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River Thames in Cookham, Berkshire

River Thames in Cookham, Berkshire

Things to Do in Berkshire

With so many places to visit in Berkshire, you can easily forget you're right on London’s doorstep. A wealth of towns, villages and countryside to explore make this county the perfect antidote to city life. To get the most out of your stay, start planning your days out in Berkshire here.

This romantic county is renowned for its connections with the Royal Family, the River Thames meandering along the northern edge and its many beautiful gardens ablaze with colour. Windsor Castle, Eton college, Ascot Racecourse and Savill Garden are world famous attractions, all located in this wonderful county. 

Berkshire is also the birthplace of the Royal family’s newest member, Kate Middleton. Born on the 9 January 1982 in the Royal Berkshire hospital in Reading, Kate was raised in the quaint village of Buckleberry where her parents’ home is still located today. It was in the village of Pangbourne in Berkshire where she spent her school days at St Andrew’s School. 

Situated on the River Thames, Pangbourne has been cited as the inspiration of many famous authors’ novels including Kenneth Grahame and Jerome K. Jerome. Full of character, Pangbourne is a great place to visit. Berkshire is also home to many other picturesque towns and villages such as Hurley, Cookham, Bray, Littlewick Green, and Waltham St Lawrence. There is no better way to spend a day than drifting from one pretty village to another in search of a charming country inn concealed among delightful leafy lanes. 

Whether you're looking to follow the footsteps of Royalty, or stroll through the scenic country lanes, or perhaps extend your stay for some well-earned rest and relaxation in one of the quaint inns or B&Bs, Berkshire has something to suit the needs of everyone: 

For more about Berkshire, including ideas on days out, where to stay and things to do in Berkshire, visit the official tourism website for West Berkshire or browse through the below selection of towns and villages that collectively make Berkshire such a memorable destination to visit.

Stay up-to-date with iPhone and Android Apps for top destinations in Berkshire:

                                                   Windsor
                                                          Windsor

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Areas to Visit

Datchet

Datchet

Despite much modern development, Datchet still manages to retain many features of the quiet riverside settlement it once was. The older buildings...

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  1. Add Datchet to your Itinerary

    Datchet

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Despite much modern development, Datchet still manages to retain many features of the quiet riverside settlement it once was. The older buildings cluster around The Green with its central oak tree commemorating Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, while those of later periods line the roads towards the river...

  2. River Thames, Windsor and Maidenhead

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Throughout history people have tended to live on or near great rivers. This is true of the River Thames and as it flows into the west of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

  3. Add Newbury to your Itinerary

    Newbury

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Newbury

    Set along the banks of the River Kennet and the Kennet and Avon Canal, Newbury has a fresh, rural atmosphere combined with great shopping facilities and new attractions.

  4. Add Hurley to your Itinerary

    Hurley

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Hurley is a scattered parish which includes the hamlets of Burchetts Green, Cockpole Green, Warren Row, Knowl Hill. It lies halfway between London and Oxford, being 55 miles from each by river. The river has always been an important part of the village’s history with records of a ford as early as...

  5. Add Waltham St Lawrence to your Itinerary

    Waltham St Lawrence

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    One of the most westerly parishes in the borough, Waltham St Lawrence includes the hamlets of West End and Shurlock Row and contains many fine examples of domestic architecture.

    The village is centred on its cattle pound, around which are many picturesque houses and cottages. These include the...

  6. Add Eton to your Itinerary

    Eton

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    On the opposite bank of the River Thames from Windsor lies the town of Eton. Connected by a footbridge, Eton has an importance of its own both historically and commercially. Why not purchase the self-guided heritage trail from Royal Windsor Information Centre to discover the town’s fascinating...

  7. Add Clewer to your Itinerary

    Clewer

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    In the days when the River Thames meandered through a wide flood plain, and in the absence of bridges, Clewer became well known for its ford as this was the only place to cross the river for several miles. It was used by soldiers, traders and pilgrims.

    A chapel was built beside the ford to...

  8. Add Sunningdale to your Itinerary

    Sunningdale

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    In the southeastern corner of the Royal Borough, Sunningdale borders the county of Surrey and until 1894 was included within the parish of Old Windsor. As in neighbouring Ascot and Sunninghill, the area is noted for its fine displays of trees and shrubs, especially banks of rhododendrons. The...

  9. Add Ascot to your Itinerary

    Ascot

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Though a pretty Berkshire town in its own right, it's fair to say that Ascot is dominated by its spectacular racecourse. Certainly one of the world's finest and most famous courses, Ascot attracts over half a million visitors each year.

  10. Add Cookham to your Itinerary

    Cookham

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    The Royal Manor of Cookham was held by the Crown until 1818 and today, although many changes have taken place, the village has made the most of its position and is now one of the most popular Thameside resorts with its many superb restaurants and inns, including Bel and the Dragon dating from 1417...