Take a look around Ramsbury – Wiltshire’s best-kept village with its own brewery

Nestled in the heart of the Kennet Valley, a few miles northeast of Marlborough, the picturesque village of Ramsbury is a hidden gem in the Wiltshire landscape. Boasting its own brewery and distillery on the Ramsbury Estate, the village also won the title of the county’s best-kept large village in 2021.

The pre-medieval village has a long history, with The Doomsday Book of 1086 recording a settlement of 156 households in ‘Ramesberie’. The civil parish includes the hamlet of Axford just west of the village, and three smaller hamlets of New town, Knighton and Whittonditch.

In the center of the village you will find the village square. Many houses in the village are listed and the main square features a variety of Georgian and Victorian properties.

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A view of the main street in Ramsbury

Overlooking the square is The Bell at Ramsbury, a 300-year-old coaching inn that showcases produce from the neighboring Ramsbury estate. Here you can taste the best local beers and spirits or head to Café Bella at the back of the pub, which offers breakfast or delicious coffee and cake. You can also head to nearby Crown and Anchor, a friendly family pub serving home-baked pizzas and other pub classics.

The Ramsbury Brewery was built in 2004 to make the most of the barley grown on the surrounding farmland, and in 2015 the distillery produced its first bottle of single estate liquor. It is located just on the outskirts of the main village and produces some of the region’s most famous exports, Ramsbury gin, vodka and of course Ramsbury beer, which are now sold worldwide.

The Ramsbury Bell
The Ramsbury Bell

The CPRE Wiltshire judges who awarded Ramsbury the best-kept village last year said it ‘appears to be a well-kept village with excellent community spirit and facilities, especially for a village of this size’. As well as commenting favorably on the school surroundings, conservation areas, war memorial and recreation ground.

Ramsbury Brewing and Distilling Society
Ramsbury Brewing and Distilling Society

Following the main village street away from the square is a village shop and post office, as well as the Golden Lion Gallery displaying high quality national and international art. Further down the main street are the village library, the British Legion and Memorial Hall. More unusual for a small rural village, there is also a fire station opposite Holy Cross Church in Ramsbury.

A stream runs through Ramsbury Nature Reserve
A stream runs through Ramsbury Nature Reserve

If you pass the thatched cottages outside the village, footpaths lead you into the surrounding countryside, including a lovely little nature reserve with a stream running through it. If you fancy a more substantial walk, you can also walk along the River Kennet which meanders around the village, passing Ramsbury Manor Park and ending up in the nearby hamlet of Axford.

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