Exploring Newbury: A Local’s Guide to the Area

Welcome to Newbury, a charming market town nestled in the heart of West Berkshire. This vibrant town seamlessly blends historical charm with modern amenities, making it a delightful staycation destination. Whether you're simply looking for a new place to explore, attending one of the many festivals, or even visiting family, Newbury has something for everyone. Here at The Hare and Hounds, we are pleased to share this local’s guide to the area, giving you everything you need to know before your visit.

Discover the Heart of Newbury

The Market Place

At the heart of Newbury lies the bustling Market Place. This vibrant square is the perfect starting point for exploring the town. Here, you can soak up the local atmosphere, browse the market stalls, and enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the many quaint cafes. The Market Place is also home to the Corn Exchange, a stunning arts centre that hosts a variety of performances, from theatre and comedy to music and dance.

Newbury Wharf

A short stroll from the Market Place will take you to Newbury Wharf. This picturesque spot on the Kennet and Avon Canal is ideal for a leisurely walk or a peaceful boat ride. The wharf is also home to the West Berkshire Museum, where you can delve into the rich history of the area. Don’t forget to pop into the museum’s gift shop for some unique souvenirs!

Pubs and Restaurants in Newbury

The Hare and Hounds

We may be biased, but no visit to Newbury is complete without a stop at The Hare and Hounds. A traditional coaching inn, pub, and restaurant, The Hare and Hounds is a favourite among locals for its delicious food, refreshing drinks, and warm, inviting atmosphere. The menu offers a chance to try fresh, locally sourced ingredients, bursting with flavour and offering something for everyone. For something truly special, we offer a range of premium wines that you'd typically find only by the bottle, but thanks to our state-of-the-art Enomatic machine, you can enjoy these exceptional wines by the glass.

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Local Pubs and Restaurants

Beyond The Hare and Hounds, Newbury boasts a plethora of excellent pubs and restaurants. With cuisines from around the world including Italian and Indian, head to the town centre and take your pick!

The Great Outdoors in Newbury

Nature lovers will find plenty to enjoy in Newbury. Victoria Park, located just a short walk from the town centre, is a beautiful green space perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. The park features a boating lake, a bandstand, and a fantastic playground for the little ones.

For a dose of history and some stunning views, make your way to Donnington Castle. This 14th-century ruin offers a glimpse into the past and provides a great vantage point for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. It’s a perfect spot for a hike and a bit of exploration.

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Greenham Common

Once a military airbase, Greenham Common is now a vast nature reserve teeming with wildlife. It's a haven for walkers, birdwatchers, and anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of town life. The open spaces and wildflower meadows are perfect for a relaxing afternoon stroll.

Festivals and Events in Newbury

Newbury is a town that loves to celebrate, and there’s always something happening here. Here are some highlights from the annual calendar:

Newbury Spring Festival is a two-week extravaganza of music, theatre, and dance held every May. The festival attracts world-class performers and offers something for everyone, from classical concerts to jazz nights.

Newbury Pride takes place in Victoria Park each summer. The celebrations include live music, performances, and a marching band. The vibrant parade usually starts on Bartholomew Street and makes its way through the park.

Another must-see event is the Newbury Show, held every September. This agricultural show is a fantastic day out for the whole family, featuring livestock displays, local produce, crafts, and plenty of entertainment.

As the festive season approaches, the town transforms into a winter wonderland. The Christmas Market is a magical place to pick up unique gifts, enjoy seasonal food and drink, and get into the holiday spirit.

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Shopping in Newbury

Newbury offers a delightful mix of high street favourites and independent boutiques. Parkway Shopping Centre is home to a variety of well-known brands, while the Kennet Shopping Centre boasts an array of unique stores. For those looking for something a bit different, the town’s independent shops offer a treasure trove of unique finds, from handmade crafts to vintage clothing.

Must-Visit Attractions in Newbury

Just a short drive from the town centre, this grand estate is known worldwide as the filming location for Downton Abbey. Explore the opulent rooms and lush gardens, and immerse yourself in the aristocratic charm of a bygone era.

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Housed in two of Newbury’s oldest buildings, the museum offers a fascinating insight into the town’s history, with exhibits ranging from prehistoric artefacts to contemporary art.

Just outside Newbury, this centre is great for families. With interactive exhibits and beautiful walking trails around the lake, it’s a peaceful escape into nature.

Lambourn

Known as the “Valley of the Racehorse”, this village is just a short drive from Newbury. It’s home to many of the UK’s top racehorse trainers, and you might catch a glimpse of the horses in training.

Whether you’re visiting for the first time or rediscovering an old favourite, Newbury never fails to charm. From its historic sites and beautiful parks to its fantastic dining and shopping options, there’s always something new to explore.

Looking for somewhere to stay for your visit in Newbury? The Hare and Hounds hotel is dog-friendly and offers a true home-from-home experience with accommodation seamlessly combining modern comfort with the character of a traditional coaching inn.