5 Historic Days out in Newbury, Abingdon & Didcot

Take a look at some of our favourite ways to spend a day and learn a little history at the same time...

Highclere Castle, Newbury.

Just outside Newbury stands Highclere Castle which is a familiar site for those who are fans of Downton Abbey as this is the location for the series. We know many of our clients are fans so a trip out to Highclere could be a fantastic tonic!

The estate dates as far back as 749, but the castle we see today was designed by Sir Charles Barry, who designed the Houses of Parliament.

Highclere played its part in both the first and the second world wars, being converted to a hospital and then a home for evacuated children respectively.

And Highclere also famously has links with Tutankhamun as it was the home of the 5th. Earl of Carnarvon who financed the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.  Lord Carnarvon was the first to succumb to the much rumoured “Mummy’s Curse” after contracting blood poisoning after cutting a mosquito bite while shaving. Legend has it that the curse, which was thought to have affected anyone associated with disturbing the mummy, caused, all the lights at Highclere—or, according to some accounts, all the lights in Cairo—to mysteriously go out, at the time of his death. There is a great Egyptian exhibition at the castle too.

West Berkshire Museum, Newbury.

For those history buffs among us, a visit to the West Berkshire Museum in Newbury, is a great way to spend a few hours. The museum initially looks at the local landscape and geology of West Berkshire, stone age relics discovered and discussed where our town names originated from. There is also a section about the Greenham Common protests in the 1980’s. The museum regularly holds talks and workshops that are of great interest to those in the local area, such as Thatcham in old pictures or flower arranging workshops.

Welford Park, Lambourne Valley, nr. Newbury.

Once a deer hunting lodge for Henry VII, Welford Park in Lambourn Valley is another historic and beautiful stately home. February and March sees the Parks woodland areas come alive in a carpet of snowdrops. October and November sees the annual Spectacle of Light, a marvellous light trail – a real treat to visit for all ages.  However, with ancient woodlands, meandering rivers, formal rose gardens, walled gardens the grounds offer something naturally beautiful every season. Remember our care team all have insurance to enable them to take clients out on trips like this, so speak to us at the office to find out more.

Pendon Museum, nr. Sutton Courtney.

The Pendon Museum, near Sutton Courtenay, is well worth a visit if you’d like to be whisked back to the 1920’s and 30’s. The museum has a wealth of beautiful, intricate models, displaying life in Pendon Vale at that time along with the history of these buildings, the schools and village life. And if you can’t visit in person, the website enables virtual visits! Pendon is a real trip down memory lane which is something we love to do. There’s nothing nicer than to reminisce and hear stories about the interesting lives of our clients at Home Instead.

Abbey Gardens, Abingdon.

Abbey Gardens describes itself as “an accessible stroll for all ages”. Sounds good to us! So expect flat, wide paths around the beautiful gardens of flowers, statues (one of Queen Victoria) and ruins. At Home Instead, we know how important it is to get some fresh air, especially if mobility issues mean it not easy to get out and about. So its good to know places where our team can take clients safely to enjoy some time outside. Take some bread and you can feed the ducks at Millstream and you’ll soon arrive at Abingdon Lock and Weir. These gardens are close to the town centre of Abingdon where there are lots of lovely options to extend your visit with a coffee or a meal out.