Top places to live in Berkshire Newbury
Soak up the history, river location and period architecture, Newbury is a vibrant market town with a buzzy foodie scene and indie shops aplenty, that's just a stone's throw from open countryside. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
It’s home to the Queen’s favourite racecourse and Downton Abbey, and it is one of the happiest places to live in the UK. But it’s so much more. There’s a cool cultural and foodie scene, a gaggle of indie businesses and stonking road and rail links – Bicester Village, London, Oxford, New Forest and Reading all less than an hour away. Be still our beating hearts.
There’s something for everyone (and too many to mention). For quality pub food, The Dolphin and The Newbury get our vote. For your caffeine fix, Plum & Grain, Mrs B’s Kitchen and the Cabrizo Lounge are winners. Other firm favourites are The Sushi Maki – catnip to London ex-pats looking for a sashimi fix, Muddy Award winning bar The Globe (a dog-friendly pub with an urban vibe) and Lusso is a super kid-friendly option, with its crowd-pleasing menu of homemade pizzas and gelato. For posh nosh, try under the radar Henry & Joe’s. Or follow the Michelin Star out of the town centre and you’ll find The Woodspeen. We’re also excited about Chef Dom Robinson’s new foodie outpost Restaurant Renaissant.
A good mix of indie and high street names. Celebrating its 100th year in Newbury, Camp Hopson is an independent department store offering boutique brands like Whistles, Le Creuset and Jo Malone. For fab fashion head to B The Lifestyle Shop and Fifi & Moose. We also love Plum & Grain‘s eco luxe gifts, Willow and Bloom is a gorgeous florist with a fab selection of indoor plants. For eye tests and quality specs, Valarie Jerome is an opticians offering frames and a bang on trend accessories. The main shopping areas – Parkway is made up of high street regulars – Next, Mint Velvet, H&M, M&S, Waterstones, Paperchase and Lakeland – and a smattering of indies. The monthly Newbury’s Artisan Market is well worth a visit too.
Race you to the winners’ enclosure. Newbury Racecourse is a massive draw – lots of family events, racecourse gigs and fun in frocks. For period drama there is Highclere Castle and Shaw House. Culture vultures will love the big name exhibitions at The Base, awesome theatre and comedy at the Corn Exchange and don’t miss the outdoor events. The Fire Garden and Lantern Trails have been spectacular in the past. For quirky fun, take a SUP tour of Newbury’s canal or claim your spot at Newbury 78m lido (summer only).
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
Put the smelling salts away, the average price is £394,731 (phew!). Expect to pay in the region of £597,845 for a detached home, £396,551 for a semi and £323,807 for a terraced house. The property prices start to climb if you’re house hunting in the most popular village locations.
The area is well served with local schools such as Trinity and St Bartholomew’s. There are also several sought after independent schools such as Horris Hill, Elstree and St Andrew’s preps and Downe House, Pangbourne College and Bradfield College for senior.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Dinosaurs have been found… and we’re not talking about residents’ resistance to change. We’re talking real life fossils. The remains of a giant hippo and Woolly Mammoth were discovered locally and can be seen in the West Berkshire Museum.
The good train service into London attracts London commuters like bees to a honeypot. Be warned, an annual pass will set you back £5,536 (exc tube) rising to £5,768 with a Zone 1-6 Travelcard. GWR runs 57 trains a day and the average journey time is 54 mins. Road links are good too, with the A34 connecting you to the M4 and M3.
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