I was thinking of calling this post ‘A delightful daycation in Hungerford’ but, somehow, I couldn’t! I don’t mind employing the term ‘Staycation‘ but ‘Daycation’ is a step too far!
Hungerford is about sixty miles from London and about one and a half hours drive from where I live, in Surrey. Although I have driven through Hungerford on a few occasions, it’s only recently that I have actually visited this small, attractive market town in Berkshire.
My reason for visiting Hungerford was to catch up with a friend from student days. We first met aged eighteen, were on the same corridor of our Hall of Residence and also spent a significant time in France together, as were both studying French. We lost touch over the years but had reconnected at college reunions, eventually meeting ‘properly’ in Hungerford last year.
It has turned out to be one of those friendships where the time lapse doesn’t matter in the slightest and it’s as if we’ve always been in touch and most importantly we always laugh loads!
Our visit started with – coffee, of course! We met at Honesty which is situated within Barrs Yard Artisan Collective. As well as the Honesty café there are several independent businesses including a wine store, fashion boutique, flower and antique furniture outlets and an art gallery. Free parking is available on site.
This was our second visit to Honesty. The first time was last year and pre-Covid. This year the café had all the necessary requirements in place to ensure that customers were ‘safe’.
We opted to share a chocolate brownie and a slice of Moroccan orange cake – delicious!
A stroll was definitely in order before lunch and we were lucky that the weather was perfect for walking. Barrs Yard is just outside the centre of Hungerford and as we wandered into town, we crossed the River Dun which is a tributary of the River Kennet. It is easy to understand why the land surrounding Hungerford is designated to be an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
We set off to Hungerford Wharf. It once was a busy industrial canal wharf, but now it is very peaceful and picturesque. The Canal is the Kennet and Avon which is 87 miles long and links London with the Bristol Channel, passing through some stunning landscapes. If you’ve looked at my blog before. you might remember how much I love a canal!
My research tells me that the highly sought after Green Flag, awarded to the best kept parks, beaches and green spaces across the UK, has been awarded to the entire length of the Kennet & Avon Canal.
I had looked into what we might do in Hungerford, prior to our visit, and thought it might be fun to go on a boat trip along the canal. Unfortunately the Rose of Hungerford was not running on the day we were there. Something to bookmark for another trip.
As we had a limited time, we set off along the towpath, passing St Lawrence church. It was a surprise to see the impressive tower peeping up from behind the trees, so close to the canal.
It really was a delightful walk and we would have liked to explore further but lunch called! We retraced our steps until we reached the church where we cut through the churchyard into the High Street.
We headed for the Three Swans Hotel. We had eaten here before and we were so impressed with the food, on that occasion, that we decided to make a return visit.
This former coaching inn can be traced back to 1661. We went in via the original archway through which horse drawn carriages would enter in bygone times.
The Hotel had made the courtyard area even more attractive and welcoming for eating outside. When we arrived our temperatures were taken and contact details noted for track and trace.
We both opted for the smoked duck breast salad which was extremely tasty!
Our time in Hungerford went far too quickly. There was still plenty to do and see; quirky, independent shops, the Antiques Arcade, more walks and plenty of other places to eat and drink.
I would certainly recommend a trip to Hungerford, whether for one day, a weekend or a short break.