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Racehorses and royals: the posh town of Newbury, in the English county of Berkshire, will have you quaffing Pimm's and lemonade before you can say “and they're off”. Known for its superb racecourse and an easy hop to the royal residence of Windsor Castle (though Newbury has its fair share of historic castles), visitors flock to Newbury to place a flutter and to explore facets of the intriguing history of Great Britain.

The appealing 11th-century market town, which is located on the River Kennet, is home to a number of glorious old buildings and shopping in the town centre is made even more pleasurable when swinging your bags under these magnificent facades.

Hotels in Newbury have mostly taken on the charms of this pleasant slice of urban England and you can book rooms in wonderful and historic inns or opt for hotels with top-class facilities in some of the town's other charismatic buildings.

Staying centrally isn't essential in Newbury, as the main attractions of this area, which include castles, picture-perfect villages, and the great outdoors, will require some kind of journey. You could spend a very pleasant few days in Newbury without leaving the town centre and your central hotel, but you'll want to be a bit more mobile if you're staying for longer and desire to see everything worth seeing.

Several well-known brands have hotels in the area such as Mercure, Best Western, Hilton, Travelodge and Premier Inn.

If you are considering Newbury hotels on the outskirts of town and in the surrounding villages, bear in mind that you will need a car to get around. But this opens up the possibility of staying in some truly delightful hotels in the countryside. Country-club hotels, entrancing old inns and spa hotels that have notched up four or five stars can be booked in the area.

Top five attractions

Newbury Racecourse

A year-round season of horseracing attracts visitors to this famous racecourse, which is just south of Newbury town centre. Be quick to book hotels in Newbury during the most popular race events.

Highclere Castle

Visitor numbers to the grand home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon have rocketed since the castle has taken a starring role as television's Downton Abbey. Visit the castle and gardens, if you can get a ticket.

Shaw House

This stunning Elizabethan mansion has been opened up to the public following a major renovation programme.

Donnington Castle

The striking gatehouse is all that remains of medieval Donnington Castle, just north of Newbury. Tudor monarchs Henry VIII and Elizabeth I visited the castle; you'll have to use your imagination to conjure up images of the rest of the site.

Bucklebury Farm Park

A great family day out, and only 20 minutes from Newbury, the farm park allows children to get close to animals in a farm environment, while little ones have a great time on play equipment.

Events

Newbury Spring Festival; May: Music is celebrated for two weeks in and around Newbury with a brilliant line up of musicians and all kinds of genres represented, from jazz to classical.

Newbury Waterways Festival; July: Head to Victoria Park or The Wharf to be a part of the action on and beside Newbury's waterways. Boat trips and rubber duck races are just two of the activities on offer.

Newbury Carnival; July: Family fun is the order of the day each summer when locals and visitors gather to watch parades and enjoy the carnival fete.