Over the last few weeks, the daffodils have started to poke their heads up. The blossom has started to appear on the tree outside of my house. And the temperature has been slowly creeping up a notch, day by day. Which is why I was so shocked to wake up last weekend to find a winter wonderland outside of my window.
Typically, it was on that snowy Sunday that I had planned to take a trip Newbury for the day. I had plans to finally catch up with my uni friend and fellow blogger, Amy. Just a few weeks earlier, we had been forced to cancel those very same plans because it had snowed then too. Which is why I was so determined to make our trip happen this time around. So, I climbed into my car, set up my sat-nav, programmed in the support of the Radio One DJs and set off for Newbury. Just a measly half an hour later than I had planned to, but not before resigning myself to the fact that I was probably only going to make it two roads down before having to return home.
As it turned out, the roads weren't that bad after all. And, much to mine and Amy’s surprise, I rolled my way into Newbury at just after ten on Sunday morning.
After catching up on the months of daily chatter that we have missed out on lately, Amy and I did what any Brits would do on an unexpected snow day. We pulled on our boots and decided to make the most of it.
With spare socks at hand, a stupid amount of clothes on, and my camera hanging from my neck, we headed out for the snowy walk to Donnington; a little village just outside of the town of Newbury.
We passed endless amounts of children on our way to the castle; all laughing, playing and dragging sledges behind them. Showing us how a snow day is really done. But we just ambled along, listening to the snow crunch beneath our feet, admiring the view and simply nattering away to each other. With three months of catching up to do, we barely stopped to come up for air.
Until we reached the top of the hill anyway. When we finally stood in silence. Partially from the fact that the ascent had left us somewhat and ashamedly breathless. But mainly because we had stopped firstly to admire Donnington Castle, and then to gawp at the expansive view out across Newbury. All of which was beautifully coated with a layer of white, fluffy snow that simply made it even more breathtaking.
Visiting Donnington Castle
Today all that remains of the medieval castle is the gatehouse but it is now under the care of English Heritage so that will hopefully remain intact for many more years. As a result, unfortunately, you cannot go inside the castle.
However planning a trip to the English Heritage site couldn't be easier as it is located just off the busy A34, it is free to enter and there is a free car park nearby. So, as it won't cost you a penny to visit, it's still worth stopping by if you're in the area for a few hours. Even if you only go for the view over Newbury. Which is exactly what we did.
However, while it was beautiful to see in the snow, if you were able to visit in the summer then I think that it would be the perfect place to head with a picnic. You can see from miles from the top of the hill and it would be the perfect place to simply kick back and relax for a few hours on a warm day.
But with the temperature hitting a maximum of -3 when we visited, we decided to simply snap a few photos, laugh at some of the adventurous children attempting to snowboard down the hill on their sledges before heading back to Newbury to warm up and have some lunch. It was the perfect way to spend a chilly Sunday morning though. And as I’m certain that it is one of those places that will look beautiful in every season, I’m already excited about visiting again when the weather really starts to warm up.
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