Head west out of London and you’ll find the small Berkshire market town of Hungerford nestled in the North Wessex Downs. It’s surrounded by rivers and ancient marshland, but it’s better known for manmade relics. Hungerford High Street is dotted with antique shops, vintage stores and regular flea markets, for both high-end objects and a rummage through tat. It’s time for a treasure hunt.
A perfect day in Hungerford
Visit the Berkshire town for riverside walks, rural vibes and vintage treasures
Soak up the vibes
Walk along the verdant towpaths of the Kennet and Avon Canal. Head east, past quaint painted narrowboats and canal locks until you get to the neighbouring hamlet of Kintbury and riverside pub The Dundas Arms. Linger over a well-deserved pint in its huge beer garden.
Stop for lunch
Settle down in Eliane’s high-ceilinged space for some unprocessed, soul-nourishing grub. Try the eggs florentine topped with dairy-free, cashew hollandaise. Finish with golden milk (that’s fresh turmeric and coconut fyi) and a rose quartz to take away. The (non-edible) crystals are piled up on the counter beside the cakes.
Drink like a local
Grab a bench on the edge of Hungerford Common and sip a pint of The Downgate’s latest guest ale while grazing cattle wander past, often bringing local traffic to a standstill. Pick up unusual wines and local craft lagers at The Naked Grape.
Splash the cash
If you only do one thing
Lose all sense of time wandering around the huge Hungerford Arcade. It’s stuffed full of all kinds of collectible curiosities, from genuine antiques to self-professed junk. Look out for quirky ceramics, vintage jewellery,unique homeware, old postcards and the odd creepy doll or pre-loved ’90s box set. It’s a total (and literal) treasure trove.
Immerse yourself in an agricultural idyll at a real working farm near Hungerford. Run by caterer Joanna Preston, Long Acre Farm B&B is a food-lover’s utopia. The menu is made up of almost entirely seasonal and organic ingredients – homemade granola and fresh bread at breakfast and local game for dinner, with veg harvested from the kitchen garden. Spend a blissful afternoon visiting the farm’s resident ponies and chickens. Flagging after all that earthy country air? Pile into Long Acre’s Stable barn to warm up beside the woodburner with a good book. Grace Allen
Lambourn, Berkshire. From £95 a night.