This past September (2021), I had the pleasure of visiting Winchester, England for the first time. It was a lunch stop en route from Heathrow to Dorset, and I was lucky enough to catch the beautiful Winchester Cathedral Flower Festival.
The festival, which was put on hiatus during the worst of the covid pandemic, made its return in 2021 with breathtaking arrangements and installments by lauded floral designer Pip Bensley.
Winchester Cathedral is magnificent on its own. The soaring medieval church is the longest of its kind in the world and sits on an ancient Christian site. It houses treasures dating from pre-Norman times, the Winchester Bible, and the bodies of numerous medieval figures. Even without the adornment of flowers, it’s a sight to behold.
But the addition of floral arrangements truly elevates the cathedral. The combination of hard stone and lush, living greenery brings together the beauty of the man-made and natural worlds.
Thoughtfully spaced arrangements allow you to appreciate the artistry of the flowers from all angles and without feeling crowded.
And in the airy spaces of the cathedral, taking a quiet moment to contemplate the arrangements feels as meditative as it does indulgent.
It was a wonderful coincidence to find myself at the cathedral during this brief but gorgeous festival. If you’re planning a visit to Winchester in September, it’s worth scheduling your trip to coincide with this breathtaking display!