Berkshire is situated in South East England and is one of the home counties. It is bounded by Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Wiltshire and is home to the Royal Family at Windsor. Berkshire's proximity to London makes it popular with those seeking short break holidays.
Berkshire provides a number of visitor attractions such as Beale Park
. Set on the River Thames, it consists of over 400 acres of plush green park land that forms a natural habitat for a rich array of wildlife, including deer and exotic birds. The Ridgeway National Trail in the North is also noteworthy and affords some wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.
Ashdown House and Highclere Castle
offer a good day out as does Wellington Country Park with its well kept parkland and 35 acre lake. Windsor Castle, official residence of the Royals is also worth seeing and dates back to the 12th century. It is the largest populated castle in the world and has been the home to a long line of English monarchs.
Other historical points of interest include Walbury Hill Fort
. This Iron Age construction is one of the highest points in Southern England and stands at almost 1000ft above sea level. See the guide below, which describes in more details the major Berkshire visitor attractions and places of interest in the surrounding area.
Berkshire visitor attractions
This section includes more information about the most popular visitor attractions and outdoor activities in the county of Berkshire. There's also details of top restaurants, pubs and historical sites of interest with links included where possible.
in Lower Basildon, features herb and water gardens as well as a selection of animals including raccoons, prairie dogs, meerkats and giant rabbits. There's also a miniature railway, a number of play areas and river cruises. The Park is open from 10am to 6pm during the summer months (April to September) with tickets between £6 and £9 - under 2s are admitted for free.
Ramblers and hiking enthusiasts should visit Ridgeway National Trai
l which runs for 80 miles through picturesque landscapes and countryside such as the Chilterns. Wellington Country Park
is also worth visiting and features woodland, picnic areas and an adventure playground for children. Admission is £5.
Food and drink
The Hinds Head
in Bray is a leading gastro-pub that serves a collection of real ales and has an excellent menu. The beamed interior is cosy with log-fires and oak-paneled walls. The imaginative menu includes dishes such as dandelion salad, rabbit terrine and kidney pudding. The Chequers
in Cookham Dean also prides itself in its cuisine which consists of traditional, English pub-type fare. The obligatory hand-pumped ales and beers are also available as well as a range of good-value wines.
For fine dining see the Oak Room
, situated in Marlow-on-Thames. The restaurant, which has earned 4 AA rosettes, is housed in an old country-house that dates back to the late 19th century. The food is modern European and made from seasonal produce.
The French Horn
in Sonnington-on-Thames is also top-notch and features a terraced area which overlooks the river. The cuisine fuses English and French influences, and main courses are between £24 and £40.
History and Culture
The Victorian stately home, Highclere Castle
is situated in Hampshire and is the largest of its kind in the county. It has been used for a number of television productions and has over 20 acres of grounds and gardens. See the website for opening times. Windsor Castle
has been the official Royal residence for hundreds of years and is open to the general public on a limited basis. Visitors are advised to check the website for information about when and how long certain sections of the Castle are open. Admission prices vary according to group size and are subject to change.