Berkshire is one of the oldest and most storied counties in England. It may date from the 840s, the likely time of the unification of Sunningum, East Berkshire and Ashdown of the Berkshire Downs, (presumably including the Kennet Valley). The region was initially specified by name in 860.
According to royal historian Asser, it takes its name from an extensive timberland of box trees that was called Bearroc (accepted, thusly, to be a Celtic word signifying “hilly”). Reading is the largest town in Berkshire and is about an hour from London by bus.
Towns in Berkshire
Berkshire has no cities at all, however, it is a Royal county and has many beautiful old towns and villages to see.
Reading is an extensive town and unitary district in the stately province of Berkshire, England. The town was genuinely affected by the English Civil War, with horrific sieges and sanctions, and assumed a significant part in the Revolution of 1688, with that upheaval’s only significant military activity taking place in the town’s streets.
The nineteenth century saw the arrival and introduction of the Great Western Railway and the improvement of the town’s brewing and agricultural businesses. Things to see in Reading include Forbury Gardens, Reading Abbey, and Basildon Park.
Slough is a large, industrial town in Berkshire, England, around 20 miles West of Greater London. Historically, Slough was predominantly in Buckinghamshire with a small piece of the borough proper in Middlesex.
Slough is home to the Slough Trading Estate, the biggest modern industrial estate in single private proprietorship in Europe. Things to do in Slough include Black Park Country Park, Absolutely Ice and The Race Hut.
A trip to the county of Berkshire would be incomplete without a day spent in the Royal Town of Windsor. Windsor is 21 miles to the west of Charing Cross, London. It lies south of the River Thames, which shares its borders with Eton.
The town of Old Windsor, a little more than 2 miles to the south, originates from before what is currently called Windsor by around 300 years; in the past Windsor was formally alluded to as New Windsor to help outline the difference between the two. Things to see in Windsor include Windsor Castle, St. George’s Chapel and Ascot Racecourse.
Parks and Gardens
Berkshire is a Royal County and is chock full of stately homes and wonderful gardens to match.
Englefield house Garden
A nineteenth century “Italian” enclosure encompassed by a twentieth-century forest arrangement. Wonderful old stone balustrades and staircases encase the lower porch and a kids’ play garden. The beautiful main garden is surrounded by a deer park with glorious views over the sparkling lake and rolling countryside.
Welford Park is a private house, and for the greater part of the year, its grounds are closed to the general public. However, in a custom that is currently in excess of fifty years old,
the grounds are opened to allow guests to view the year’s blossom of Snowdrops and, to a lesser degree, Aconites. The blooms flourish with the chalk-rich soil, framing a white cover over the house’s riverside beech forest.
Windsor Great Park
The park has a beautiful, 2-mile stretch of plane trees and horse chestnuts, leading gently up to an equestrian statue of George III. The Long Walk in Windsor Great Park was devised during the rule of Charles II, as a double column of elm trees.
It runs from Windsor Castle to the Copper Horse (around 3 miles). A project of swapping the elms for oak started in 1859 and, where the trees didn’t thrive, this was stretched out to incorporate Horse Chestnuts and London Planes. A number of the trees present today in the Lond Walk were actually planted in the 1920s.
Attractions and Places to See
Windsor Castle is a royal home based in Windsor in the English royal county of Berkshire. The castle is enormous and is best known for its long relationship with the English and later British monarchy as well as for its building design. The first building was erected in the eleventh century after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror.
Since the time of Henry I, it has been lived in by successive rulers and is now recognized as the longest lived-in royal residence in Europe. The castle’s extravagant, early nineteenth century State Apartments are extremely noteworthy in the field of architecture, portrayed by art historian Hugh Roberts as “a superb and unrivaled sequence of rooms widely regarded as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste.”
This perfectly intact and proud old castle stands majestically on the site of what was once a house, which itself was erected on the foundations of the medieval royal residence of the Bishops of Winchester, who possessed this estate from as early as the eighth century. The first site was actually recorded in the Domesday Book. Since 1679, the palace has been home to the Carnarvon family.
In 1956, Beale Park was founded by Gilbert Beale who chose to give this excellent 350 acre, Thames-side parkland to ‘the people’ by changing it from private farmland into a non-profit, public trust. In those days it wasn’t much more than a small track and a few small fish ponds.
