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Newbury town guide


Newbury stands astride the Kennet and Avon Canal amid a wealth of beautiful countryside. Now a centre of the modern Telecommunications Industry, Newbury has remain at heart the Classic English town it always was.

The town centre is now pedestrianised and offers an excellent selection of stores to tempt the shopper. The Kennet Shopping Centre has been refitted and is home to a host of well-known names and other smaller independent shops. First established in 1204, there is still an open-air market every Thursday and Saturday.

In 1811 Sir John Throckmorton, a Berkshire landowner, made a thousand guinea wager that he could wear a coat in the evening which had been on a sheep's back that morning. The coat, now very faded and fragile, still exists at the Throckmorton home at Coughton Court in Warwickshire. In September 1991, this remarkable feat was re-enacted at the Newbury Show, breaking the previous record and the new coat is now on display in the West Berkshire Museum.

Just outside Newbury is the racecourse. Opened in September 1905 after years of campaigning by a local trainer, John Porter, it was a meeting with Edward Vll that spurred the building of the course to its successful conclusion. The course is now one of the most successful in England.

The countryside around Newbury contains many Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the Berkshire Downs. The visitor with a hire car will find it easy to venture further to the undoubted attractions of the region. These include the wonderful historic cities of Oxford, Salisbury and Winchester as well as the delightful towns of Hungerford and Marlborough.

Newbury's position close to the junction of the M4 Motorway with the A34 trunk route makes it ideally situated for trips out in any direction. The World Heritage sites of Bath and Stonehenge are around an hour away by road.

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