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Family-friendly things to do at Winchester City Mill

Children holding bags of flour that has been milled at Winchester City Mill
Children visiting Winchester City Mill | © National Trust Images/Phil Ripley

There's lots for your family to get involved with at Winchester City Mill. There's a year-round activity book, wildlife spotting and '50 things to do before you're 11¾' challenges, there's plenty of family fun to be had come rain or shine.

Family-friendly events at the mill

This year's theme is Riverscapes and throughout the year we will be connecting you to nature and wildlife and of course, our resident otters! Look out for activities and interactive displays for all the family to enjoy.

Winchester City Mill activity book

A new activity book is available that's designed to be used at the mill and at home. From wildlife spotting to baking shortbread, the booklet is packed with activities and is designed to be read over and over again. Learn about how the mill came to be here and don't forget to watch out for the naughty flour thief.

Drawing equipment and information at Winchester City Mill, Hampshire
Have a go at drawing the mill | © National Trust Images/Phil Ripley

Family-friendly things to do in the garden

Wildlife spotting

Escape the bustling high street and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the mill's idyllic island garden. The clear chalk stream river is teeming with wildlife – look out for trout, ducks, swans and yellow wagtails.

You can also take a short walk upstream to the nearby Winnall Moors Wildlife Reserve, a natural habitat spanning over 150 acres of floodplain. The reserve offers an insight into the natural environment that would once have been present along the whole of the Itchen valley.

'50 things to do before you're 11¾'

There are lots of ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ challenges you can complete with the whole family at Winchester City Mill. Here are a few recommendations:

  • No. 1 Get to know a tree: Discover the trees in the mill garden

  • No. 8 Spot a fish: Can you spot any fish in the fast flowing waters of the River Itchen?

  • No. 19 Play Pooh sticks: Pooh sticks is the perfect game for a summer's afternoon by the river. Play Winchester City Mill style and swap the bridge and serene stream for our fast-flowing river. It’ll be a race to the finish for those sticks strong enough to survive, so pick wisely

  • No. 34 Discover wild animal clues: Become a nature explorer and see if you can track our local otters. Spot their footprints on the wet floor down by the millrace or if you’re really lucky you might see (or smell!) their spraint. No bigger than a penny, it’s their way of marking their territory. Walk along the river after dusk and you might spy the otters coming out of their riverside homes

  • No. 44 Watch a bird: Wander through our idyllic island garden and keep an eye out for local birds. Spot a nesting grey wagtail, local swans or a mallard enjoying the cool River Itchen. Bring a pair of binoculars and you might even see the elusive brightly coloured kingfisher.

A view of Winchester City Mill from the riverside footpath beyond the Soke Bridge over the River Itchen.

Discover more at Winchester City Mill

Find out when Winchester City Mill is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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A hands-on milling demonstration at Winchester City Mill, with adults and children getting stuck in

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.

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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.

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