Newbury, an old English market town founded in the 11th Century has a varied heritage with many listed buildings and the site of two major battles during the Civil War.
Overlooking Newbury are the twin towers and gatehouse of the 14th century and strategically important Donnington Castle; the castle surviving several attacks during the English Civil War. Reported residents include Thomas Chaucer, son of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.
For more information on the history of Donnington Castle visit the English Heritage website.
Shaw House, a Grade I listed building, was built in 1581 and is the largest and one of the finest Elizabethan houses in Berkshire.
Surviving the Second Battle of Newbury during the Civil War, requisitioned by the military for wartime use in WWII and becoming emergency accommodation for pupils from the Newbury Council School after their school was bombed.
A popular tourist destination holding events for film, theatre and music in the superb grounds as well as exhibitions in the house.
The home of some excellent National Hunt and Flat racing including the Hennessy Cold Cup and Lockinge Stakes the racecourse provides a superb days racing for enthusiasts. And with summer events, such as the Party in the Paddock, non-race goers are encouraged to try a day at the races with entertainment in the evening.
Newbury has a good selection of restaurants serving a range of cuisines, as well as pubs offering home cooked food, local real ales & ciders and fine wines.
Independent French restaurant Brebis and The Newbury both feature in the Michelin Guide 2016 and The Woodspeen achieved its first Star. Whilst family run Val D'Oro has been established in the town since 1987.
A regular charter market is held on Thursdays and Saturdays in addition to a Farmers Market every second and fourth Sunday of the month. A recent addition is an Artisan Market that will operate once a month on a Sunday between March and November.
Greenham Common, once an American Air Base, is now a thousand acres of heathland, lakes and home to wildlife, cattle and horses. The common is regularly enjoyed by walkers, dog owners, cyclists and members of the Newbury Fun Run.
Snelsmore Common is a SSSI-designated nature reserve of around 100 hectares supporting a range of plant and wildlife including a host of nationally rare bird species and wild ponies. Habitats such as heather, gorse, wet bog and woodland help create one of the larger areas of lowland heath in the county.
The common offers a designated picnic area and varying terrain for walking from the circular paved path to the many footpaths and trails which vary in difficulty with steep climbs and uneven surfaces.
The recreational spaces of Victoria Park, Northcroft and Goldwell Park near to the town centre have play areas for children as well as great spaces to relax, watch a game of Cricket or play some sport.
Speen Moor Walk is a 3km circular walk beginning at Goldwell Park that winds through meadows, over the River Kennet and under an old railway viaduct. Eventually leading out onto the Kennet and Avon Canal before returning to Northcroft at the Monkey Bridge.
You will also find a 3-mile circular walk at Donnington Castle taking in woodland, the heathland of Snelsmore Common, Donnington Grove golf course, and through the village of Bagnor along paths and tracks.