20 Things to Do in Newbury this Month and Beyond

It’s about time we were able to share with you all a list of Newbury’s upcoming events, what’s on, and things to do. Not as though this was ever for lack of want; but simply for lack of things to share!

No thanks to Covid, we’ve been really limited for activities we can responsibly promote since Christmas, and we’ve all been forced to make our own entertainment for the most part of this year.  

With this in mind, it gives us great pleasure to announce the following list of things to do in Newbury this month and beyond.

We ask you to Re-Visit Newbury and take advantage of the below, brought to us from an array of Newbury businesses and organisations- we’ve waited long enough, after all! 

So, where will you visit first?

Please note that many of the below establishments- alongside Newbury’s retail and hospitality venues- offer NHS discount. Please click here for a list of businesses participating in the offer across Newbury town centre

Wildlife Exhibition

Monday 17th May – Sunday 13th June, The Base

On loan from the capital’s National History Museum, this world-renowned exhibition brings animal behaviour, fascinating lesser-known species, and the natural world to life.

Be mesmerised by the mystery behind animal characteristics as they’re captured like never before, allowing us to learn about our furrier counterparts and ocean-deep friends in great detail.

The photography exhibition is one of the most prestigious of its kind in the world, and the award-winning images featured at this event will be seen by over a million people worldwide.  Book your tickets now so you don’t miss out!

Newbury's Half-Term Chocolate Trail

Chocolate Trail

Friday 28th May – Sunday 6th June, Newbury Town Centre

Who doesn’t love chocolate? And when this year’s most famous chocolate-filled celebration – Easter- was somewhat tainted by the pandemic, we knew we had to do something. So, we’ve partnered with Parkway Shopping and Kennet Shopping once again to bring back all the chocolate joy that you may have missed earlier this year, plus so much more! Featuring giant retro chocolate bar replicas, the aim is to find all 10 in selected shop windows across Newbury town centre. Collect your trail sheet to follow the route and collect chocolate goodies along the way! 

Look out for the branded stand outside of The Sweetbox in Parkway Shopping, Newbury, from 10.30am on Friday 28th May, where you can pick up your Trail Pack until 31st May between 10:30 and 15:00. 

Complete your trail pack and return it to Paperchase, also at Parkway Shopping, before 16:00 on Sunday 6th June to be in with a chance of winning some amazing prizes to satisfy even the biggest chocoholics among us!

Parkway's Summer Series

Late June onwards, Parkway Shopping,  Newbury Town Centre

This summer, Parkway Shopping are bringing the town centre back to life as they’re busy preparing for the return of their annual Summer Series event.

Head to Newbury from late June onwards to catch the opening of this spectacular event in and around Parkway Shopping. With greenery and planters used to dress the open space; live music, themed weekends, and family-friendly activities all free for you to enjoy from the deckchair seating area or as you wander past (ice cream in hand optional!).

Theatre and Live Performance

Monday 17th May onwards, Corn Exchange, Newbury

We don’t know about you, but one thing we have sorely missed this year is watching something other than Netflix.

We are desperate to see live performance again, so we can fall in love with the characters, weep or laugh ten times harder than anything behind a TV screen. We miss the ambience of watching a live show and we simply cannot wait to return to the Corn Exchange. 

The venue has a number of upcoming indoor and outdoor events, including a tour visit from comedian Ed Gamble, and a variety of contemporary plays and circus acts, too! Click below for a link to their website to view their list of events on offer from 17th May and beyond.

We advise you watch the above video to understand how it all works once you’ve booked your ticket and arrive at the venue. See you there!

James Danter & Sons Funfair

Friday 28th May – Sunday 6th June, Northcroft Park

Family funfair operator, James Danter & Sons, is back in Newbury with their premium travelling funfair for the first time since 2019. Starting at 4pm on Friday 28th, the funfair will be open daily between 12 noon and 8pm until Sunday 6th June. 

All children’s rides are priced at £2 – or two tokens each – with adults’ rides and the Fun House worth three tokens. Each token costs £1 but the ride-hire company are promoting multiple special offers to bag you more rides for your money, such as 13 tokens for £10, 30 tokens for £20, and right up to 50 tokens for £32.  

As usual, the funfair will be at Newbury’s Northcroft Park and new Covid guidance will be in place for your safety. Such rules include (but are not limited to), limited capacity entry, social distancing, hand sanitising stations, and contactless payment options. 

