We took advantage of the good weather last weekend by visiting Newbury for a family shopping trip. We had been there years ago but couldn't really remember it at all. We were pleasantly surprised.
There is a new, open air shopping area in the centre of town, which is very pleasant. We visited John Lewis (very useful), New Look (for the kids), Marks and Spencer (useful again) and Waterstones (looking to spend our Christmas book tokens). All of these are staple shops, of course, but they weren't too busy or crowded, which made the shopping experience much less stressful than usual. The modern, ‘industrial look’ architecture was also easy on the eye, making the shops seem unusually spacious and clutter free.
We had lunch in the Waterstone’s Café, which was a good experience. Very friendly staff and locally sourced food, which is always a bonus. Again, there were just a few tables and it wasn’t too crowded, which meant that we were able to enjoy a relaxed lunch. There was also a very nice-looking Paul up the road (with café prices that weren't too steep), but that unfortunately was full, so we couldn't give it a try.
On the way back to the car, we had a quick wander round the older parts of the town. The town hall looked interesting, as did the church and riverside walk. We didn't have time to explore these places, but I think we might plan another trip to Newbury in the near future, this time focussing on its history and culture.