The remains of Donnington Castle sit proudly on the top of a hill in Donnington which allows for great views of the Lambourn Valley. It’s free to visit the castle ruins (parking charges apply however) and there is a lovely walk too, we really enjoyed visiting Donnington Castle near Newbury for a unique picnic spot with walk. It’s worth noting you can’t get into the twin towered gatehouse.
A bit of history about the castle
The castle is 14th century and only the impressive twin towered gatehouse part of the castle still stands today. When at the site you can still see some of the castle walls remaining. It is believed that both Henry VIII and Elizabeth were both believed to have stayed at the castle.
What can you do at the castle?
Once parked in the car park you can walk up to the castle, the walk is very short and will only take you a couple of minutes to reach (see photo below). It also makes a wonderful place for a picnic, surrounded by the castle walls, gatehouse and fab views.
When we visited we took the footpath from the car park, to the left as you look at the castle up on the hill. It took us along into a woodland. We were lucky enough to visit in May when the bluebells were out. As soon as we got to the woodland we pretty much saw bluebells straight away and noticed a den in the woods on the right hand-side plus a walking path going up through the bluebells (pictured below). We followed the path through the bluebells which took us out at the top of the hill. We walked pasted a large old oak tree on our right and joined a hard standing road. We then followed the road down to the right and it brought us out at the top of Donnington Castle. It was a great walk to do with little legs as it gave us a woodland adventure, allowed us to take some photos in the bluebells and walk to the castle.
From Donnington Castle you can also walk to Snelsmore Common, the walk is 3.6 miles, so might not be do-able if you have little ones with you but could be a good walk to do with older children. Click here to view the walking route on AllTrails. The car park for Snelsmore Common can be found here if you decided to drive to Snelsmore Common instead of walking.
What facilities are there?
There are limited facilities at Donnington Castle. A portable toilet however is available in the car park.
Car Park details
Car Park Address: Donnington Castle, Donnington, West Berkshire, RG14 2LE
You need to pay for the Car Park at Donnington Castle, it costs £2 to park for the day. The English Heritage website says that you can pay by text, just be warned there are no signs up to say you need to pay to park or how in the car park that I could see. You can also book and pay for your parking via The English Heritage website before visiting.
If you have enjoyed reading about ‘Visiting Donnington Castle near Newbury’ check out these other family friendly walks in West Berkshire.
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