From 20 June, this ancient working watermill will be helping visitors plan exciting adventures and relaxing days out in the South Downs, thanks to a new exhibition, created in partnership with this National Park. winchester-city-mill-phil-ripley As well as milling South Downs grain, selling flour, and hosting baking days, the Mill will showcase the special landscapes and wildlife of the Downs, suggest ideas for local walks and experiences, and reveal how easy it is to explore by trains, buses and bicycle. “Winchester is famous for its magnificent cathedral, medieval Great Hall and dramatic ruins of Wolvesey Castle,” says Ric Weeks, Winchester City Mill’s manager. “But people may not realise that they’re also a short distance from one of our most beautiful stretches of countryside, which has been worked by people for thousands of years. “These landscapes are part of the story of our mill and the river that powers it, because without our farmers and wheat fields there would have been no wheat to grind, no flour and no bread.” Local countryside treasures to discover
 Winchester City Mill lies just a few metres from the start of the South Downs Way National Trail – a 160km route which 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 which takes you back to Winchester.   JB-profileTV’s outdoor girl Julia Bradbury lends her support
 “I can’t think of a better place to invite friends to join you for a good walk. Winchester Mill is a perfect start to the South Downs Way, reminding us that the rolling landscape and criss-crossing tracks that lure us for the next 100 miles are only there thanks to centuries of stewardship from local farmers.”  Julia-signature 200px River Cottage competition To celebrate the Mill’s new venture, TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, whose Winchester restaurant the River Cottage Canteen uses the Mill’s flour, is offering the chance to win a place on a River Cottage Cookery School bread course. The National Trust cares for almost 6,500 hectares in the South Downs National Park – 30 breath-taking locations encompassing coastline and sun-dappled woods, historic houses and cottages, gardens and wildflower-rich downland. Find out more about Winchester City Mill here.