Winchester is set to shine later this month thanks to a first for the city which will see its iconic landmarks and buildings lit up from Saturday 29 January to Sunday 6 February.

Winchester – Lights in the city will see light installations in key locations across the centre.

The theme of the event is ‘Winter into Spring’ and coloured lights will show the changing of the seasons as visitors follow the lights through the centre.

The trail will start with ‘winter’ and cool white and blue lights and projections at the top of the high street including outside The Great Hall, which will also be home to a conical tree of light, and the Westgate Museum. The seasonal theme continues with twinkling ceiling of lights approaching The Square and City Museum and a matching coloured curtain of lights draped on their frontages. Next, the public will be encouraged to follow the trees lining the iconic path from City Museum to Winchester Cathedral, which will showcase lights around their trunks, while a further ceiling of lights will hang to form a tunnel of light over this route. The bushes of the little-known, secluded Busket Yard will also be subtly lit. 

Winchester Guildhall marks the start of ‘spring’ and the building will be illuminated with multicoloured lights and white icicle features. Abbey Gardens will be home to giant tulip illuminations.

Cllr Martin Tod, Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery, said:“We’re not out of the woods yet with the economic impact of COVID – and this is a quieter time of year anyway – so it’s great that so many local organisations have worked together on this new event to give an extra boost to our centre and our local businesses.  I hope this brings more people in to enjoy Winchester after dark – seeing our beautiful city lit up with projections and installations – while also giving a boost to our local economy. Economically, I really hope it does help turn Winter into Spring.”

The project has been funded through the Government’s Reopening High Street Safely and Welcome Back Fund European Regional Development Fund programme – aimed at promoting safe public environments; supporting local business; and encouraging people to return to the high streets. 

It has been organised by Winchester City Council who has worked with key partners across the city including Winchester Business Improvement District (BID), Play to the Crowd, Hampshire Cultural Trust and Winchester Cathedral.

In December, Winchester City Council commissioned Stockbridge-based Icthus Event Solutions Limited – who supply festivals, local authorities, BIDS etc. with lights and lighting displays – to design and install the lights for Winchester – Lights in the City. Icthus has supplied festive lighting and light trails for Winchester BID, Salisbury City Council, Eastleigh Borough Council and others.

Christine Cook, Managing Director at Icthus Event Solutions Ltd said:

‘Icthus as a local specialist in lighting displays is delighted to be working with the council to bring this exciting new event to Winchester, our home city. We hope everyone will enjoy seeing the city lit up on what can be a gloomy time of year.’

As Winchester City Council is committed to the district becoming carbon neutral by 2030, all installations and lighting will run in accordance with the council’s climate change objectives including low energy consumption, the use of sustainable materials, and a focus on recycling.

The lights will be turned on gradually starting at Abbey Gardens from 6pm on Saturday 29 January. Residents and visitors will be able to see the lights from 4pm until midnight every day thereafter until the 6 February. For more information about Winchester – Lights in the City, see