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Things to do this summer: holiday bucket list for West Berkshire teenagers

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With schools across West Berkshire now all finished and Year 11s and 13s continuing to enjoy their time off, after Teacher Assessed Grades were submitted in June, months of summer stretch ahead.

However, there are only so many times that a teenager in Newbury can make the classic trip to town followed by some fast food or a milkshake.

Anna Couzens looks at some alternative forms of entertainment, all based in Newbury town or reachable in 20 minutes or under by public transport or walking.

Northcroft Leisure Centre Lido .Ref: 29-1721.
Northcroft Leisure Centre Lido .Ref: 29-1721.


Newbury Lido, at Northcroft Leisure Centre, is a 72 metre heated outdoor pool. It is surrounded by a lawn which is the perfect place to bring a picnic. Over 8s can swim without an adult present.

Price: Junior £3.50, Adult £5.10, family ticket £14.00

Distance: Parking available at Northcroft, or 12 minute walk from bus stops in town


Ugly Duckling Pottery is a pottery shop, where you can chose from different unglazed pots to paint yourself and then take home after firing. There is also a café selling food, cake and hot drinks. Under 12s need adult supervision.

Price: Pottery to paint starts from £3.99 and the delivery fee if you can’t collect your pot is £4.

Distance: Less than 5 minutes from bus stops and parking at in the town centre.


Charity shopping has become increasingly popular over the last year as a source of sustainable clothing. There are 11 charity shops in the town centre: including Scope, British Heart Foundation and Oxfam. Many shops are also looking for volunteers, offering an opportunity to get DofE volunteering done this summer.

Price: Most clothes in charity shops sell for less than £5, a huge discount from their retail price

Distance: All are within 10 minutes walking distance of one another.


Racket sports including tennis, squash and badminton are classic summer activities. Tennis courts can be hired in Victoria Park, and squash and badminton courts and rackets can be hired at Northcroft Leisure Centre alongside several other racket sports. To book a court, go on their websites at www.victoriaparktennisnewbury.com or www.leisurecentre.com.

Price: For non-members, an hour session in Victoria Park is £3.50. At the leisure centre, a court for juniors is £4.70/hour for squash and £6.70/hour for badminton, with discounts for West Berkshire Card holders

Distance: The leisure centre has parking attached or is a 12-minute walk from the bus stops at Parkway. And if you don’t know where Victoria Park is, you aren’t a Newbury teenager.


Getting lunch or dinner in town is still exciting after months where eating out with friends wasn’t an option. The place can vary depending on your budget, from a meal deal picnic in the park to pasta or pizza at Lusso, or even getting dressed up to dine at Cote if you’ve managed to get a high paying summer job!

Price: A meal deal is £3, which is about the same cost as extra peppercorn sauce at Cote

Distance: You don’t have to travel very far to find somewhere with food in Newbury!

Shaw House has seen a number of exhibitions in its grounds including the recent Altered States Open Air Sculpture Exhibition..Ref: 22-0821..Picture by Phil Cannings.
Shaw House has seen a number of exhibitions in its grounds including the recent Altered States Open Air Sculpture Exhibition..Ref: 22-0821..Picture by Phil Cannings.


Shaw House has a range of activities this summer, from weekend pre-packed picnics in the grounds available for collection between 12 and 2 to a performance of Romeo and Juliet on July 25. Tickets are also available to book for outdoor screenings of Top Gun on August 26 and In the Heights on August 27. Alternatively, it’s possible to go and enjoy the grounds and house for free.

Price: Picnics are £10, Romeo and Juliet is £8 for under 16s and £12 for adults, film tickets are £10.50 for under 16s, £15 for adults or £45 for a family ticket.

Distance: Parking is available at the house, a 6 minute away drive from Newbury, or buses towards Thatcham will leave you a 15 minute walk away if you get off at Hawthorn Road.


Newbury Market runs every Thursday and Saturday from 9am to 4pm. A wide range of stalls sells food, plants, craft items, clothing and other local produce. In addition, a vegan market is running in Newbury town centre on Saturday August 8 selling food, cosmetics, clothing and more.

Price: Browsing is free!

Distance: Less than 5 minutes from bus stops at Parkway


Newbury Arcade is a classic arcade with over 60 games, from PAC-man to racing games. Rather than paying per game, you pay for a session then have unlimited goes for an hour. It is located on Cheap Street next to the sundae shop, which could be the next stop afterwards!

Price: £9.95 for an hour session, family discounts are available. Make sure to pre-book.

Distance: Less than 5 minute walk from parking and bus stops


Concerts have been in short supply for the last 16 months, which is why the Summer Series hosted in the Market Square is a must see. On July 25 two DJs performed live sets and another event is planned for tomorrow (August 1). The events will run on a fortnightly basis, leading up to the grand finale on August where 24 performers and DJs from Bestival and Glastonbury will provide live music from 12 until 8pm.

Price: Free!

Distance: Less than 5 minutes from bus stops and parking


Boat trips are available on the Kennet and Avon canal which runs through Newbury. There are two options-narrowboat trips on the Jubilee from Newbury Wharf or return trips on the horse drawn canal boat which starts and ends in Kintbury. Alternatively, there are very scenic walks along well-maintained tow paths by the canal.

Price: The Jubilee boat trip is £40 for a group of 6 trip for 85 minutes, while the horse drawn boat is £11.30 for children and £12.30 for adults for a two-hour trip.

Distance: The Jubilee trip is leaves from the Wharf, next to the car park and bus stops. Kintbury is about a 20-minute drive or bus journey from Newbury, or a much quicker 7-minute train journey.

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