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Newbury was founded some time after the Norman Conquests of 1066 when this new settlement was called New Burgh, Burgh is an old English word and originally meant a fort or fortified settlement. The Kennet and Avon Canal meanders through the centre of Newbury and connects the town directly with London and with the Bristol Avon.
The West Berkshire Museumis situated on the Canal Wharf and is housed in two of Newbury's most historic buildings, The Cloth Hall and The Corn Stores. The Museum's Galleries illustrate aspects of West Berkshire's history from prehistoric times to the present day. Learn about Newbury's Inland Waterways history and in particular the Kennet and Avon Canal.
Owned by English Heritage Donnington Castle is situated at the top of a hill a mile from Newbury. After a long siege the castle was badly damaged during the Civil War in 1644 the remaining twin towered gateway at the entrance to the striking gatehouse can still be viewed.
In a beautiful lakeside setting The Nature Discovery Centre provides a great day out for all the whole family. The visitor centre is home to a collection of hands-on exhibits and there is a varied and ever changing range of activities on offer. Let the youngsters let off steam in the fantastic adventure playgrounds. Take a stroll on one of the many footpaths and observe the wildlife and enjoy the fresh air. The Lakeside Café offers a range of delicious sandwiches, snacks and salads as well as home-made cakes and cream teas.
Shaw House was built in 1581 by Newbury clothier Thomas Dolman and this fine Elizabethan building was home to successive Dolman families. Wander through the historic rooms of the house where stories and characters from Shaw House varied past are bought to life
Highclere Castle was once the home of the 5th Lord Carnarvon who together with Howard Carter in 1922 discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. Enter through into the 'Shrine Room' and the 'Treasury' to observe closely some of the extraordinary works of art. Designed by the famous 18th century landscape gardener Capability Brown the Castle is set in 1,000 acres of sweeping parkland with breathtaking views across the rolling downlands of North Hampshire and the Kennet Valley.
Discover the wonders of the rainforest for yourself at The Living Rainforest and look for the animals, butterflies and birds. Learn about some of the amazing plants and animals that inhabit these ancient forests. The brilliant outdoor play area allows the kids to run wild in a safe environment while you can relax on the sun terrace.
Set in the stunning Berkshire Countryside no trip to Newbury would be complete without a visit to the world famous Newbury Racecourse. On race days be prepared to be thrilled as your horse races overs the jumps and experience the excitement of placing a bet. The highlight of the Jump Season is the Hennessy Gold Cup which is run over a racing distance of over 3 miles.
For shopping as it should be the pedestrian town centre offers an ideal setting for an unhurried browse. There are dozens of places where you can snap up the perfect gift some are high street names and some are intriguing shops tucked away down the side-streets and medieval alleys. Market Days are held on Thursdays and Saturdays and has a Continental feel with it's wide range of stalls set in a tree shaded square.