Some people may say that Winchester is a quiet town and not much happens here. But that just means that you are around the wrong people. Winchester is filled with hidden gems that are sure to make any budget-savvy student smile. Just because you’re broke AF at the University of Winchester doesn’t mean you have to compromise. From alcohol to all you can eat, Winchester has it. Here’s where to find out what you’ve been missing.
1. Karaoke and cocktails.
You aren’t really a student at the University of Winchester if you haven’t found yourself in the County Arms pub on a Sunday night. Country Arms is situated on Romsey Road, opposite West Downs accommodation and is the proud home of Karaoke Night every Sunday. Free entry is the first selling point. A local DJ comes in and from 9pm til 2am the far end of the pub turns into the ideal place for anyone who likes to let out their inner Beyoncé after a few Jäger bombs.
All the music played is current so you can jam away to Little Mix and shout out to your ex all night long. To make the deal even sweeter, cocktails are buy one get one free all night past 5pm. Whether you fancy some Sex on the Beach or want to go a little Woo Woo, they’ve got you covered.
2. Dance it out, sweat it out @ Vodka.
If you head down the hill to town, you will soon find yourself walking past a conveniently placed McDonald’s and end up in Winchester’s only night club, Vodka. This tucked away night club is a bit of everything; a slow starting awkward room soon turns into a thriving dance floor. On Tuesday, entry is only £2, the same price as their spirits and mixers. Take out £10 and you are done for the evening and may even have enough for a subway on the way home. Vodka in terms of nightclub is very casual, so you don’t need to splash out on a new little black dress or flashy heels every week. One thing that burns bright about vodka is how sweaty it is, so don’t cover your face in makeup or wear anything that will show dark crescent patches forming under your arms.
3. It’s the little things in life… but the big oranges too.
If you have a spare day at the weekend when you can’t face that essay on the Bronte sisters anymore, Winchester town centre offers a market with a wide variety of eclectic street food as well as locally grown fruit. The fruit stalls, which are up throughout the week, offer such a wide range of seasonal fruits. From lush lychees to oranges that are bigger than your fists. All at a reasonable price and as the weather gets warmer, you can enjoy them on park benches outside the cathedral. Just remember to bring a friend with you to help carry the rest back up the hill.
4. Coffee and Chill in the Terrace Bar.
Let’s take things back to campus now and I can share with you exactly where to get your caffeine kick start for the week ahead but is purse friendly as well as delicious. Inside the student union, you will find the Terrace Bar. During the day, they serve the best coffee. They do every syrup from peanut butter to mint chocolate to almond that you can squirt into your drink to brighten up your cup. The mint chocolate mocha is a particular creation that I don’t think will die out any time soon.
Even better than any other campus café, there is no minimum spend on card. We all know if you took out £10 for a coffee, then you’d be buying yourself chips for lunch too. Just tap your card and you’ll be handed a steaming cup of sweet java. With many sofas and tables inside the Terrace Bar, you can sit and do work with your group for your next presentation or just relax listening to the student radio because hey! It passes the time.
5. Be an Insta-Famous flat.
It may seem like an obvious option but for when you are completely broke, just have a flat/house party! Nip to the on-campus shop after your lectures for some cheap wine and as long as someone has a speaker, people will show up. Maybe it’s the perfect time to get to know your neighbours! When you’ve reached the point where you think you can slut drop to Ke$ha for an insta-video, go into the hallway and have a full-on photo-shoot with your best friend. This is the cheapest way to take the silliest of photos to stick on your wall that you can look back on at 1am when you are writing about why the first television was made.
I hope this has given you a little bit of inspiration as to all the different things available in Winchester when you are on a tight budget and made you realise that this is home… For 3 years at least!