Summer outings Newburytoday's quick guide to days out over the holidays (scroll down)

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The long break over the summer can sometimes be difficult to fill, but when someone says 'I'm bored' hopefully you will be able to entertain them with something from this quick guide to days out. Taking Newbury as our centre newburytoday's sister publication, Out & About, has found places for all the family to enjoy from a two minute to a two hour drive. This is by no means an exhaustive list so why not share your ideas of great days out on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Just some of the venues you can visit within a two-hour drive of Newbury

This old house....

Shaw House in Newbury is rich in history and West Berkshire Council runs many family activities there throughout the year. To find out more click here. But how about further afield? The National Trust runs and maintains a selection of properties, all within easy reach of Newbury, and there are many other family-run or trust-owned houses to enjoy too.

Less than an hour away

Basing House (30m): Run by the Hampshire Cultural Trust, Basing House was the largest private house in Tudor England that suffered at the hands of Cromwell during the English Civil War.

The Vyne NT (35m): Tudor house that has recently undergone extensive renovation works to the roof and sits in magnificently laid-out gardens and alongside a lake. Also stages outdoor theatre events.

Ashdown House NT (35m): This doll’s house of a building is surrounded by woodland. It was built by William Craven for the love of his life, Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, in 1662.There is limited access to the house and only as part of a tour. There is also a lace maker at work and woodland crafts demonstrations. The woodland is open all year round.

Basildon Park NT (35m): 18th-century house with wooded parkland, peaceful trails and picnic places, with areas for children to run and play.

Blenheim Palace (45m): Home to the Marlborough family, and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is more than 300 years old. Events take place in the grounds all year round and a tour round the house and explore among the grounds would make for a great day out.

Mottisfont NT (45m): Originally a priory, then a haven for the bohemian artists of the early 20th century, Mottisfont offers plenty of space for running around and letting off steam, as well as an extensive programme of family activities.

More than an hour away

Bowood House (1h): Set in Capability Brown parkland, Bowood House belongs to the Lansdowne family. In addition to the Georgian house and landscaped gardens, there is a children’s adventure playground that includes a life-size pirate ship.

Beaulieu (1h5m): The house, the grounds, the motor museum and monorail. A trip to Beaulieu really is a full day out and there are many special events over the summer.

Stansted Park (1h15m): Stansted is a Grade II-listed Edwardian country house set on a 1,800-acre estate within the South Downs National Park. The house began as a hunting lodge in the 11th century.

Longleat House (1h20m): Definitely somewhere for a full day’s visit –there’s the house and grounds, the safari park and the main square, where you can get up close to smaller exotic creatures.

Goodwood House (1h25m): Horses and cars and a grand house to boot. What’s not to like?

A day at the museum

West Berkshire Museum, Newbury has a range of exhibitions all year round, but if you want to go further afield for something a bit different, try some of these.

Portsmouth dockyard (left) and a young Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) visits Bekonscot Model Village

Less than an hour away

Whitchurch Silk Mill (20m): The oldest silk mill in the UK still in its original building. It is a Georgian water mill that weaves silk using 19th century machinery.

Wilton Windmill (30m): The only working windmill in Wessex and still producing wholemeal, stone-ground flour. Open from Easter to the end of September on Sundays and Bank Holidays from 2pm to 5pm for guided tours. Picnic area with views across the Downs.

Vale & Downland Museum (30m): Open Monday to Saturday, various exhibitions, including the history of the Vale of the White Horse.

Crofton Beam Engine (35m): Crofton Beam Engines were built 200 years ago to supply water to the highest point of the Kennet & Avon canal. The Engine House, Engineman’s Rest café and gift shop open until end of September every day (except Wednesdays) from 10.30am to 4.30pm. For steaming dates and other events click here.

Museum of the Iron Age (35m): Tells the story of Danebury hill fort, which lies to the south west of Andover.

