From live music, street theatre and comedy to literature and fashion festivals, there is bound to be a festival to entertain you and the whole family.

Keats in Winchester

2019 marks the 200th anniversary of when John Keats spent a short time in Winchester and was inspired to write one of his most famous and best-loved poems To Autumn. Experience the same colours of inspiration as Keats and celebrate autumn in Winchester. Join in one of many events and activities from poetry trails, exhibitions, workshops and competitions to a Keats Banquet.

For a full list of events throughout the year, go to visitwinchester.co.uk/whats-on.

About Discover Winchester

A city steeped in history, Winchester is England's ancient capital and former seat of King Alfred the Great.

Today Winchester combines the best of city life with the freshness of the surrounding countryside. One hour from London, this is England as it used to be.

With world class attractions and architecture including a magnificent Cathedral, award-winning pubs and restaurants and a tempting array of independent shops. This culturally rich medieval city is surrounded by idyllic Hampshire villages and the fabulous rolling countryside of the South Downs National Park.

Discover Winchester
Tourist Information Centre
Winchester Guildhall
High Street
SO23 9GH