15 Best Things To Do In Newbury, England

By will

Newbury is an English town steeped in history, and there are plenty of exciting things to do in the area.

From visiting grand castles to exploring lush parks and discovering the local culture, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

In this article, I’ll be sharing the 15 best activities and attractions this vibrant town has to offer.

So, if you’re looking for a great day trip or weekend getaway, Newbury is the perfect destination.

Get ready to explore some of the best places this charming English town has to offer!

Newbury Castle

Donnington Castle, Newbury, Berkshire
Photo by Oswald Bertram

Located in the heart of Newbury, Newbury Castle is a must-see if you’re looking to explore the town’s history and heritage. The castle was built in the 12th century by the powerful de Newbury family, and has gone through many changes and renovations over the years.

Now, visitors can marvel at the castle’s beauty and explore its history in the form of an interactive audio-visual experience. The castle also offers a wide array of activities, such as a guided tour around the site, a visit to the castle’s herb garden, and a range of educational programs.

With its spectacular views, fascinating history, and diverse activities, Newbury Castle is the perfect destination for visitors looking to get a glimpse into the town’s past.

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle
Photo by Steve Daniels

Explore the spectacular Highclere Castle, a grand 19th-century estate with opulent interiors and extensive grounds to wander. Located in Hampshire in the United Kingdom, this castle was the filming location for the popular TV series Downton Abbey.

Visitors can explore the impressive interiors, including the library, the drawing room, and the saloon, as well as the remarkable gardens and grounds. Highclere Castle is a stunning example of Victorian architecture and provides a grand atmosphere for a day trip.

Guests can take a guided tour of the castle and the grounds, or explore the area independently. Once you’ve finished exploring the inside of the castle, you can take a walk around the grounds, where you’ll find the Egyptian Exhibition, the Egyptian Obelisk, and the Temple of Isis.

The castle also features a tea room where visitors can take a break and enjoy refreshments. Highclere Castle is a must-see destination for anyone looking to experience a unique and memorable day.

Donnington Castle

Donnington Castle
Photo by Steve Daniels

Donnington Castle, just outside of Newbury in England, is a stunning medieval fortress that will take you back to the 14th century. As the former home of Edward III and Henry VIII, it’s full of history and character.

Visitors can explore the castle grounds, which include the inner and outer wards, the turrets, and the gatehouse. The castle also boasts a museum, a tea room, and a gift shop.

Donnington Castle offers guided tours that give visitors an in-depth look at the castle’s rich history. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who are passionate about the castle’s past. Visitors can also take part in activities such as jousting, archery, and falconry.

There are also events and activities throughout the year, such as the Easter egg hunt and medieval banquets.

West Berkshire Museum

Just a short drive away from Donnington Castle, West Berkshire Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of the area. Located in the historic market town of Newbury, this museum offers a unique insight into the development of the region.

It contains many interesting displays and exhibitions, including a range of artifacts from prehistoric times right up to the present day. Visitors can explore the history of the area through interactive displays, interactive audio-visual presentations, and three-dimensional reconstructions of archaeological sites.

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The museum also houses an impressive collection of local fine art, including works by renowned local painters such as Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable. There is also an array of sculptures and decorative pieces, as well as a library and archive that can help visitors research the region’s rich history.

The museum’s café provides a great place to relax and reflect on the history of the area, with delicious refreshments and snacks available. Whether you’re a local looking to learn more about your history or a tourist looking for something interesting to do in Newbury, West Berkshire Museum is an ideal spot for everyone.

The Living Rainforest

Experience the sights and sounds of a tropical rainforest from the comfort of the Living Rainforest in Hampstead Norreys. This unique and engaging attraction is the only tropical rainforest in the UK, and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in a wild and exotic environment.

Located on a 7-acre site, the Living Rainforest houses a variety of plants and animals, including over 700 different species of plants from around the world. Inside the greenhouses, you’ll find a wide range of tropical birds, butterflies, and other animals, as well as an intriguing array of plants.

