Berkshire Attractions

Berkshire offers visitors a choice of local attractions in the county, visitors can choose from a range of interesting and charming places to discover. The county includes a number of historic houses, museums, parks, gardens, historic buildings, theatre, concerts and events. Berkshire’s location in the south of England close to London means the tranquil English countryside and the great outdoors are all within reach located close to local towns and villages with a range of things to see and do in the county.

We have outlined a number of interesting attractions and places to visit for visitors to Berkshire, these include:

Dorney Court has been the home of the Palmer family for several hundred years. It is a Grade I listed building, earmarked as being of outstanding architectural and historical interest. Located close by to Windsor Dorney Court has been the manor house of Dorney village, the manor house is situated close to the village and common, where you can still see cattle and sheep grazing.

Private tours of the house are available by prior appointment throughout the year, the tours give visitors a real insight into the history and heritage of the house, highlights include the impressive Great Hall. It can be hired for special occasions or for business and even a course for quad bikes. The Dorney Court Kitchen Garden is a horticultural centre where visitors can enjoy hot and cold drinks, cream teas and snacks in the café.

Windsor Castle is one of the three official residences of the Queen, the castle is regarded currently as the largest inhabited castle in the world and the oldest in continuous occupation. The towers are imposing and create a great spectacle. The main areas visitors can see are, the State Apartments, St George’s Chapel, Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, the Castle Exhibition and the exhibition in the Drawings Gallery. In addition from October to March, the semi-state rooms can also be viewed. The semi-state rooms include The Green Drawing Room, The Crimson Drawing Room, The State Dining Room and The Octagon Dining Room. Damaged by fire in 1992, it castle has been subject to painstaking restoration work in light of this.

Legoland in Windsor offers the chance to enjoy a fun day out for the whole family at one of the most popular attractions in the UK. There are many attractions, rides and shows here to keep the whole family entertained. With the sheer variety of rides, shows and attractions it is aimed at everyone. It is set in scenic parkland, there are also interactive rides to get you more involved in the whole experience. There are new rides being put on regularly with many different themes. There are also a programme of music and fireworks that are a spectacular sight, it is best to check to see when these are on to avoid disappointment.

Historic Eton College was founded back in 1440, located in the town of Eton in Berkshire. The college admits boys aged from 13 to 18 who must take competitive exams to get in to one of the most prestigious and exclusive schools in the world. Eton has educated a number of British Prime Ministers, statesmen and royalty including Prince William. The famous school dress that includes a black tailcoat and waistcoats with pin-striped trousers dates back to the 1850s. Visitors can go on guided tours of the College that provide an interesting insight in to the school and include the Cloisters, the College Chapel, the oldest classroom in the college and the Museum of Eton Life.

Highclere Castle and its beautiful gardens are a popular place for visitors to Berkshire to explore. The castle bears a resemblance to the Houses of Parliament which was built at the same time. It is the family home of Lord and Lady Carnarvon, the 7th Earl and Countess, Highclere Castle is striking and imposing and its ornate exterior is matched by the striking interior design.

The informative tour of the historical state rooms includes an exhibition about the history of the Highclere Stud. The interesting Egyptology exhibition shows the experiences and discoveries made by the Fifth Earl of Carnarvon with the Egyptologist, Howard Carter, discovered Tutankhamun’s Tomb. This was a momentous discovery in the history of archaeology. The Highclere Tea room serves light lunches in the afternoon. There is also a gift shop to get souvenirs from. The Castle is situated in 6000 acres of unspoilt landscape containing lakes, walled gardens, and some dramatic scenery.

Frogmore House is located inside the grounds of Windsor Home Park close to Windsor Castle. The historic dates back to the 17th century and is located in 33 acres of private gardens. Built as a royal retreat, the house is no longer a royal residence but is still used by the royal family for entertaining. There are a number of things to see in the house, visitors can go on a guided tour to gain an insight in to the history of the house and its royal occupants. The house is known for its interior and highlights include the Cross Gallery and the Britannia Room.

The gardens includes a lake visitors can see a number of historic plantings that include tulip trees and redwoods, the gardens provide a scenic setting next to the historic house.

Reading Museum is located inside the town hall in the centre of Reading. The building is a well known local landmark, noted for its Victorian gothic architecture. There is plenty to see and o here for visitors with eleven galleries to explore along with a number of objects, artefacts and collections and a changing programme of temporary collections. The museum tells visitors the storey of the town of Reading along with its local history and natural environment. Natural history collections include local environment and entomology, the art collections includes Victorian and oil paintings, whilst the archaeology collection includes the Thames Water collection. The museum also hosts a number of informative talks and family activities.

North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is located in Berkshire and Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Wiltshire. The area features a spectacular and unique landscape that includes woodlands, chalk streams, heritage sites and a perfect place to enjoy walking, riding and cycling. Covering a total of 670 square miles, it was designated a AONB back in 1972. Visitors to the West Sussex Downs can enjoy a wonderful scenic natural environment making it an ideal place to go for a scenic countryside walk, enjoy a picnic and take part in outdoor activities. There are a number of historic houses, country parks and estates and commons within the boundary of the AONB.

For theatre connoisseurs the Theatre Royal in Windsor has been putting on shows to appreciative audiences since 1910. The compact theatre hosts many productions and has a traditional pantomime every Christmas. This beautiful theatre is located in the shadow of Windsor Castle and is the only unsubsidised producing theatre to operate all year round in Britain. With its wide program of works there is likely to be something for most theatre tastes. The theatre has gained a fine reputation for the good quality of its productions and is thought of currently as among the top theatres in the UK.

It is recommended that prior to visiting Berkshire; visitors do their research and ensure any sights and attractions they plan on visiting are actually open on the days you intend on coming. The transport is also worth checking as maintenance and engineering works can mean a restricted service on public transport and the road network.

Berkshire is a county that offers visitors with a mix of towns and market villages including a number of picturesque locations in the Berkshire countryside to enjoy in addition to the attractions in the urban centres. The towns of Reading and Newbury offer an ideal place from which to explore the county and range of attractions, charming market towns and villages ensuring visitors can enjoy both the urban and rural when visiting the county.

The county includes a number of historic attractions, museums, historic houses, parks and open spaces, gardens and churches with some well known attractions including Windsor Castle, Highclere Castle, Eton College and family attractions such as Legoland Windsor. Berkshire’s attractions ensure visitors can enjoy a short break, weekend away or a longer stay here.

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