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Situated in a rural location, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Donnington Castle and Shaw House. Newbury Town Hall and West Berkshire Museum are also ...
Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa£74Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa£74
Berkshire is a county packed with surprises and unlikely attractions. Perhaps the most unlikely of all is the somewhat morbidly-named Combe Gibbet. The fact that it's situated on top of Gallows Down might give a fair idea of what to expect on your visit! Combe Gibbet is the name of the gibbet itself, situated within the parish of Combe. It remains famous for being situated on the site of a Neolithic burial mound and, despite its grisly silhouette, was only used once. There are a number of reasons to visit this attraction and you'll find plenty of places to stay nearby, from characterful inns and comfortable B&Bs, to glamorous and luxurious hotels.
The story behind Combe Gibbet is true: George Broomham and Dorothy Newman were conducting an affair, when they were seen by George's wife and son. In order to prevent repercussions, the adulterous pair murdered the witnesses to their debauchery, but were caught in the act by the village vagrant, 'Mad Thomas'. Thomas reported the crime and they were executed at Winchester Assizes. The gibbet was used to display both their bodies, to serve as a warning to those who might follow in their footsteps. The gibbet that stands is not the original, but it still draws visitors throughout the year. However, Gallows Down is also the site of some more pleasant activities, such as the 16-mile Combe Gibbet Cross Country Race and is also a popular launching site for paragliders and hand-gliders.
There's plenty of reasonably-priced accommodation in the area. Bracknell, which is less than an hour away, is home to a number of well-priced and comfortable hotels, such as the Grange Bracknell, the Fines Bayliwick Hotel and the Elizabeth House bed and breakfast. However, if you're in the area for a special occasion or feel it's time to treat your partner to a little slice of luxury, the Oakley Court Hotel offers beautiful surroundings, sumptuous rooms and a remarkable restaurant. For those who prefer to look after themselves, there are self-catering options available, in the Berkshire Rooms Bracknell and the Beneficial House - House of Fisher.
Combe Gibbet may be one of Berkshire's more macabre attractions, but it remains enduringly popular. Book a room in a hotel near Combe Gibbet and you'll find yourself well placed to explore all that this extraordinary county has to offer.