12 things you should know about Wokingham

PUBLISHED: 00:00 12 March 2020

Main photo: Stewart Turkington; stphotos.co.uk

Main photo: Stewart Turkington; stphotos.co.uk

Archant

From its fascinating historical buildings to its more modern attractions, we find out why residents and visitors alike love a trip to Wokingham.

Amazing markets

If you're trying to be more environmentally friendly in 2020 then there's a very simple way to help reach your goal and that's by buying local produce. One week of the month, why not go to Wokingham's Market Place to meet some of the area's best local producers at the farmers' market?

Market days are every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 9am-4pm. Pick up fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, bread, cakes, fish and a plethora of dairy products. Chat to the producers themselves and find out about how they rear and grow their produce. There's no better way to support the local rural economy.

wokingham-tc.gov.uk

Tasting Room

Not to be missed is the Wokingham Tasting Room - the second Sit & Sip bar that James Mattingley, from Henley, has opened in the last year. Situated in the heart of the newly developed Peach Place, it is a funky boutique bar and bottle shop with a great outdoor space. Here you can enjoy a selection of beers and spirits in one sitting on a Sit & Sip Beer Paddle or Gin Flight. Pick from 14 craft beers on tap, ranging from some of the traditional through to the non-mainstream, such as a Blueberry and Maple stout and a Hypergalactic IPA (which is made by an all-female brewery that champions women in craft beer).

You can also create your own tasting boards, choosing from a selection of cold meats, bread and cheeses.

sitandsip.co.uk

Fun outdoors

Spring is in the air, and we're all thinking of ways we can start to enjoy the outdoors. Luckily, there are lots of places to explore in and around Wokingham, starting with Dinton Pastures. There's plenty going on at the park over the next couple of months. In March, there is the Dinton X Trail Night Run on the 5th at 7.30pm, and in April, you could take to the lake on a guided canoe tour on the4th at 10.30am, or at 8pm on 8 April. That Easter weekend, there will be a super full moon and this is your chance to see it from the water and learn all about what makes it super from the knowledgeable instructors.

Call Wokingham Library on 0118 9781368 to book a place. There's lots happening all-year round at the park, so take a look at their website at

dinton-pastures.co.uk

Discover Nirvana

Imagine putting your feet up on a warming lounger while being handed a glass of Prosecco. Gentle music plays in the background and you slowly but surely close your eyes and drift off to sleep. Sounds great, doesn't it? Or how about floating on a celestial pool staring up into what looks like a twinkling night sky above? Believe it or not, Wokingham has this very paradise at the Nirvana Spa. As well as different pools, including a surf pool with hydrotherapy jets, there are thermal experiences and, of course, an entire menu of relaxing treatments to try.

Choose from a Swedish full-body massage, a hydra facial, get your nails done or have a pedicure. There's lots on offer! A day at the spa costs from £70 per person, depending on the day of the week you wish to go.

nirvanaspa.co.uk

What a gem

Kaanaanmaa specialise in creating unique and bespoke jewellery. Personal service and expert craftmanship set them apart, working directly with customers from their showroom with their own on-site jewellery workshop.

Repairs, re-modelling and custom creations remain the focus in this well-established and trusted shop, which comes highly recommended by the local community.

kaanaanmaa.co.uk

If you go down to the woods

All aboard for the opening of Wokingham's Pinewood Miniature Railway this month on Sunday 15 March. They are open on the third Sunday of the month all the way through to October.

This brilliant railway has been trundling through the woodland for the past 25 years and is run by a very special society of railway enthusiasts. Taking a trip costs just £1 each and the trains depart every few minutes so there's no need to book.

pinewoodrailway.co.uk

Time, gentlemen

Wokingham was once famous for being home to the most pubs per head of the population. That may no longer be the case, but there are certainly some old inns across the town. The Crispin is one of these; the owners believe "it is the 32nd oldest building in Wokingham". It may not have been selling beer originally, but it has been standing since 1840.

These days they serve real ales and even have an award-winning beer garden overlooking Elms field.

crispinpub.co.uk

Fun at the fayre

Wokingham May Fayre is said to be the biggest street fayre in the south of England. It takes place on the first Bank Holiday in May, which this year falls on the 8th. Denmark Street, Elms Field and the Market Place are all filled with stalls, stage performances and a fun fair from 10am until 5pm.

It's free to attend and it is a chance for local causes and groups to raise money and awareness. Follow their Facebook page to keep up with the news of who will be entertaining the crowds this year.

www.facebook.com/events

Cool kitchens

Looking for a new kitchen? Zara Kitchen Design is a family owned independent kitchen showroom on Peach Street. They offer a complete kitchen design service, from the initial meeting through to competition.

"We appreciate the trust our clients give us in their home and in return we want to give them the best possible experience and leave them with the most beautiful kitchen they have ever owned. We pride ourselves on the quality of our aftercare and customer services and that is why a large proportion of our work comes from recommendation and repeat business," says Simon Hughes.

zarakitchendesign.co.uk

Fantastic schools

Holme Grange School is a thriving independent co-educational school for 3-16-year-olds. They offer a unique educational experience in an idyllic setting in 21 acres of Wokingham countryside.

Parents describe the school as "caring, friendly and warm", which highlights their strong pastoral support and sense of community.

holmegrange.org

Shoppers' paradise

Just off Heathlands Road is a hidden gem that should undoubtedly be your one-stop shop for some retail therapy. Home to the popular Chocolate Café, Holme Grange Craft Village is fully stocked with some fabulous independent stores and businesses. Get pooch groomed at Fairy Tails Dog Grooming, pick up a work of art at Enchanting Glass Designs or a new outfit at La La's Boutique.

There is also a yoga studio, a bookshop and sweet shop. They host workshops here, too, so if you are looking to hone your sewing skills, take up pottery or want to design your own silver jewellery, visit the website to find where to sign up.

holmegrangecraftvillage.co.uk

A performing past

Wokingham Theatre on Twyford Road has been home to the local theatre group for over 70 years. It's as popular as ever, with 250 members and volunteers taking on all the varying roles required to stage legendary plays, such as The Taming of the Shrew or The Lady Killers. There are usually eight major productions a year, running for nine nights during the season, which is September to July.

Coming up in March, from the 19-28th, they will be performing Anne Boleyn, followed by Enchanted April from 23 April-2 May. From 28 May-6 June you can book tickets to see Apologia and their final foray is Stepping Out, playing from 8-18 July.

www.wokinghamtheatre.org.uk

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