The interactive exhibits and educational programs make it a great way to learn about the environment and the rainforest ecosystem. The site also has a cafeteria, a gift shop, and a range of activities, from guided tours to interactive workshops.

Whether you’re looking for an educational experience or a chance to relax and enjoy some peaceful surroundings, the Living Rainforest is the perfect place to visit.

Finkley Down Farm

Come explore Finkley Down Farm, a family-friendly destination that offers a wide range of activities and attractions. Finkley Down Farm is located near Newbury and is the perfect place to spend a day of fun and excitement with the whole family.

Visitors can take a ride on the Farm Safari, a tractor-trailer ride that takes you through the farm’s many enclosures, where you’ll get up close and personal with the animals.

The Farm also has an indoor play area with plenty of slides, ball pits, and other activities to keep the kids entertained.

For a more educational experience, the Farm runs educational sessions where you can learn about animal husbandry, the different animal species, and more.

Finally, the Farm also has an adventure playground for older kids, complete with zip lines, trampolines, and a climbing wall.

Whether you’re looking for a fun day out or an educational experience, Finkley Down Farm has something for everyone.

The Watermill Theatre

The Watermill Theatre, located near Newbury, is an enchanting, award-winning venue, perfect for a memorable evening of live theatre.

With a range of plays, musicals, opera, and dance performances, visitors can feel the intimate atmosphere and be immersed in the performance.

The theatre also runs a variety of workshops and activities throughout the year, providing a great opportunity for children and adults alike to learn about theatre and gain practical experience.

The Watermill Theatre is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of live theatre in the region.

The building itself is a stunning Edwardian mill, which has been lovingly restored and transformed into a modern theatre.

With its wooden beams and rustic charm, the theatre provides a unique atmosphere that can’t be found elsewhere.

In addition to its well-appointed auditorium, it also has a café and bar, and a range of activities for visitors to enjoy.

Whether you’re looking for an entertaining night out or a unique learning experience, the Watermill Theatre is the perfect place to visit.

Newbury Racecourse

Feel the thrill of the races at Newbury Racecourse, where you can witness the majesty of thoroughbreds as they thunder around the track. It’s a thrilling experience for racing enthusiasts, and visitors to Newbury alike.

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The atmosphere is electric as you soak in the excitement of the crowd. With a wide range of events throughout the year, it is a great way to spend the day. There are also many bars, restaurants, and shops on-site for visitors to explore, making it a great destination for a day out with friends or family.

The Racecourse also has a rich and fascinating history, having been founded in 1905. Over the years, it has become an integral part of the local community, and it has hosted some of the finest horse racing events in the country.

As you walk around the track, you can see the grandstands, the weighing room, and the paddock, all of which make for a truly memorable experience. Whether you’re a racing enthusiast or just looking for a fun day out, Newbury Racecourse is the perfect destination.

The Kennet and Avon Canal

Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Kennet and Avon Canal, winding its way through the English countryside, on a peaceful boat ride.

The Kennet and Avon Canal is a beautiful and historic waterway that runs through Wiltshire and Berkshire, connecting the River Avon in Bath to the River Kennet in Reading.

The canal is used for leisure activities such as boating, fishing, and walking, and is also home to a variety of wildlife, including swans, geese, and ducks.

The canal is ideal for those looking to explore the countryside of Newbury. Boat trips take visitors to picturesque locations and charming villages, providing an opportunity to relax and take in the scenery.

The canal is also lined with pubs and restaurants, giving those on board the chance to enjoy a meal or a drink in exceptional surroundings.

For those looking for a more active experience, the canal also offers a range of walking and cycling routes, providing a great way to explore the area.

Shaw House

Discover the grandeur of Shaw House, an exquisite 16th-century manor located in Newbury, England, and marvel at its opulent interiors.

Originally built for the rich and famous, the manor is now owned by the National Trust.

Visitors to Shaw House can explore the Great Hall, the grand staircase, and the stunning architecture of the building.

There’s also an impressive collection of arms and armor, which includes a 17th-century Italian suit of armor.

The grounds surrounding the manor are also worth exploring.

Visitors can take a walk around the lake and admire the beautiful gardens, which feature a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers.

