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TOPIC: Beautiful West Berkshire

Beautiful West Berkshire 4 years 5 months ago #391533

  • CyberCynth
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Having just returned from a short trip to my old stamping ground I thought I would wax lyrical for the benefit of those looking for a change of scenery.

Newbury is known to most for the race course, for the battles of the civil war, and more modern (but thankfully less bloody) conflicts, involving Greenham Common air base, and the Newbury bypass. Amazing to think back to the very early 1960s, when all the east/west traffic, (A4) and all the north/south traffic (A34) used to converge on this characterful little market town. Happily, now, the main streets are pedestrianised, and shoppers can meander safely around the wide variety of shops available, with the ghosts of smokey juggernauts and other commercial traffic perceived only by 'natives of a certain age!'

For those who enjoy pleasant scenery and a nice walk, they abound in the surrounding countryside. Snelsmore Country Park is barely two miles from the town centre, (on the road to Wantage) yet boasts acres of woodland and marked footpaths. Travelling south from the town, you can find the now-cruise-missile-free Greenham Common, which is a huge area of mixed woodland/open country to which locals and visitors alike now have access. A little further south on the A339 you can reach Newtown Common, again, a haven for the walker and nature lover. Or, travelling north to Compton (off the A34) you can access the Berkshire Downs with their green swards of undulating charm, with public footpaths (including the Ridgeway) galore. A great place to go and blow away a few cobwebs! Go west if you want some ancient history; Along the A4 past Hungerford you'll come across Silbury Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow and a bit further along, Avebury Stone Circle.

Of course, I couldn't complete this discourse without mention of the Jewel in the Crown - the Kennet and Avon Canal. I feel very privileged to have witnessed the change in the canal from its derelict state in the 60s, to a fully restored waterway, breathing new life into the areas through which it passes, (from Reading to Bath) for the benefit of locals, visitors and wildlife, not to mention the local economy.

So there you are folks, a taster of West Berkshire from someone who loves it! You can learn lots more from the charming museum in Newbury, or from the Tourist Information Centre.
Behold, Baroness Barmy and Princess Wotamess join the Woosie Round Table  (It's ok, you don't have to curtsey or anything)
 
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