Newbury

Forever Berkshire's largest charming market town, it is no surprise that Newbury is a hit with all the family due to the wide variety of attractive activities it can offer. From the contemporary entertainment provided by the wealth of theatres and the cinema such as the Corn Exchange, or the historical drama of Basildon Park, Donnington Castle and Highclere Castle; Newbury perfectly blends old and new. For good measure, despite its vibrant and lively shopping and dining scenes in the well-preserved town centre, Newbury is certainly not lacking in emanating a rural, natural atmosphere with it lying on the banks of the River Kennet and Avon Canal and its countryside being encompassed in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Therefore, leisurely activities such as walks, picnics, fishing and cycling should not go amiss; nor should a shot on one of Newbury’s famous golf courses.

Due to its wealthy collection of stunning houses and gardens, Newbury is certainly pleasing on the eye. One particular reason to embark on a whistle-stop tour of Newbury would be Hampshire’s largest Mansion: Highclere Castle. It is not just its size that makes the Castle a must-see attraction, but also the fact that it is the setting of a certain globally embraced programme known as “Downton Abbey”. Perhaps not as glamorous as Highclere Castle, but just as historically rich, Donnington Castle has witnessed a Civil War siege and battle and as testament to that, all that remains are the ruins of the gatehouse.

Finally, the major draw for business & leisure tourists alike to this quaint English town is the fact that Newbury is famous for its racecourse which is one of the most prestigious, picturesque and exalted in the UK. With 30 days of some of the highest quality racing that Britain has to offer and boasting impressive facilities that can host events and conferences up to the capacity of 1,000 delegates, it is no surprise why Newbury manages to cater for the needs of all kinds of visitors.

Despite updates with modern shopping havens such as the Parkway, ultimately Newbury stays loyal to its market town past which can be reflected in that it still holds a twice weekly market in the Market Place amongst a multitude of other markets and festivals including regular farmers' markets, antique fairs and occasional continental markets. It is no wonder why Newbury is often voted as one of the best places to live in the UK and therefore why it is almost obligatory to pay it a visit.