There are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, including fishing, boating, and bird-watching.

The grounds are also home to a variety of wildlife, including fallow deer, wild boar, and a variety of birds.

With its beautiful architecture and stunning grounds, Shaw House is an ideal destination for a day trip to Newbury, England.

Greenham Common

Explore Greenham Common, a beautiful area of natural grassland located in Newbury, UK, and uncover its fascinating history.

This large area of common land is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, offering a variety of activities to enjoy and sights to see.

Throughout its history, Greenham Common has been a military base, a strategic airfield, and even a home to a nuclear weapon storage facility. Today, it is a haven of tranquility, with plenty of walking and cycling routes as well as a nature reserve.

Visitors can enjoy the views of the surrounding areas, as well as the wildflowers and wildlife that inhabit the area.

A popular pastime is to explore the ruins of the air base, and discover the memories of the past.

With its rich history, Greenham Common is a great destination to explore and learn about during a visit to Newbury.

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High Street Shopping

After exploring the history of Greenham Common, I’m ready to check out some of the best shopping Newbury High Street has to offer.

Located in the heart of the city, this bustling street is home to a variety of stores.

Whether you’re looking for a unique local boutique, a department store, or just some souvenirs for friends back home, there’s something here for everyone.

The high street is also home to some fantastic restaurants and coffee shops, making it the perfect place to grab a bite to eat after a day of shopping.

Whether you’re looking for traditional British dishes or something from further afield, you’re sure to find something that tickles your taste buds.

And, if you’re looking for a gift for someone special, you can find everything from antiques to handmade jewelry.

With such a variety of options, it’s easy to see why Newbury High Street is one of the best places to shop in England.

Victoria Park

Take a break from shopping on Newbury High Street and spend some time in Victoria Park, a picturesque green space located nearby.

Victoria Park is a great spot to relax and enjoy nature; it’s full of lush green grass, colorful flowers, and towering trees.

The park also has plenty of benches to sit on and soak in the scenery.

If you’re feeling active, you can take a leisurely stroll around the park’s perimeter or play a game of frisbee or soccer with friends.

There’s also a playground for kids, a pond with ducks, and a café serving a variety of snacks and drinks.

Don’t forget to stop by the Victoria Park Gallery, where you can admire artwork from local artists.

No matter what you decide to do in Victoria Park, you’re sure to have a great time!

Snelsmore Common Country Park

Experience the tranquility of Snelsmore Common Country Park, a stunning 700-acre nature reserve located near Newbury.

You’ll find a wide variety of habitats, including woodlands, heathland, and grassland.

There are plenty of trails to explore, and visitors can find a range of activities from bird-watching to cycling and horse-riding.

The park also has a children’s play area and a picnic area.

The park is teeming with a variety of wildlife, and visitors can spot species such as badgers, deer, and foxes.

It’s also a great place to spot both common and rare birds, such as lapwing, woodlark, and nightingale.

Even rarer species like the Dartford Warbler have been seen here.

Snelsmore Common Country Park is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful day out in the great outdoors.

Ridgeway Walk

The Ridgeway Walk, a National Trail stretching 87 miles from Overton Hill in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire, runs through Snelsmore Common Country Park.

It’s a popular route for walkers, offering an easy to moderate trail with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

The Ridgeway Walk is a great way to explore the area, as it passes through the historic market towns of Hungerford, Marlborough, and Wantage.

Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the scenery, including ancient monuments, woodlands, and parts of the Ridgeway itself.

There are also plenty of places to stop for refreshments, such as pubs, cafes, and even a few farm shops.

The Ridgeway Walk is a great way to experience the best of Newbury, England, and a must-do for any visitor.

Conclusion

Having explored the 15 best things to do in Newbury, England, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular tourist destination.

From historical sites like Newbury Castle and Donnington Castle, to natural attractions like The Living Rainforest and Snelsmore Common Country Park, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste.

Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or a relaxing day out, Newbury has it all.

So why not take a trip and explore all the amazing things to see and do in this beautiful part of the world? You won’t regret it.

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.