Congratulations on getting a place at Winchester School of Art! You are about to begin the most exciting and unforgettable three years of your life, and our Survival Guide aims to help you get the most out of your start in Winchester!
Nightlife: The nightlife in Winchester is inexpensive and always a good laugh. The main clubs are Pitcher & Piano and Bar 3one. On the right days these places play great and varied music and have cheap drinks offers. If that’s not your scene, try out some of the interesting and unusual pubs Winchester has to offer: The Railway is a pub/club that champions new music acts and offers all manners of entertainment, including open mic nights, Silent Discos, retro video games and a ‘Burlesque Discotheque’ every Friday! It is the most unique spot in town and it is well worth checking out. There is also the WSA Student Union located on campus which holds various themed nights. A firm favourite is ‘Detention’ and if you like rock music it’ll be a winner with you too. Try different places early on to get a sense of where you do and don’t like. Chat to second and third years or check out the Facebook Pages to find out what is hot on what night.
Shopping: For shopping head to the Brooks Centre and the High Street. Winchester boasts various high street shops, unique boutiques and bustling markets selling all types of wares. There’s also a fantastic vintage fair held here regularly. For your food shopping, the best place to go is Tesco Extra which is a 5 minute walk from Erasmus Park, with everything you could want from bread to printers.
Local Events: Winchester is a special place to live as it’s such an old, traditional city. A real gem is the Cathedral, a beautiful building you cannot miss. Many events happen here throughout the year: Bonfire night brings fireworks, a huge bonfire and a march of torches through the high street. The Christmas Market is a firm favourite in Hampshire; dozens of stalls set up in the Cathedral grounds sell unique gifts and delicious food and there’s even an outdoor ice-rink! During the good weather the Cathedral is a lovely place to sunbathe and relax and a big folk festival is held over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
Travelling to Southampton: Many of you will want to visit nearby Southampton for a night out, shopping or to explore the city and the easiest way to travel during the day is by train. Get yourself a 16 -25 railcard if you plan to make trips frequently, as it really cuts the cost of the journey. Once in Southampton you can travel to different areas, student halls and the main campus by Uni-Link buses which are regular and inexpensive.(perhaps put in £2 for single, £3 for day ticket) If you’re going into Southampton for a night out, the National Express coach is the best option as they run into the early hours, just ensure you don’t miss the coach you’ve booked!
Freshers Tips and Tricks: Familiarise yourself with your surroundings as much as possible, research the geography and history of Winchester a little and listen to those who know the area. You’ll be bombarded at halls with flyer’s promoting clubs, taxi firm numbers and take-away menus. Sift thorough what’s useful and what isn’t and make sure you keep the numbers you might need. If you’ve got friends studying on main campus in Southampton, get their advice on where to go and how to get there.
All I can say is grab every opportunity with both hands and just enjoy the whole experience, because remember, you’re only a Fresher once.