The Royal County of Berkshire receives its honorific title because one of the Queen’s three official residences, Windsor Castle, lies within its boundaries. The most important landmark in the east of the county, the 900-year-old castle is the county’s major tourist attraction.
Berkshire extends over some 485 square miles in the valley of the middle Thames and is divided into six main districts. The western area of the county is important for racing and the training of racehorses, with a top-class course at Newbury, and the training centres of Lambourn and East Ilsley.
Another feature of West Berkshire is the number of communication routes that flow across the region linking London with the West Country, dominated today by the M4 motorway. The ancient Ridgeway Path, England’s oldest road, follows the county border with Oxfordshire, and...