Willis Museum and Milestones (35m): Both in Basingstoke and part of the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

More than an hour away

Bekonscot Model Village & Railway (1h10m): Not strictly a museum, but the world’s oldest model village stuck in a 1930s timewarp.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (1h 10m): Ships, submarines, museums and boat excursions take you on an 800-year journey through Britain’s epic story of the Royal Navy and its rich maritime heritage.

Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre (1h 20m): Aimed at six to 12-year-olds, it features three hands-on galleries plus daily drop-in crafts, and storytelling at the weekends. Fizzpoppingly good.

Bletchley Park (1h 25m): The once top-secret centre of iconic codebreaking huts and blocks set within an atmospheric Victorian estate. Spies and intrigue, perfect.

Planes, trains and automobiles

From an early age, we love movement and speed, and you can get both when you visit a host of venues around the region. The newly-opened Burghclere miniature railway offers a fun ride (for running times visit their FB page) or if you’re looking for a bit more adventure how about trying some of these out.

Less than an hour away

Didcot Railway Centre (30m): A unique collection of Great Western Railway steam engines, coaches, wagons, buildings and an occasional visit from Thomas the Tank Engine and the Fat Controller.

Museum of army flying (40m): Extensive collection charting more than 100 years of the British Army in the air. With more than 35 fixed wing and rotary aircraft on display. Near Stockbridge.

Watercress Line (45m): Fleet of steam locomotives runs the full 10 miles between the market towns of Alresford and Alton.

Solent Sky Museum (55m): Solent Sky Museum showcases the international importance of aviation history in the Southampton and Solent area.

More than an hour away

National Space Centre (1h57m): With six interactive galleries, the UK’s largest planetarium and the iconic 42m high Rocket Tower, it is an out-of -this-world experience, well worth a day out.

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum (1h23m): Home to an impressive display of historic aircraft and a unique collection of aviation memorabilia stretching from the First World War through to the Cold War. Among the many attractions are numerous interactive displays and several aircraft simulators for visitors to experience.

British Motor Museum (1h10): Head north on the A34 to the world’s largest collection of historic British cars with more than 300 classic cars or south to the national motor museum at Beaulieu (1h5m) to see a display of the earliest motor carriages to classic family saloons.

Animal magic

Creatures of all shapes and sizes hold a fascination for both young and old. Why not try out one of these animal wonderlands.

Less than an hour away

4 Kingdoms (10m): Fun, adventure, farming and nature – something for everyone. More than 20 play zones, a petting zoo, laser tag, giant slides and pedal boats.

The Living Rainforest (20m): Explore the rainforest and discover its wonders for yourself in this tropical hot house in Hampstead Norreys.

Bucklebury Farm Park (20m): Farm animals and deer safari park, plus plenty of activities for the children.

Finkley Down (30m): Indoor and outdoor play areas, plus pony rides and farm animals near Andover.

Beale Park (35m): Animals, gardens, play areas and a miniature train all a stone’s throw away at Theale.

You can't stop the music

With Newbury Racecourse right on the doorstep, hosting two Parties in the Paddock – Craig David, July 21 and Rudimental, August 18 – you don’t have to go far for some live music. But in the absence of Glastonbury this year, here are a few other suggestions.

Less than an hour away

Highclere Battle Proms, August 4 (15m): Annual event with rousing music and fireworks. Bring a picnic and enjoy the night.

Carfest South, August 24-26 (30m): The annual fundraiser for Children in Need is a great family occasion with music, cars, demonstrations and plenty of food. Some day tickets still available.

Englefield Estate, July 6-8 (35m): The estate hosts three outdoor concerts – Madness, Il Divo and Tom Jones.

Boomtown, August 9-12 (40m): Held at the Matterley Estate near Winchester, this festival bills itself as a hub of diverse and non-commercialised musical movements. Family-friendly fun.

Henley Festival, July 11-15 (55m): Boutique event taking place over five days celebrating the best of UK and international music and arts.

Rewind South, August 17-19 (55m): Also at Henley and in it’s 10th year, music and entertainment celebrating the best of the 80s.


Created with images by ahriam12 - "HMS Warrior - Portsmouth"

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