Discover the Best Things to Do in Newbury: The Ultimate Guide for 2023

December 04, 2023

Discover the Best Things to Do in Newbury: The Ultimate Guide for 2023

Newbury is a beautiful market town with an extremely rich history, dating back to the Middle Stone Age. Nowadays it is the perfect mix of history and modernity making it a place with many things to do within it. 

Things to do in Newbury. Image shows an aerial view of Newbury Town in Berkshire

It is a place filled with beautiful castles, galleries and natural wonders. Here we are going to talk you through the top things to do in Newbury. It will be a comprehensive guide that is perfect for visitors and locals alike. 

But first, let’s get started with some of the history of the lovely markt town. 

Why You Should Visit Newbury: Exploring Hidden Gems in the Heart of Berkshire

Newbury’s history dates back to the Mesolithic, which is also known as the Middle Stone Age but it was officially founded as a new borough in the 11th Century after the Norman conquest. It has royal connections and was visited by King John and Henry III. 

Now known for its famous racecourse, Newbury Racecourse, which held its first race in 1905, it is a must visit place for any and all racing fans. Each year the Coral Gold Cup is held at the racecourse in late November. 

Immerse Yourself in History: Newbury’s Historic Landmarks

To begin, we are going to immerse you in the history of the many beautiful historic landmarks that can be found in Newbury.

Highclere Castle: The Home of Downton Abbey

Highclere Castle has been made famous in modern times as the home of Downton Abbey but the castle’s history dates back to 749 when an Anglo-Saxon King granted the estate to the Bishops of Winchester. In 1679 the palace was rebuilt as Highclere Place House 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.

There are between 250 and 300 rooms in the Castle  which you can explore on a tour of a castle and you will be able to visit main state rooms so familiar from “Downton Abbey”. There are different tours on offer depending on the time of year. Check out their website to find out more. 

Donnington Castle: Echoes of the Past

Donnington Castle dates back to the 14th Century  and in 1392 it was purchased by Sir Richard Abberbury for 100 shillings. It is another Newbury castle with royal connections as both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I are believed to have stayed within it. 

The fabric of the castle was seriously damaged during the English Civil War and in 1646 parliament voted to demolish Donnington Castle, leaving just the three-storey gatehouse standing. To present day, the gatehouse remains to almost its full height and is one of the finest examples of fourteenth century military architecture in England.

Donnington Castle is free to visit and is open during reasonable daylight hours. 

Shaw House: A Tudor Treasure

Shaw House is often described as a hidden gem. Built by a wealthy cloth merchant, Thomas Dolman, the house was completed in 1581 and, like Donnington Castle, it played a role in the English Civil War. 

After a major restoration project, it opened to the public in 2008. It is now open to the public between February and September, 11am to 4pm. 

Experience the Cultural Vibrancy: Museums and Galleries in Newbury

Now we are going to move on to the museums and galleries that are filled with things to do and see in Newbury. 

West Berkshire Museum: Window to the Past

West Berkshire Museum has a permanent collection which tells the history of West Berkshire so it is a must visit for any and all history buffs. The museum building itself is filled with a great deal of history as it is housed in two of Newbury’s best loved historic buildings – the 17th century Cloth Hall and the old Corn Stores in the Wharf.

The museum is free to visit but donations are welcome. The opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm. 

The Base: Visual Arts and Exhibitions

The Base is a slightly more modern addition to Newbury having been built in 2019. It is a gallery for visual arts and in 2024 it is going to be the home of the 59th instalment of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition

This is an ideal thing to do in Newbury for any contemporary art lover out there. The opening times and pricing are dependent on the exhibition so it is best to check the website before visiting. 

Unwind in Nature: Parks and Outdoor Activities in Newbury

Nature lovers will not be lacking from things to do in Newbury as there are many wonderful parks and outdoor spaces in the area.

The Living Rainforest: An Eco Adventure

The Living Rainforest is a place in which you can experience the wonders of the rainforest whilst in good old Newbury. This will be a perfect place to take the kids during the school holidays as it is filled with amazing tropical animals and a variety of things to do such as the Keeper Experience where you can work alongside the keepers. 

The Living Rainforest is open daily, 9.30am to 4pm. 

Snelsmore Common Country Park: Newbury’s Natural Escape

Snelsmore Common contains a range of habitats including heathland, wet mires and woodland and it is home to nationally rare bird species including nightjar, woodlark and tree pipit so it is a must visit for any avid bird watchers. 

It is open year round but if you are travelling via car, the car park opens at 8am and is subject to seasonal closing times. 