There is now an enormous exhibit of attractions, from a stroll through an aviary, nature trails, owlery, and a deer park as well as summertime river trips, adventure play areas for kids as well as paddling pools, set against the beautiful and idyllic backdrop of the majestic River Thames.
Things to Do
As well as having beautiful old buildings and stately gardens to see, Berkshire has a raft of things to do and activities to try.
Legoland is an amusement park and resorts in Windsor, Berkshire in England, themed around the popular creative building toy, Lego. It opened in 1996 on the previous Windsor Safari Park site as the second Legoland, following on from Legoland Billund in Denmark.
The park’s attractions comprise a mixture of exciting Lego-themed rides, extremely intricate large-scale Lego models, as well as very interesting building workshops held by Lego experts from around the world.
Bucklebury Farm Park
Bucklebury Farm Park is an animal park situated in the old market town of Bucklebury in Berkshire, England. The Farm Park itself comprises of a fantastic range of animals, play supplies, and the famous “Deer and Woody’s Cafe” which opened in 2013 and has been a runaway success ever since. Interestingly, Bucklebury Farm Park also has a Jumping Pillow which is one of just a few anywhere in the UK.
Absolutely Ten Pin
Absolutely Ten Pin is the ideal bowling venue for gatherings, chilling out and unwinding with family and friends. You can simply turn up and play or pre-book your lane to prevent any waiting around for your turn,
with a lavish VIP suite, American Pool Tables, a fantastic food service and all your favorite alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, lovingly served from our stylish late night bar.
Afternoon Tea Ideas in Berkshire
Berkshire is one of the traditional homes of English Afternoon Tea with its early roots in the British Aristocracy and Monarchy.
The Forbury, Reading
The Forbury has been published nationally as ‘The UK’s Sexiest Townhouse Hotel’ by The Evening Standard. The Forbury is just 20 minutes from London and is easily reachable by train or bus.
Afternoon Tea is served in the Cerise Brasserie, Library or Lounge. On the menu can be found Finger sandwiches, home-made scones with preserve and clotted cream, selections of cakes and a choice of fine blend tea or high-quality coffee.
The Vineyard, Newbury
Exclusively owned by Sir Peter Michael, The Vineyard is situated conveniently just outside Newbury and is only about one hour from Greater London. The Vineyard conveys a unique atmosphere that you will be hard pushed find anywhere else in Britain,
with the menu offering warm homemade scones with strawberry preserve and Dorset clotted cream as well as a fine selection of sandwiches and exquisite tea.
Cantley House, Wokingham
Cantley House Hotel proudly exhibits award-winning contemporary cuisine in a beautiful, rural setting. The lovingly restored restaurant is situated inside a stunningly refurbished, seventeenth-century outbuilding.
Afternoon Tea comprises of a trio of exquisite finger sandwiches, tasty scones and delicate homemade shortbread and cakes.
Wedding Venues in Berkshire
While most normal folks can’t afford a royal wedding, there is still no shortage of wedding venues in the Royal County to lend a monarchic, high class feel to any wedding day.
Mansion House, Wokefield Park
With its manicured gardens, beautiful lake and 250 acres of Royal Berkshire’s finest countryside, The Mansion House, Wokefield Park has a magical air of otherworldly romance and a wonderful atmosphere of escape.
The ideal venue for your wedding, the eighteenth century Mansion House offers considerably more than just elegant beauty and quiet pride.
Basildon Park, Basildon
Basildon Park is a wonderful, grand old Georgian house originating from and built in the late eighteenth century, encompassed by magnificent parkland.
The building, which was initially planned as a venue for entertainments that were a well known and regular feature of country house life, gives a one of a kind and authentic setting for your unique day.
Campsites / Caravans :
One of the greener counties, Berkshire offers lovely scenery replete with quiet parkland and sedate country walks as well as fantastic camp and caravan sites.
Caravan Club Sites
• Rhodeside Caravan Club Site, Chapel Lane, Curridge, Newbury, Berkshire
• Stroud Farm, Holyport, Maidenhead, Berkshire
• Farncombe Farm, Baydon Road, Lambourn, Berkshire
• Wellington Country Park, Odiham Road, Riseley, Reading, Berkshire
• California Chalet & Touring Park, Nine Mile Ride, Finchampstead, Wokingham, Berkshire
• The Langley Hall Inn, Old Oxford Road, Beedon, Newbury, Berkshire
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