Highclere & Woolton Hill
Though they have separate parish councils and are in different church parishes, Highclere and Woolton Hill are so closely linked that a visitor would have difficulty in knowing when they have moved from one village to the other! They are, however, rather different in character. Highclere is recorded as a settlement well before the Norman conquest and the Domesday Book, which Woolton Hill comprised only a scattering of isolated cottages and country houses until the 20th century, expanding quite rapidly in the last thirty years. What they share is an ideal setting; although close to the busy town of Newbury, a centre of the IT and telecommunications industries, with excellent road and rail connections, within a few minutes the visitor can be lost in a maze of narrow country lanes and footpaths in an officially designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Stately homes and attractive country houses abound, including Highclere Castle, perhaps the finest example of a great Victorian house still in regular family use. This is also an important centre for the horse racing industry; the famous Gainsborough Stud is in the centre of Woolton Hill, with Highclere Stud and Highclere Thoroughbred Racing nearby. The training gallops above Watership Down are within walking distance, as is the Wayfarers' Walk, a country path that stretches from nearby Inkpen to the South Coast at Emsworth. Hospitality can be found in local pubs (The Rampant Cat, Woolton Hill, and the Red House and Yew Tree Inn at Highclere) and bed and breakfast in local homes.
Courtesy of www.eto.org.uk/tbh
Old English Villages (Country S.)
English Villages (Writer's Britain S.)
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