Besides great sights, an interesting history and many exciting destinations, Thatcham has a lot more to offer. Here you will find many helpful tips to enjoy your vacation in Thatcham.
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Sights in Thatcham
Thatcham is a town in the West Berkshire district of England. The town is situated on the River Kennet, approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of Newbury and 32 miles (51 km) west of Reading. It lies just north of the M4 motorway and has good road links to London and the South East. Thatcham railway station is served by First Great Western trains on the Reading to Basingstoke and Taunton lines.
Thatcham’s history dates back to prehistoric times. The name may derive from the River Kenet (or possibly from the Old English for “the thatched homestead on the river”). In the Domesday Book of 1086 it was recorded as Taceham. By 1377 it had become a market town with a population of over 500.
The town’s growth continued until the 1750s when the construction of the London to Bristol turnpike (now the A4) and the Reading to Taunton stagecoach route (now the M4 motorway) diverted trade away from Thatcham. The coming of the railways in the 1840s brought little benefit to the town. Today, Thatcham is a thriving community with a population of around 20,000.
The town has a number of primary schools and a secondary school, Theitemple School. There are also several independent schools including St. Bartholomew’s School, Berkshire Maestros and fluxus arts.
Thatcham’s most notable sight is Donnington Castle, a 14thcentury ruin which overlooks the town. Other places of interest include the Water Meadows (floodplains of the River Kennet), Thatcham Nature Reserve, Basildon Park (a stately home) and milton Ernest Hall (a country house).
Thatcham is well known for its pubs, many of which are pictured in the Good Pub Guide. The town has a number of restaurants, cafes and takeaways, as well as a cinema and a theatre. Shopping in Thatcham is centred on the Broadway, a pedestrianised street lined with shops, banks and businesses.
Thatcham is twinned with Meylan in France and Quedlinburg in Germany.
History of Thatcham
Thatcham is a town and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire. It lies on the banks of the River Kennet in the West Berkshire district, approximately 10mi east of Newbury and 15mi west of Reading. The neighbouring villages of Benham, Crookham and Greenham are often referred to collectively as The Three Hamlets.
The town was founded in the late 9th century by the Wessex King Alfred the Great, who built a fort there to defend against the Danish invaders. In the Domesday Book of 1086 the settlement was recorded as Taceham. The name Thatcham is thought to derive from the Old English word for timber or thatching.
By the 13th century, Thatcham had become an important market town and was granted a charter by King Henry III. The town’s prosperity continued until the early 17th century when the English Civil War severely damaged the area. Thatcham was subsequently rebuilt and continued to grow throughout the Industrial Revolution.
The arrival of the Great Western Railway in 1847 further boosted the town’s economy and Thatcham became known for its large number of breweries and wool mills.
Today, Thatcham is a thriving commercial centre with a selection of shops, businesses and amenities. The town is also home to a variety of educational and cultural institutions, including Thatcham Discovery Centre, a museum and heritage centre that tells the story of the town and its people.
Vacation in Thatcham
Thatcham is a beautiful English town located in the heart of the Berkshire countryside. The town offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors, making it the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing or romantic getaway. With its charming historic streets and buildings, pavement cafes and excellent shopping, Thatcham is a great place to explore on foot. Visit the towns of Newbury and Reading for additional days out, or spend time visiting the many country estates and gardens in the area. Alternatively, take a look at some of the recommended itineraries below for ideas on what to do during your stay in Thatcham.
Two Day Itinerary
Head to the centre of Thatcham and explore the historic streets and buildings. Pop into some of the shops, take a break in one of the pavement cafes, and visit St. James Church. In the afternoon, take a walk around Thatcham Nature Reserve, or visit one of the many country estates in the area such as Basildon Park or Donnington Castle.
Spend the day exploring the towns of Newbury and Reading. In Newbury, visit the Newbury Racecourse, the museums, or the art galleries. In Reading, stroll around the town centre, visit the Abbey, or take a boat trip along the River Thames.
Three Day Itinerary
On your first day in Thatcham, take a walk around the historic town centre and explore the shops, pavement cafes, and St. James Church. In the afternoon, head to Thatcham Nature Reserve for a walk or cycle around the nature trails.
Today, spend the day exploring the nearby town of Newbury. Visit the Newbury Racecourse, the museums, or the art galleries. In the afternoon, take a stroll around the town centre or visit one of the many parks and green spaces.
On your final day, take a trip to the town of Reading. Stroll around the town centre, visit the Abbey, or take a boat trip along the River Thames. Alternatively, explore one of the many countryside estates and gardens in the area such as Basildon Park or Donnington Castle.
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