Winchester Discovery Centre

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17 reviews so far


01/11/2012 03:26pm

Paula Parkes

We had the most amazing afternoon yesterday listening to Axel Scheffler, illustrator of 'The Gruffalo' and other children's classics.

I would just like to pass on our gratitude to both Axel and your staff for being so patient and welcoming. I was so impressed by the fact he signed so many books in such a beautiful and personalised way. My two boys now have very treasured signed copies of 'Stick Man' and 'The Highway Rat' and memories of a very special day indeed.

The talk was enthralling and captivated the two 4-year olds I brought along. We cannot wait for next year's festival! Thank you.



22/10/2012 12:31pm

Sylvia Bailey

We live in Southampton and if we need a 'lift' we head for the WDC to enjoy the latest art exhibition.Never let down, This W/E was no exception, the downstair children's ceramic and willow sculptures fascinating. We are so grateful to the WDC staff for their imagination in putting on the 'shows' the encourage us up the M3. Many thanks.  



14/05/2012 10:07am

Liz Gardener

Last time I visited the Adult Fiction section, there were small children running all around me- and today people sitting holding loud mobile phone conversations. Would it be possible to move all the cafe seating to the cafe/sales end of the room- or to swap areas so that the childrens section is alongside the cafe? It seems adult readers are getting the worst of the deal here.



06/02/2012 05:30am

Ilse Cornwall-Ross

I did some research work in the reading room upstairs the other day and was delighted to find that you had improved the accommodation for quiet work greatly. However, I did not really understand why the door was kept open, thus allowing quite a lot of noise from the general library to be audible in the room.

WDC replies

We're pleased that you approve of the new quiet space. It is something that we have wanted to provide for a long time. The doors have to be kept open so that we can monitor the use of the space and ensure that members of the public are safe at all times. We are exploring the possibility of fitting doors with windows to improve the space further.



16/12/2011 07:34am

Ciara Wright

Having recently moved to Winchester I am so impressed by the Discovery Centre. The amazing amount of activities for all from cradle to old age, the very helpful and knowledgable staff and of course the wonderful selection of books, DVDs and CDs.

One thing I feel lets it down is the Cafe area. Unfortunately it has a very grubby feel with dirty tables which are often left uncleared and dirty crockery handed out with purchased items. The selection of food available is limited and the quality poor in my opinion. The waitress today advised us to go across the road to the coffee house for lunch!

I would imagine if it was run properly this area could be a 'gold mine' - all those people using the library could stop for a nice lunch too! I don't like to complain but I think this is a glitch in an otherwise wonderful amenity!



12/08/2011 05:01pm

Lynda O'Neill

Libraries have always meant a great deal to me, and my life is impossible to envisage without them. I can't praise the Discovery Centre enough.

I often order books, and the staff go the extra mile to help me with this. The automated booking in/out system avoids a long queue at the desk, and recently my computer wasn't working; being able to use one - for free - enabled me to read my emails and stopped me twitching with unease at the messages I would otherwise have missed.

I like the way that newly bought books are displayed. It's helpful to see specific areas of interest on show, enabling me to feed my addictions - biographies and collections of diaries/letters.

The cards etc on sale are lovely too. An occasional visit to the cafe and a glance at the newspapers is a blissful oasis in my day!



27/03/2011 06:42pm


Just wanted to say thank you for the free art activity that runs on a Sunday. My daughter made a fantastic fish picture, last week, and thoroughly enjoyed her time at the discovery centre. Thank you to Kate, who led the activity brilliantly.



11/02/2011 07:11am


I visited Winchester on a Sunday and happened to be passing - I was amazed that a public library could be open on a Sunday and so vibrant and full of activity - not to mention a welcome coffee. I wish all councils could have the vision to create such a wonderful resource and highly rate the whole experience.



02/02/2011 05:22pm

Jeff Monger

I would just like to let you know that my familly are very impressed with the Winchester Discovery Centre modernisation. My children use your library extensively for books, audio tapes, CD's and videos, we visit the exhibitions, and have attended both concerts and workshops. Well done for making this one of the best libraries we have ever used.  



11/10/2010 04:14pm


I have seen the Heft exhibition and was impressed with the quality and I am currently writing about it.

However, it has come to light that you do not support education workshops? of all ages. this would be a good idea.

Also I recommend to get involved with the art school down the road. They have so much to offer and so much to learn. This will increase the level of interest and be really rewarding on both parts.

The gallery replies

The Gallery is a keen supporter of education, learning and access. We aim to have in-gallery activities for each exhibition and a programme of associated learning for all ages throughout the Discovery Centre. Within our limited resources, we devise a programme of activities and events appropriate to each exhibition, which varies depending on the scope of the themes, that is always further complemented by programming, displays and retail at the WDC. This does include a schools programme.

For Heft for example, we organised two handling sessions for local schools to participate in the making of Heft. We then ran two further day workshops for schools, making sculpture with artist/curator Tony Hayward. These were tremendously successful and the children's work is likely to be displayed at the School of Art's gallery.

The Winchester School of Art, in conjunction with Hampshire Sculpture Trust were the creators of Heft, so the exhibition and workshops which followed were in fact led by them.


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