I decided I had to see Highclere Castle while in the UK. Not knowing much about the area, I used the castle's site for ideas of where to stay, and found The Carpenters Arms was the closest to the castle itself.
It's a decent walk back from after my visit to the castle (where I got a ticket and was able to go inside), and the inn itself is a 15 or 20 minute drive to Newbury, where my train arrived. Taxis are plentiful outside the railway station, but there are also infrequent buses which go directly past the inn, which is located in Burghclere.
My room was gorgeous! It is in a separate house from the pub building, and it had a bedroom, small area with a desk and a full bathroom. Although I was told there was only wireless internet in the pub itself, I was able to access the Inn's wifi from the room if I sat near the windows.
The bed was super comfortable, and I kept marveling at how little I paid for such a lovely experience, in direct contrast to a horrific experience at a rural inn in Aarhus, Denmark. I liked the village setting, my room and the pub so much that I extended my stay to 2 nights so I could simply relax and take in the beautiful surroundings.
My only criticism of the room itself was the hot water did not appear to be working in the late evening hours.
English breakfast is available in the pub for an extra £8, but guests are welcome to breads in the annex's kitchen. The selections could definitely be improved, however, as they were plastic wrapped items from Lidl, and about as unappetizing as you would imagine. Since there's a toaster and everything, this could easily be remedied by having some of the good bread from the pub's kitchen, and some added pots of yogurt. It would make a very big difference, as the current choices are letting down the rest of the experience.
The pub is really popular, getting swamped at noontime. There were 3 nice real ales on draft, Wiltshire Gold being my favorite.
I enjoyed 4 meals there: a full English breakfast my second day there, roasted pork belly my first evening, fish and chips for my second night, and a cheddar and pickle sandwich before departing. All were of very high standard.
Staff is pleasant, each person I met.
Single travelers or a couple should ask for Room 2 which is on the ground floor. I loved it!
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.