Downton Village Guide
About Downton Village
Although it has no connection with the popular TV period drama “Downton Abbey” (which was actually filmed at Highclere Castle in north Hampshire), the ancient Wiltshire village of Downton is full of the charm of a bygone era, with the lively lifestyle of a modern thriving community.
The village straddles the River Avon, about six miles southeast of the city of Salisbury, on the fringe of the New Forest National Park. It’s 30 miles to the popular seaside towns on the south coast and only 20 miles from Southampton Airport.
The delightful rural location doesn’t mean this is a sleepy hamlet. With a population of around 3,000 calling the greater Downton area home, there is a busy calendar of local events, chief of which is the annual Cuckoo Fair, held on the Saturday nearest to May Day, which draws many thousands of visitors.
Downton is well supplied with all the amenities for a comfortable, convenient local life:
Pubs & Restaurants
Although Downton is close to the busy city of Salisbury which is packed with eateries, with three pub/restaurants and a tasty café serving up great breakfasts and lunches there is no need to leave the village to enjoy a good meal or an evening out.
- THE BOROUGH CAFÉ is the ideal cosy place to meet the locals after a dog walk or cycle ride, over an all-day breakfast, light lunch or afternoon tea.
- The historic WHITE HORSE INN serves traditional homemade food 7 days a week, along with local ales and a varied wine list. There’s usually live music in the evenings, or some other lively event on the go. Child and dog friendly!
- THE BULL HOTEL is a top-notch pub and restaurant offering fine dining using local seasonal produce and accommodation and live music nights.
- THE WOODEN SPOON in the High Street is a quaint traditional pub welcoming locals and visitors with a reasonably priced menu of dishes cooked by the landlady. There’s a pleasant garden at the rear and a roaring fire in winter.
The nearest hospital is Salisbury District Hospital (01722 336262), but there is a local GP practice, Dental practice and Pharmacy in Downton.
- THE SURGERY in Moot Lane has four GPs and supporting staff who see patients by appointment. For appointments call 01725 510296 during opening hours (generally 8.30am to 6.30pm).
- THE BOROUGH DENTAL PRACTICE has a full team of dental practitioners including hygienists and therapists, with state-of-the-art equipment. Call 01725 510303 for appointments.
The DAY LEWIS PHARMACY branch in the High Street provides prescription services and services like blood pressure monitoring.
Points of interest
Downton has more than 20 clubs and societies that are well supported, and a popular village band. There is an award winning local brewery (Hopback Brewery) in operation on the Downton Industrial Estate.
Post Office and other services
- Downton Cross Roads Post Office is at The Headlands, Downton, SP5 3HH.
- The volunteer assisted Downton Library is at Church Leat, SP5 3PD, and can be contacted on 01725 511003.
- Downton Veterinary Clinic and hospital, part of the Hampton Park group, is at 6 Scotts Close in the Downton Business Centre.
- Downton Leisure Centre offers facilities for a wide range of sports, including a gym and tennis courts, with a selection of fitness classes.
- Downton even has its own football club and ground – in fact one of Wiltshire’s leading clubs playing in the Wessex League.
Downton has both a well-regarded primary school and secondary school.
- DOWNTON CofE VA PRIMARY SCHOOL provides a nurturing and creative environment for children from Reception year to Year 6, with many after-school clubs and activities.
- THE TRAFALGAR SCHOOL AT DOWNTON is a mixed secondary academy school – a relatively small school producing great results and happy learners.
Christian worshippers in Downton have a choice of attending the Church of England parish church of St Laurence; the Methodist chapel at 20 High Street; one of the nearby Salisbury Catholic Churches; or joining the Downton Baptist Church community at the church in South Lane.
For its size the village of Downton has a surprisingly large number of shops, and a good eclectic mix. You’ll definitely find a butcher and baker (The Cottage Loaf) – perhaps not a candlemaker – but there will be candles available in the local Co-op in the in the High Street!
One of Downton’s more unusual retail outlets is Ridgeway Exotics, which specialises in reptiles. For the rest you’ll find a hairdresser, barber, optician and a chippy – what more do you need?
Downton is well connected by bus being served by the Salisbury Reds service that connects Salisbury to Bournemouth (X3) and the bus between Salisbury and Redlynch (44). There is also a taxi service operating in the village (01725 511245).
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