Highclere Castle Berkshire
Live like a local

Our ‘little black book’ of places to visit near Coworth Park

April 04, 2022

Home to a tapestry of wildflower meadows, lakes and picturesque villages, the countryside around Coworth Park hides plenty of secret gems. Rowan McFeat, our director of rooms, shares his insider tips on places to discover across this quintessentially English region.
Highclere Castle Music Room

Highclere Castle

Famous for being the setting of the television series Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle has been home to the Carnarvon family since 1679. Records show the estate dates back to 749, when an Anglo-Saxon king granted it to the Bishops of Winchester. The castle, as it stands today, was designed in 1842 by Sir Charles Barry, the architect of London’s Houses of Parliament. Tour the state rooms that appear in Downton Abbey and don’t miss the permanent Egyptian Exhibition, which celebrates the fifth Earl of Carnarvon’s discovery of the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun. The castle is an hour’s drive from Coworth Park.

Highclere Park, Highclere, Newbury, RG20 9RN

The Savill Garden

Just a 10-minute drive from Coworth Park, this 35-acre retreat dates back to the 1930s. It exhibits rare plants from around the world, such as the clove-scented Jacqueline Postill from the Himalayas, which blooms in winter. The lake is particularly stunning on frosty mornings, while in summer you can take in the scent of 2,500 roses in a garden officially opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2010. As a treat on the way back to the hotel, stop by The Thatched Tavern, a 400-year-old pub in Ascot that serves classic British fare.

TW20 0UJ

Five-arch Bridge Over Virginia Water Lake In Surrey
headshot of rooms division manager rowan mcfeat
We love giving guests recommendations from a local perspective and hearing how they’ve enjoyed their stay in beautiful Berkshire. Whether it’s ideas for kids, family gatherings or a romantic break – we’ve inspiring ideas for everyone.

Rowan McFeat

Director of Rooms at Coworth Park

Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Bombay Sapphire Distillery, an hour’s drive from Coworth Park, produces gin in a former Grade II-listed paper mill, dating back to 1761. In 1831, the Dakin family purchased a still to carry out a distillation process known as vapour infusion, which Bombay Sapphire still uses today. Embark on an experience where you can create your own personalised gin and tonic before being immersed in all things gin on a guided tour. Sample the various botanicals that are infused in Bombay Sapphire gin and visit a Botanical Dry Room to learn about the distillation process.

London Rd, Whitchurch, RG28 7NR

Bombay Sapphire gin distillery
Courtesy of John Nuttall
interior of bluebells restaurant

Bluebells Restaurant, Sunningdale

One of Rowan’s top local restaurant recommendations is Bluebells, located between Sunningdale, Virginia Water and Ascot. The restaurant can be described as modern British in style and offers a relaxed yet formal approach to dining. It’s stylish, with vibrant green interiors and gold panelling, with an ambitious and contemporary approach to cooking and a focus on beautiful presentation. You can sit in the airy conservatory or choose to overlook the fire pit. A two or three-course set menu is served at lunch and dinner times, and a kids’ menu is also
available if you bring the little ones.

Bluebells Restaurant, London Road, SL5 0PU

Waltham Place

The 220-acre organic and biodynamic farm of Waltham Place dates back more than 1,000 years. In addition to the farm’s lake, woodlands and maze, you’ll find ornamental gardens and a butterfly garden planted with wild marjoram and cream clover to attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees. The Japanese Garden is home to Japanese maples, yellow-berried yew and snowberries, while The Potager is a former kitchen garden with redcurrants, Morello cherries and pear trees. Waltham Place is a 20-minute drive from Coworth Park and makes for a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Church Hill, White Waltham, SL6 3JH

Waltham Place Kitchen Garden

Explore Berkshire’s hidden gems , as well as its beautiful parks, gardens and villages, when you stay at Coworth Park.


Coworth Park

The scenic route to five-star bliss. Coworth Park offers idyllic relaxation in many guises, from a rural detox to an indulgent, romantic escape. Here you’ll find an experience to refresh every sense within our welcoming oasis of calm.

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