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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 and there are plenty of great things to do in Reading.

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:

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Wraysbury

Wraysbury

During the 14th century. Wraysbury (or Wyrardisbury) was a Royal Manor and its lands often featured in the dowries of English Queens. The village...

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  1. Add Wraysbury to your Itinerary

    Wraysbury

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    During the 14th century. Wraysbury (or Wyrardisbury) was a Royal Manor and its lands often featured in the dowries of English Queens. The village grew up around the Church of St Andrew which, although of 12th-century origin and containing some original features, was largely rebuilt in the 19th...

  2. Add Eton to your Itinerary

    Eton

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    It is impossible to think of Eton without reference to its famous public school, Eton College, and indeed the later history of the town is inseparably entwined with that of the college.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Add Bray to your Itinerary

    Bray

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    A pretty riverside parish with a three-mile frontage on the Thames between Maidenhead and Windsor, Bray has become a very popular stopping place for visitors to the Royal Borough as it features a wealth of cottages and houses, fine dining and attractive riverbank properties.

    "And this is law I...

  6. Add White Waltham to your Itinerary

    White Waltham

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Although an area of great antiquity, where Roman remains have been found, White Waltham has seen more change during the past 60 years than all its previous history. This is due to the establishment of White Waltham Airfield during World War II and its subsequent use as the headquarters of Home...

  7. 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.

  8. Add Old Windsor to your Itinerary

    Old Windsor

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Old Windsor was the oldest Saxon town in Berkshire and the seat of Edward the Confessor. It continued in importance up until about 1100 when it was gradually overshadowed by the building of Windsor Castle two miles upstream. The parish includes within its boundaries most of Windsor Great Park,...

  9. Add Pangbourne to your Itinerary

    Pangbourne

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Pangbourne

    Nestling alongside the River Thames, Pangbourne, the subject of much literary inspiration, is a charming place, full of character, with individual shops, pubs and cafés.

  10. Add Bisham to your Itinerary

    Bisham

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Bisham is a parish of woodlands, the best-known being the Quarry Woods, which provide a splendid backdrop to the many historic buildings both large and small along the road to Marlow. Although the woodlands are private there are many public footpaths; the most scenic being those which climb the...