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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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Shottesbrook

Shottesbrook

Although the smallest parish in the Royal Borough, Shottesbrooke contains one of the most noteworthy churches in Berkshire. The parish is centred on...

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  1. Add Shottesbrook to your Itinerary

    Shottesbrook

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Although the smallest parish in the Royal Borough, Shottesbrooke contains one of the most noteworthy churches in Berkshire. The parish is centred on Shottesbrooke Park, where the church was built in 1370 as one of only three collegiate churches in the country. Unlike the majority of local...

  2. 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...

  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 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...

  5. Add Reading to your Itinerary

    Reading

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Reading

    Perhaps the most bustling and energetic town in Berkshire, Reading is an appealing combination of excellent shopping facilities and historic buildings.

  6. Add Windsor to your Itinerary

    Windsor

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Windsor

    While the magnificent Windsor Castle is this majestic town's main attraction, don't miss the tranquil Savill Garden, or the family-friendly Legoland just a short drive away.

  7. 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.

  8. Add Littlewick Green to your Itinerary

    Littlewick Green

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    The village is set just off the main Bath Road two miles west of Maidenhead and has a certain charm, with many of its cottages and houses set around a sizeable green with the school and parish church completing the picture. Also here is 'Redroofs', the former home of Ivor Novello, where many of...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...