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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 Duchess of Cambridge, 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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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 Runnymede to your Itinerary

    Runnymede

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Windsor Road, Windsor

    Runnymede is famous for its monuments, the most famous being the one to commemorate the Magna Carta. The area is a riverside setting of meadows, grassland and woodland with a network of pleasant paths and pleasure gardens.

  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 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Add Sunninghill to your Itinerary

    Sunninghill

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Sunninghill means 'the home of Sunna’s people'. Most of the development around the large country houses of the 18th century was accelerated by the discovery of health-giving salt springs and rapidly increased with the advent of the railway in 1841.

    Today Sunninghill is a favoured residential...

  6. 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...

  7. Add Maidenhead to your Itinerary

    Maidenhead

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Windsor, Maidenhead

    The town centre has a range of over 300 shops from the well known shops you would expect to many independent stores for that something different.

  8. 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...

  9. 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,...

  10. 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...