On the trail to Kingsclere

With its post office, three pubs, two local stores, library, hairdresser, butcher and art gallery, there's everything a small community could want in this north Hampshire village

A bustling parish outside of Newbury with strong community ties and a unique, friendly atmosphere,

Kingsclere is a fantastic place to stay to sample the delights of the surrounding views and neighbouring villages. It is not surprising that this area inspired the novelist Richard Adams’ to create the world famous story of Watership Down.

While you are hereTake time to savour the architecture and scenery within Kingsclere which is surrounded by conservation areas and filled with listed buildings. Why not join the Kingsclere Millennium Trail to uncover secrets and stories of the villages’ past?

Stop forA milkshake at the fantastic American Diner on the A339 closeby. At Nelson’s, the waitresses are dressed in full 1950’s regalia and the fun and quirky atmosphere lends itself to the perfect evening full of entertainment.Visit www.nelsonsdiner.co.uk to book or call 01635 298193.

Historical tiesThe word ‘Clere’ is thought to have derived from the Saxon era and may possibly mean, ‘bright’ or ‘clearing’, either way there is evidence to suggest that Kingsclere was identified as belonging to King Alfred between the years of 872 to 888 with the full name being referenced in a charter by Henry I. Judging by the information in the Domesday Book, it seems Kingsclere would have been a fairly substantial settlement with records of a church, market and several mills being already established on the site. Local legend has it that King John, while on route to his lodge on Cottington’s Hill, was forced to stay in Kingsclere due to bad weather and was said to have been attacked by bedbugs throughout the night. He was so troubled he ordained that the church should “erect and ever more maintain upon its tower a representation of the creature that disturbed his sleep.”

Eat atMarco Pierre White’s, The Yew Tree, Highclere 01635 253360 Why? Although not technically in Kingsclere, or even Hampshire, you can’t visit the area without visiting this notorious restaurant.This may be run by a celebrity chef but its homely beams and relaxed environment couldn’t be further from the glitz and glamour of showbiz.

Drink atThe Crown, Kingslere 01635 299558Why? It’s the only pub in the village where you can enjoy food and drink outside as none of the other watering holes have gardens. Take a seat out the front during the summer and watch village life go by.

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Stay AtThe Swan Hotel, Kingsclere 01635 298314 Why? A great British pub dating back to 1448 with original features and a welcoming atmosphere, the Swan Hotel boasts a wide range of ales and beers and is famous locally for its homemade � lbs steak ‘Swanburger’.