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Out and About in Berkshire

Days Out in Berkshire

The North Wessex Downs is classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Stretching across 668 miles, it is located in parts of West Berkshire, North Hampshire, South Oxfordshire and East Wiltshire. With so much to see and do around the area, you may find you’re spoiled for choice. So we’ve handpicked the very best the North Wessex Downs has to offer and compiled an interactive map or a downloadable PDF for you to take a look at.

So whatever part of the North Wessex Downs you’re visiting, simply click on that area of the map below to find out a little more about what’s on offer. Whether it’s your first trip to this stunning part of the country or you’re a regular visitor, there’s plenty to suit all tastes – from the adventurous to the foodie. It’s also known to be one of the most haunted areas of the UK and we’ve made several recommendations for those interested to find out more about the ghosts of the North Wessex Downs.

Download our useful one page guide to the North Wessex Downs

Things to do in Berkshire

Top areas to explore


Our Littlecote House hotel is situated in Berkshire, which makes it part of the North Wessex Downs. While there’s plenty to keep you entertained on-site, you may also want to use it as a base to explore the surrounding area.

Shoppers will love the small market towns dotted around the local area. From the antique shops of Hungerford to the famous markets of Marlborough, why not see if you can snap up a bargain?

Railway enthusiasts and history buffs will be in their element in Didcot, Swindon and Oxford, while sports lovers will not want to miss the prestigious Hennessy Gold Cup in Newbury or the many horse races which take part in Lambourn.

And for the theatre fans, Blewbury’s open air theatre is the perfect setting to enjoy a summer show.

Stately homes to discover

Highclere Castle

For glorious gardens and magnificent mansions, North Wessex Downs really is the best place to visit. Boasting numerous National Trust properties and historic houses, you may well recognise a few places from your favourite TV shows – as many provide the filming location for shows such as Downton Abbey.

With their stunning architecture and impressive gardens, you’ll find it easy to while away entire afternoons in these awe-inspiring buildings. Ashdown House for example, resembles a dolls’ house, while Highclere Castle was designed by Sir Charles Barry, the man who designed the Houses of Parliament.

Events not to be missed


With a whole calendar packed full of events, there’s always something going on in the North Wessex Downs. From the Marlborough Jazz Festival every July to the annual Goring & Streatley Food & Drink Festival in September; the Hennessy Gold Cup in November to the Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza every Christmas, there’s something to suit everyone.

Best kept secrets – shh!

Roman Orpheus Mosaic

If you prefer to stay away from the tourist hotspots and discover some of the local gems, there’s plenty to keep you busy. For spectacular views of the countryside, be sure to head to Walbury Hill – the highest point in south east England, you’ll be afforded unrivalled views of the North Wessex Downs.

Murder mystery fans will enjoy a visit to Causton Library, the filming location of TV series Midsomer Murders. You’ll also be able to explore the shops, pubs and churches from the show – a must-see if you’re in the area.

Or why not stay a little closer to home and sample the grounds of Littlecote House, where you’ll find the famous Roman Orpheus Mosaic.

Haunted North Wessex

Haunted North Wessex

Fans of all things spooky may want to pay a visit to the locations said to be haunted by ghosts. In fact, Littlecote House Hotel itself is reputed to be home to more than 32 ghosts.

If you’re visiting Avebury Manor, you may notice a ghostly figure in the south window of the Cavalier bedroom. That’s the ghost of Sir John Stawell, the man who owned the Manor back in 1640.

Walk through Savernake Forest, which contains Britain’s longest tree-lined avenue, and you may see the ghost of a headless woman on horseback, galloping along the grand avenue.

With so much on offer, what will you try first? Use our interactive map above as a handy guide for exploring the area.

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"It’s great value for what’s included. We also like that we can see the main entertainment or just sit in one of the other lounges and see what’s going on. You can’t beat it really."

Elaine and John Littlecote House