Newbury is a small town nestled in the heart of West Berkshire. While it may be small, it certainly has a lot going on! From our mix of independent and known high street stores to the very best eateries and exciting night life, there’s something for everyone. Due to its location, Newbury is also home to beautiful walking and cycling trails, making it perfect for families to have a day out and enjoy the scenery. If that’s not for you we have a range of nationally loved attractions. Visit our top class Racecourse or Highclere Castle, home of Downton Abbey. The town is also home to well-known Arts venues, the Corn Exchange, Arlington Arts and The Watermill Theatre – hosting the very best in entertainment, music and comedy.
West Berkshire lies at the centre of Southern England in the South East, within an hour’s reach of London, Bristol, Oxford and the south coast. Transport links are excellent… it is easy to reach from all parts of the UK.
PLACES OF INTEREST
The first written records of the estate date back to 749 when an Anglo-Saxon King granted the estate to the Bishops of Winchester. Bishop William of Wykeham built a beautiful medieval palace and gardens in the park. Later on, the palace was rebuilt as Highclere Place House in 1679 when it was purchased by Sir Robert Sawyer, the direct ancestor of the current Earl of Carnarvon. In 1842, Sir Charles Barry, who also designed the Houses of Parliament, transformed Highclere House into the present day Highclere Castle.
Newbury started life as a Saxon settlement known as ‘Ulvritone’ which located south of the River Kennet, the settlement was later called New Burgh. Burgh is an old English word, originally it meant a fort or fortified settlement and then it came to mean a town. Burgh is the origin of our word borough, in time New Burgh became Newbury. By the middle of the 11th century Newbury had become a town with no more than 1,500 inhabitants and had the right to hold a fair and a market. Buyers and sellers would come from all over Berkshire and North Hampshire to attend a Newbury fair, which were held only once a year for a period of days.
The existence of a mill at Bagnor is recorded in the Domesday Book and the building has served as a corn mill and a paper mill for hundreds of years with its beautiful tithe barn alongside.
In the early 1960s David Gollins, with the support of his mother Judy Gollins, had the vision and the foresight to create one of the smallest and most beautiful professional theatres in the country from the derelict watermill. The building itself dates from 1830, being used as a corn mill, a fullers mill and a fine paper mill before it was converted for the first professional theatre season in 1967.
THE CORN EXCHANGE
The Corn Exchange Trust manages three key spaces; the Corn Exchange which includes a 400 seat auditorium, a 40 seat independent cinema and thriving Kitchen & Bar; 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space for the development of large-scale outdoor performances and residencies; and Learning Centre from which we run a flourishing participation programme ‘Get Involved’, as involving local people and enabling them to be engaged with our creative activities lies at the heart of what we do.
VICTORIA PARK NEWBURY
Victoria Park is the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of Newbury Town Council.
The Park features a children’s splash park, play areas suitable for toddlers and older children, tennis courts, a skatepark, boating pond, outdoor gym equipment, floral displays, a community cafe and is home to Newbury Bowling Club.
Victoria Park is host annually to a number of events and Brass & Silver Bands play throughout the summer on the traditional Bandstand.
The striking twin-towered gatehouse of 14th century Donnington Castle, near Newbury, survives within impressive earthworks. It shows the luxury enjoyed by Sir Richard Abberbury, Donnington’s builder, whose private quarters lay within it. Both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I are thought to have stayed here.
The large defences built to protect the castle during the English Civil War still survive.
DONNINGTON GOLF COURSE
Donnington Valley Golf Course is widely regarded as a hidden gem. An 18 hole course set in beautiful rolling countryside with a challenging 6296 yards, 18 hole, par 71 from the back tees. Although some of the holes are quite forgiving the closing four are regarded as one of the toughest finishes in the country.
In addition to the course there is a Pro Shop, practice facilities, and a beautiful Grade II listed Victorian Club house with magnificent views over the 9th/18th greens. The combination of this beautifully conditioned golf course and fantastic four star hotel makes Donnington Valley the perfect location for golfing days and golf breaks.