High Score

High Score Family Entertainment Arcade

Friday 21st May, High Score, Newbury

Newbury’s solution to retro-gaming, amusements and arcade fun with friends is ready to welcome you back!

After opening their doors for the first time between lockdowns, this will be the first time that High Score can truly open and stay open for good (fingers tightly crossed!).

High Score offer the UK’s only ‘supersized’ video wall experience – a centre piece game played on the MAHOOSIVE 3.5 x 2.5m video wall…It’s BIG..! Their line up of games includes the exclusive ‘On Point’ air BB gun target shooting, the only machine of its kind in the UK.

High Score is family focused; so no gambling games, no pay-out games, no prize games and under 5’s go free! We are so excited to get back to gaming and for only £9.95 per person per hour, we expect you’ll be making the most of it, too! 

Artisan Market

Sunday 30th May and 27th June, Newbury Town Centre

We are so happy to share with you the comeback of our Newbury Artisan Market!

The first market of the re-launch will commence on Sunday 30th May between 10am and 4pm. We’re sure you’ll be pleased to hear that there will be many familiar faces, alongside some new traders, all there to deliver quality artisanal offerings to you. 

Many of Newbury’s town centre shops and eateries will also be open to welcome you in on your market day visit, so be sure to check them out, too!

Big Summer Screen of Sport

June onwarda, dates TBC, Parkway Shopping, Newbury Town Centre

Yet another stonker in the mix from Parkway Shopping, we can confirm rumours that their Big Summer Screen of Sport is hitting Newbury this June!

More details are to follow about this event, though from what we know so far it’s going to be GOOD. They’ll be plenty of space on freshly laid artificial grass to chill out on whilst Wimbledon and the Olympics are in full view, HD quality on the big screen. Watch this space…

Hebborn's Family Funfair

Thursday 27th May – 6th June, Victoria Park

No, we can’t quite believe it either… We have nothing to do for the majority of the year and then all of a sudden, two funfairs arrive at once! Well, we can’t say we’re complaining. Double the rides means double the fun!

Hebborn’s Family Funfair arrives in Newbury again for the first time since 2018 and will take over Newbury’s wonderful Victoria Park for just over a week. Tokens are £1.25 each or you can buy 10 for £10. All rides will be Covid-safe and safety precautions such as social distancing and regular hand sanitising stations will be in place for your peace of mind.

Discover new foodie ventures

17th May onwards for indoor dining options, Newbury Town Centre

Check out some of Newbury’s most recent eateries that have blessed us with their presence across the town centre throughout various lockdowns. 

From glorious sweet and savoury crepes in true French style at Crepe O’Clock in Market Square, to Plum & Grain for a dose of vegan cake and hearty hot chocolate. You can view a full list of establishments new to Newbury by clicking here.  

Otherwise, whether you want to booze it up at a bar or chill it down with a take out by the canal, Newbury really does have it all. For a full list of Newbury’s restaurants and hospitality venues, please click here, where you will find a whole range of cuisines and eateries that also cater to vegan and gluten-friendly dietary requirements.  

Shaw House

Sunday 29th May – 26th September, Shaw House 

Whether you’re into fashion or history, Shaw House’s opening exhibition on 29th May showcases everything you need to know about changing fashion throughout history. Ever wondered what gave women’s dresses that Disney-princess like swoosh back in the day?  Admire the infamous Farthingale’s of the 1500’s, discover the frills and bows from the last 400 years, and learn more about the people who wore them – servant or sergeant. 

If you’re lucky enough to visit between Saturday 29th May –  Sunday 27th June, take advantage of their Open Air Sculptor Exhibition on the Orangery Lawn too – it’s free to enter and is not to be missed! 

Open 11am – 4pm. Entry is free but donations are welcome!

Shopping

12th April onwards, Newbury Town Centre

Could you benefit from a wardrobe revamp to get you out of those working from home pants?

There’s no denying that after over a year of mostly online shopping – aside from at essential retailers only – we could all use a good shopping spree.  Newbury’s 45 independent retailers and 112 national brands have plenty to offer all of the familyOne of our independents, B the Lifestyle Shop, was even placed in Grazia UK magazine’s list of ‘Best Local Shops’!  

Furthermore, you can bag a bottle or two (or three, if needed), of The Newbury’s home brewed internationally acclaimed 137 Gin ‘Berkshire Dry Gin’, which recently bagged the ‘Best Spiced Gin’ award at The Gin Guide Awards!  

With something on offer to cater to all budgets and needs, shopping should definitely be on your checklist next time you head to Newbury. 

