Entertainer Joe French at Winchester’s independent Indie Winch Trail

Winchester embraces love for the local with Indie Trail launch

Families, visitors and shoppers celebrated Winchester’s independent shops, businesses and eateries on Saturday as summer holiday activity, the Indie Winch Trail, was launched.

Live music, a pop-up play shop and an array of colourful balloons filled Winchester’s Tourist Information Centre for the launch of the Indie Winch Trail,
which is running in the city centre throughout August.

Armed with an Indie Winch trail Passport, children and their parents can explore the hidden gems of Winchester’s independent shops and eateries on a trail. Follow the fun clues to learn all about Winchester’s rich history whilst taking advantage of special promotions and offers at Winchester’s independent businesses along the way. Participating shops will stamp the passport, which can be swapped for a sweet treat when the trail has been completed.

The event is being run by the Winchester BID (Business Improvement District). The BID aims to create a thriving, clean and safe shopping environment for residents, visitors and the businesses which operate in the city. It runs a range of initiatives to encourage more people to make the most of what Winchester has to offer, including the independent shops which make up 50% of the city’s retail businesses.

Paul Spencer, Projects and Operations Manager, for Winchester BID said:

Winchester is blessed with a brilliant range of boutique shops, unique restaurants and original bars. It is this distinctive, authentic and refined shopping and dining culture which encourages residents and visitors to come back to Winchester time and time again to enjoy what we have to offer.

The trail is about bringing together shoppers, business owners and visitors of all ages to celebrate the high street and city centre with an inspiring and innovative family experience. We hope to see lots of people in Winchester making the most of this opportunity to enjoy our independent businesses.

On being an Independent in Winchester, Jonnie Talbot-Weiss, Owner of Eat Drink & Be said:

The key thing about the independents in Winchester is that it gives the city dynamism. We are not a formulaic High Street – we’re different. There’s a vibrancy, it’s quirky, and we hope people enjoy it here as much as we do.

There are lots of independent businesses throughout Winchester joining in the fun. They will all have badges, passports and maps ready to distribute to people who want to or have completed the trail. The passports and maps will be also available to pick up from the Tourist Information Centre.

Visitors will also be encouraged to share pictures of them getting involved in the fun on social media using the hashtag #IndieWinch. Participating businesses will be displaying special vinyl stickers and sharing what they are up to on social media too.

For more information visit www.winchesterbid.co.uk

Photo: Entertainer Joe French Credit: The Typeface Group.

1. Winchester’s independentIndie Winch Trail
2. Sisters Lillyella and Ruby Buckland working on clue 2
3. Once you find the golden sign in the window, get your stamp from the indie business before moving on
4. Representatives from (left-to-right) The Old Vine, Warren & Son, Toscanaccio, Old Fashioned Sweetie Shop, The Cabinet Rooms and Stardust Years Vintage 
Independent Street (l-r) Jeremy France from Jeremy France Jewellers, Marcus Roe from The Cabinet Rooms, Cat Brandwood from Toscanaccio, Laura Cotterill from The Old Vine, Judith Burnett from the Old Fashioned Sweetie Shop, Gary Whiter from The Cabinet Rooms, Sarah Broadbank from Warren and Son.
6. Number 1 Independent Street, created by Tin Shed Scenery will be in situ at The Tourist Information Centre for the month of August
7. Local Kate Simone supporting independents in home town
8. Local entertainer Joe French entertained passers by at the launch
Henry and Jack Vickery enjoying the trail
10. Karen Fitzsimmons from Stardust Years Vintage
11. Gary Whiter and Marcus Roe from The Cabinet Rooms
12. Entertainer Joe French

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