Beacon Hill Iron Age Hill Fort
Climb up the steep hill to this impressive iron age hillfort just 6.5 miles from Newbury town centre and you can enjoy fabulous views across the North Wessex Downs. You’ll even get a fantastic birds eye view of Highclere Castle (the real-life Downton Abbey!) from the site of one of the beacons that formed a network across Hampshire as part of Britain’s early defence and communication system.
Of particular interest when you reach the top is the grave of the fifth Earl of Carnarvon, who played a prominent part in archaeological expeditions to Egypt, where he and Howard Carter discovered and opened the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. Highclere Castle itself is home to the Carnarvon family and it’s worth allowing a full day to visit the castle and its grounds, and climb Beacon Hill, before heading back into Newbury town centre to relax over dinner in one of the town’s popular restaurants.