Pop-up Charity Art Show

Saturday 26th June, Fair Close Centre, Newbury

This charity fundraiser in aid of Age Concern Newbury & District, is a one-day-only art show showcasing a wide range of artwork, predominantly by local artists based in and around Newbury.

The event will be held at the Fair Close Centre, Newbury, which is operated by Age Concern. All contributing artists will be asked to donate a percentage of any sales on the day to the charity.

Entry to the event will be free, but donations to Age Concern will be gratefully received. Money raised will go towards the charity’s operating costs and/or towards developing the Men’s Shed – a project aimed at improving the mental health of men.

Family Film

Monday 17th May onwards, Vue Newbury

Hurrah! If anything sings normality through-and-through, than a trip to the cinema is certainly up there.

Whether you want to take the whole family for a kid-friendly feature or whether that’s exactly who you’re trying to escape – there are both child friendly and adult friendly movies coming back to our big screens! 

So, settle down with your popcorn, sink into those familiar comfy seats, and get lost in the movie…

Keep an eye on their website for an up-to-date list of what’s on.

West Berkshire Museum

Wednesday 19 May, every Wednesday – Saturday 10am – 4pm, West Berkshire Museum, Newbury

When was the last time you gave Newbury’s charming little wonky museum a visit?

Whilst their permanent exhibition tells you the story of Newbury’s past and the people who once resided the town, the museum often has multiple smaller exhibitions on throughout the year. From 19th May onwards, there are four exhibitions running simultaneously, ranging from unsolved Berkshire mysteries throughout history, to an exploration into Roman family life. To learn more about current and upcoming exhibitions, click below for a full list.

Family Fun Day

Sunday 11th July, Victoria Park 

If you’ve been to one of these before, then you’ll know what they are all about. If not – it’s water, children, screaming (the good kind), and fun –  you get the gist.

Basically, your child will love this. And this year it’s due to take place on Sunday 11th July at it’s usual venue of Victoria Park. Run by Newbury Town Council, we’re sure they’ll be more details to follow shortly, so keep checking back for any updates!

Coffee and Crafts

Indoors from 17th May onwards, the Ugly Duckling Pottery Coffee House, Newbury 

This is one of our favourite  independent businesses here in the town centre. Not only does it serve great coffee and service with a smile, but this is your station to take a step back and unwind from your day.

Getting crafty is good for the soul, it boosts endorphins as you engage your imagination and get creative. Whatever you’re planning to do in Newbury, we recommend you slot in even half an hour to visit the Ugly Duckling. We’re sure owner, Emma, and her wonderful team would be pleased to welcome you and go through their various pottery painting options with you!

Greenham Trust Double Matched Days

Newbury Town Centre Footfall

Friday 18th – 19th June, Newbury Town Centre

While we can’t reveal exactly what the town centre will have in-store for us on the above dates, we are sure that it won’t disappoint. With street performances and live music due to line the streets, start off in Northbrook Street on the 18th-19th June for a real taste of community spirit.

Five selected charitable fundraising projects will be given the opportunity to host a special fundraising event and have any funds raised doubled by Greenham Trust. This means your £1 will become £2, so on and so forth.

The chosen organisations are yet to be announced, as the closing date for the charities to apply is the 14th May. But watch this space! All will be revealed shortly, and we know there’s likely to be some entertaining fundraisers in the line up!

Barge Boat Trip

Kennet and Avon Canal Trust

17th May onwards, Kennet and Avon Canal Trust

While you’re in Newbury town centre, you’ll no doubt be heading for a walk along the canal at some point, surely?  When you do, why not consider a barge boat trip from the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust on the Wharf. You’ve probably never got round to it before, right?

They’ll be resuming services from the end of May through operating public trips on the Jubilee; a 29-passenger narrow boat with a fully licensed bar onboard. These trips provide the perfect break for tired legs, and for those wishing to sit back with a refreshment while taking in the wildlife along the scenic route of the waterway. Why not, it’s been a while after all! 

Charter Markets

Every Thursday and Saturday, 9am – 4pm

Newbury’s usual Charter Markets taking place each Thursday and Saturday are still going ahead and have been active throughout the pandemic.  Sizzling smells and seasonal delights fill the streets of the Market Square from 10am to 4pm. Often with multiple French stalls offering too many cheeses to mention, vegetables and fresh produce,  flowers, honey stalls and reasonably priced meats from local farms, there is something for all to enjoy.

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