Peaceful West Berkshire town Thatcham sits close to the Kennet and Avon Canal between Newbury and Reading. Boasting a pretty village green and ample services from a range of shops to fine country inns and independent hotels, Thatcham is surrounded by a selection of stunning nature reserves featuring precious heathland, fen reedbeds and sedges and ancient woodland.
Essential visiting and superb attraction for children near Thatcham and Newbury is The Living Rainforest with Tropical glasshouse trails. Visitors based in Thatcham farmhouse B&Bs are ideally located close to Newbury and Reading museums, the North Wessex Downs and narrowboat trips on the Kennet and Avon Canal. The nearby M4 corridor also affords easy access to Thames Valley business sites and Heathrow Airport.
Within easy reach of Thatcham and Newbury off the M4 at Hampstead Norreys is The Living Rainforest, home to over 700 species of animals and plants. The 'Human Impact' exploration space, a children's play area, a cafe and shop also all feature at The Living Rainforest, open daily and clearly signposted with brown signs off the A34 and M4/Junction 13. Tropical trails lead around the on-site Tropical glasshouses where visitors can see Goeldi's Monkeys and free roaming birds, lizards and butterflies. Outstanding for children, the Living Rainforest offers children's activities and workshops throughout the year, conveying a sustainable living message in a hands-on 'education in context' fun way.
A selection of stunning local nature reserves can be found around Thatcham. A good starting point is The Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham situated off Lower Way close to the A4. The lakeside visitor centre contains hands-on exhibits, offers a range of activities and features an adventure playground and lakeside cafe. A network of footpaths weave out from the centre. The Newbury and Thatcham area are home to ancient Commons with precious heathland including Snelsmore, Greenham and Crookham as well as inland reedbeds, wildlife lakes and ancient woodland.
The choice of local Thatcham nature reserves includes Hosehill Lake accessible via an entrance near the Fox and Hounds pub at Theale. Bird viewing areas feature around the one-mile path at Hosehill Lake which contains a variety of waterfowl. Thathcham Reedbeds local nature reserve is one of the south's largest areas of inland reedbed covering around 67 hectares. Of national importance, this reedbed area in the Kennet Valley is a fen landscape of sedges, beautiful wildflowers and alder woodland. The large lake with the lakeside Nature Discovery Centre adjoins the Thatcham Reedbeds. More nature reserves around Thatcham include the Greenham and Crookham Commons, Padworth, Bucklebury and Snelsmore Commons and Withy Copse Wildlife Heritage Site.
Thatcham is ideally situated as a holiday base between Reading and Newbury. Nestling alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal, narrowboat trips are available from Thatcham which also sits close to the glorious North Wessex Downs AONB. Town centre facilities at Thatcham are ample with two supermarkets, high street shops and a weekly Friday market.
Thatcham sits close to the Kennet & Avon Canal and popular mooring marinas like Ham Manor, home to the Newbury Boat Company. Pick up regular boat trips from Aldermaston Wharf near Thatcham to Reading with Kennet Cruises who also offer narrowboat hire in the area. A small visitor centre is also located at Aldemaston Wharf alongside a tearoom and gift shop. Great golf clubs in the Thatcham area include Newbury & Crookham Golf Club, a premier course running through spectacular West Berkshire countryside, which welcomes visitors and offers great value Green Fees.
Thatcham accommodation listed here on iknow Home Counties includes delightful traditional Thatcham inn B&Bs and pet friendly farmhouse B&Bs. Leisure hotels in Thatcham ideal for both business and leisure visitors are also available. Fine country pubs in Thatcham and the surrounding West Berkshire countryside villages are numerous and outdoor activities in the area range from nature reserve walking and birdwatching to action packed paintballing and leisurely narrowboat cruising.
Thatcham railway station offers direct fast train links to Newbury, Newbury racecourse, Reading and London Paddington beyond. Thatcham is situated conveniently close to both Newbury Racecourse and Newbury Showground, host to the annual Berkshire County Show. Business visitors to the Thames Valley are within easy reach of Reading and Slough and will find luxury apartments and stylish independent country hotels in Thatcham. Close to the M4 corridor, Thatcham is also within easy reach of Heathrow Airport. Visitors based in Thatcham B&Bs and inns are also within easy reach of the stunning North Wessex Downs, home to World Heritage sites such as the Avebury stone circle.