Things to see and do at Winchester City Mill
Grab a bite to eat in our café, spot otters in the river using the otter-cam or learn about how the Mill has been such an important part of Winchester's history.
In 1994, three otters were reintroduced to the River Itchen. Since then, these rare and elusive creatures have thrived. Regular sightings followed, particularly near the City Mill.
In the late 1990s, a joint project between the National Trust and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust was set up to install observation equipment.
The otters’ regular adventures are captured by a series of motion-activated cameras that record them as they emerge from under the mill to mark territory during hunts for food. Visitors can enjoy clips from regularly updated archive footage and view the live feed from our cameras along the river.
Otters are so often spotted at the City Mill that TV and wildlife programmes have filmed with us or featured our footage. These include Countryfile, Springwatch, The One Show and Panorama.
Other wildlife you can spot
The crystal-clear waters of the River Itchen teem with trout and even occasional salmon. Water voles are regularly spotted, kingfishers fish off the walls outside, and a family of grey wagtails feeds on abundant mayfly and other insects in the garden.
Gateway to the South Downs
Winchester City Mill showcases the special landscapes and wildlife of the Downs, suggests ideas for local walks and experiences and reveals how easy it is to explore sustainably by trains, buses and bicycle.
You will discover a wide selection of information to help you explore local walks and cycle routes, as well as attractions found within the South Downs, including many historic National Trust properties.
Local countryside treasures to discover
Since the 1930s, Winchester City Mill has been regarded as the starting point for walkers of the South Downs Way – a 160km route that follows old paths and droveways along the chalk escarpment of the South Downs. Local treasures include idyllic nature reserve St Catherine’s Hill and National Trust estate Hinton Ampner - glorious gardens with views of the South Downs and a nearby bus stop from which you can return to Winchester.
Discover the history of Winchester City Mill, probably the oldest working watermill in the country, from its Saxon origins to modern-day rebirth with the National Trust.
Visit the café in the heart of the mill for delicious baked products and a hot drink while soaking up the atmosphere of the 1,000-year-old watermill.
Whether the sun is shining or the rain is pouring, discover why Winchester City Mill is ideal for a family day out.