Indulge in Retail Therapy: Shopping Spots in Newbury

Newbury is also a good place for a spot of retail therapy. Here we are going to talk about some of the top spots to visit.

Parkway Shopping: High Street Brands and Local Boutiques

Parkway Shopping has a diverse mix of high street brands such as New Look, H&M and Next, and local boutiques. There are also many cafes and restaurants in which you can get some nourishment during your shopping trip. They also hold some special events such as seasonal markets. 

Kennet Shopping: Entertainment and Retail Combined

Kennet Shopping centre is in the heart of Newbury and it is home to a fantastic range of big-brand stores, independent shops, cafes and restaurants for you to explore.

There is also a Vue Cinema so it is a great place to visit for a night out. The cinema is open from 8am to the last cinema showing. Kennet Shopping Centre is open 8am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday and then 9.30am to 5pm on Sundays. 

Taste the Local Flavour: Dining and Cuisine in Newbury

If your favourite thing to do is having some delicious food at a high quality restaurant, Newbury has you covered. 

Traditional British Fare: Iconic Eateries to Try

If you are in the mood for some British cuisines, then there are many places for you to choose from. 

There is Bill’s who have breakfast, light-bites and some delicious mains on offer such as Bill’s Fish Pie. 

Then there is The Dewpond which was once two 16th century cottages and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Their menu changes nearly every day to take advantage of the seasonal produce so best to take a look at their website to see the type of things they have on offer. 

If you want some hearty, honest pub grub, The Fox at Peasemore will be perfect. Nestled in the idyllic countryside, it is a truly beautiful pub. 

International Cuisine: World Flavors in the Heart of Newbury

Newbury has a variety of culinary delight on offer and so will be able to cater to a variety of taste buds. 

There is Chili’s Indian Restaurant which offers outstanding food and service at an extremely reasonable price. 

The Sushi Maki offers, you guessed it, sushi! But they also cater to vegetarians and vegans with their extensive veggie and vegan menu. 

If you enjoy Lebanese food, then Lebanese House has you covered. With a huge variety of meat & vegetable dishes, fresh fish and salad, it is not surprising to discover that Lebanese cuisine is regarded not only divinely tasty but healthy as well. 

There are so many wonderful places to eat out at Newbury you will be spoilt for choice. 

Nightlife in Newbury: From Theatres to Pubs

And to end, we come to the evening entertainment. 

The Corn Exchange: Performances and Entertainment

The Corn Exchange has a large variety of shows and performances on from comedy to dance, to music and theatre shows. No matter what type of performance you enjoy you will find it at The Corn Exchange. 

To see the performance and shows they have on offer and to book tickets, head to their website

Local Pubs and Breweries: Experience Newbury’s Social Scene

You will be spoilt for choice for pubs to visit in Newbury. 

Old Wagon and Horse Canal Bar is one of the oldest pubs in all of Newbury so you can soak up some history along with some beer!  

Top Things To Do In Newbury

There are so many things to do in Newbury, whether you are visiting or you live in the area, you will never be bored. 

Come and experience the wonderfulness of Newbury for yourself!

Recent posts

Special Offer

20% Off

Moving Packs

Get 20% off our range of handy moving packs to protect your goods.

View Box Shop
A woman in a koala onesie slouching on a couch

Our Storage experts are here to help.

Call us on 01869 254245
man icon
Speak to an expert
phone notification icon
Get an instant quote
calculator icon
Size Guide

Locations we service.

At Cinch Self Storage we can help arrange a pick-up service for your storage needs. See our locations listed below.

Get a Quote

1 Arkwright Road, Bicester, OX26 4SU

Unit C Hubert Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4JE

The Depositary, South Road, Brighton, BN1 6SB

Bumpers Way, Chippenham

St Margarets Way, Stukeley Meadows Industrial Estate

1 Works Road, Letchworth, SG6 1FR.

Grovebury Rd, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 4SQ

July Court, Willie Snaith Road, Newmarket, CB8 7RL

666-678 Garratt Lane, SW17 0NP

25 Mollison Ave, Enfield, London, EN3 7LW

Newspaper House, Faraday Rd, Newbury RG14 2DW

Unit 4, Crown Quay Trade Centre, 1 Eurolink Way, Sittingbourne ME10 3DY

Unit 22 Mitcham Industrial Estate, Streatham Rd, Mitcham CR4 2AP

Invicta Business Centre, Bredgar Rd, Gillingham ME8 6PG

Cherry Tree Road, Watford WD24 6SB

Go to Top