Winter attended Merrywood Grammar School, Bristol before studying at Bristol Polytechnic (now the University of the West of England). 
Winter played in goal for Bristol City FC from 1971-1973, before a serious injury ended his sporting career. From 1974-1978 he worked in various administrative and general management training roles in the newly formed Avon County Council. He developed his public sector career at Kingswood Borough Council.
- Board member Science Media Centre 2002-8
- Royal Institution Alan Winter, accessed 9 August 2013