North Wessex Downs AONB
Hungerford RG17 0UN, UK
About North Wessex Downs AONB
The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have been described as “the cornerstone of southern England’s ancient chalk landscapes”. It’s England’s third-largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It includes the bright, bare uplands of the Marlborough, Berkshire and North Hampshire Downs and sweeps on its western edge to a crest above the White Horse Vale.
Attractions near North Wessex Downs AONB
Combe Gibbet is a double gibbet standing 25 feet high on the summit of Inkpen Beacon, about four miles south of Hungerford, but clearly visible from the town in fine weather. It marks the boundary between Inkpen and Combe and stands in the middle of a neolithic long-barrow. a gibbet is a name for any device that is used to carry out a public execution, the term gibbeting more commonly refers to hanging gallows.
Welford Park is a private estate with a fabulous snowdrop collection. They thrive on chalky soil. Parkland and gardens surrounding an elegant Queen Anne manor. The gardens are best known for the Snowdrop Woods, with early flowering snowdrops in bloom through February and early March. The estate opens its grounds to the public every year for about four weeks to enable visitors to see the carpets of snowdrops that line the riverbanks and flow through the nearby woods.
The only operating windmill in Wessex, set in a stunning location in the heart of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Wiltshire. Picnic area and site accessible all year round. Guided tours, refreshments and stone ground flour available during opening times. Fabulous walking and great views – a very special place.
The Donnington Castle is a ruined medieval castle that was held by the Abberbury family from 1287. It consists originally of a curtain wall with four round corner towers, two square wall towers, and a substantial gatehouse, constructed around a courtyard in the style typical of the fortified residences of the period. The site is under the care of English Heritage and is protected from unauthorised change as a scheduled ancient monument.
Crofton Beam Engines, set in unspoiled Wiltshire countryside close to the old market town of Marlborough, is an ideal spot for exploring the Kennet and Avon Canal, with The Engineman’s Rest Café, picnic area and gift shop on site. The steam-powered pumping station is preserved and operates on selected weekends.
West Berkshire Museum is housed in two of Newbury’s best-loved historic buildings. This permanent exhibition tells the story of West Berkshire. From the rocks under your feet to the stories of the people who have lived here; our early ancestors, to well know characters like Jack of Newbury to our most recent family: they have created the towns and villages, roads and canals, fields and farms, industries, pastimes and organizations that we know today.
Where is North Wessex Downs AONB
Discover more attractions in Berkshire, where North Wessex Downs AONB is located
This romantic county is renowned for its connections with the Royal Family, the River Thames meandering along the northern edge and its many beautiful gardens ablaze with colour. Berkshire was recognised by the Queen as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the presence of Windsor Castle, and letters patent were issued in 1974.