An imposing 18th-c Georgian mansion set in 400 acres of rolling parkland, overlooking the Thames valley. Basildon Park hall was classically styled in Bath stone by John Carr in 1776 but fell into disrepair during the early 20th century. The estate was lovingly restored after the second world war by Lord and Lady Iliffe and is now managed by the National Trust.
Basildon Park Mansion © Hannah Brownlie
The house is filled with fine paintings and furniture, with some of the most beautifully decorated and intricate plasterwork covering both the walls and ceilings. Its most unusual feature is an elegant octagonal drawing room, which overlooks the small formal garden and terraces. Basildon Park is best known today for its feature role in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (written by Jane Austen).
Opening times: mid Mar to Oct,
Wed-Sun & BH Mon 12 to 5pm - Admission Charge
Location: Lower Basildon, Berkshire, RG8 9NR - Tel: 0118 984 3040 - Website
Facilities: Parking, picnic areas, tearooms, shop, toilets for disabled
A spacious wildlife reserve that spreads out amongst the rich flat meadowland alongside the Thames. The park is home to over 120 species of birds including flamingos, peacocks, parrots, owls and pheasants. There is also a rare breeds farm, with Meerkats, wallabies, monkeys and many other mammals.
The park also has a narrow gauge railway, adventure play area and pets corner for children. Boat trips are run during the summer months and visitors can relax and enjoy the park's beautiful gardens, lakes and riverside walks, in this very attractive and peaceful setting.
Opening times: mid Feb to Nov,
10am to 5pm daily - Admission Charge
Location: Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire, RG8 9NH
Tel: 0844 826 1761 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, picnic area, shop, toilets for disabled
The remains of a 14th-c, twin towered gatehouse, located with extensive earthworks that once formed part of a much larger medieval fortified manor. The original fortress consisted of a rectangular curtain wall with round towers at each corner. The imposing gatehouse, was originally constructed around a small courtyard. The rest of the fortress was demolish in 1646 by act of Parliament, following its use by the Royalists in the Civil War. The site is now maintained by English Heritage.
Opening times: any reasonable
time during daylight - Free Entry
Location: West Berkshire (1 mile north of Newbury on B4494) - Tel: 0870 333 1181
Image Credit: leefenn-tripp (CC0)
Renowned worldwide for its historic pedigree, Eton has produced 20 English prime ministers in its time. Regular guided public tours of the college are provided and visitors can also visit the museum of Eton Life, located in vaulted under-croft of the College Hall. The museum retraces the history of the college and the life of its pupils from its early beginnings in 1440, when it was founded by King Henry VI to provide education for the poorest pupils.
Other notable buildings include the west range of cloisters and the striking 16th century Lupton's Tower (shown right), which overlooks the main school yard. A statue of the college founder, Henry VI, stands regally amongst the cobbles in the yard.
Opening times: March to October.
Tours not available on Mon, Tue & Thur during term
time, see website for times. - Charge for tours
Location: Eton, Berkshire, SL4 6DB - Website
Facilities: Gift shop
This modest 18th century Royal Residence stands in the private grounds of Home Park, near to Windsor Castle. The house and gardens were greatly loved by Queen Victoria and are still used by the Royal Family for private entertaining today.
The internal décor reflects the interests and talents of several English Monarchs and their families, over many generations. The beautiful landscaped gardens are a joy to behold, surrounding the meandering banks of the tranquil Frogmore Lake. Queen Charlotte (wife of King George III) designed much of the gardens herself during the 18th century, with sweeping lawns, gravel paths and many rare and unusual plants.
Opening times: 15 to 17 May and
18 to 20 August 2012, 10am to 17:30pm - Admission
Location: Home Park, Windsor, SL4 1NJ - Tel: 020 7766 7305 - Website
Facilities: Parking, picnic area, shop
Image Credit: Mark Percy (CC2)
Fun and exciting children's adventure park based on the LEGO (modeling bricks) theme. It contains over 50 thrilling themed & interactive rides, plus shows and other amazing attractions based on LEGO bricks. A great day out for the family - aimed at children aged 3 to 12.Book Tickets Online with Attractiontix
Opening times: daily, mid Mar to early Nov from 10am to 5/6pm Admission Charge
Location: Winkfield Road, Windsor, SL4 4AY - Tel: 01753 626119
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, picnic area, shop
Founded in 1951, this unique museum illustrates the history of agricultural and farming life in rural England over the last 150 years. Exhibits include vintage tractors, farm machinery, scythes, ploughs, horse drawn wagons and country crafts. Amongst its many treasures is in an archive of over 100,000 rare photographs of agriculture, livestock farming, arable farming, landscapes and rural life from the 1920s to 1960s.
Opening times: all year, Tue-Fri,
9am to 5pm, Sat & Sun 2pm to 4.30pm (closed BHs, Xmas & New
Year) - Free Entry - Donations welcome
Location: University of Reading, Redlands Road, Reading, RG1 5EX - Tel: 0118 378 8660 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, picnic area, shop, disabled access, toilets for disabled
The best known of several horses carved into the chalk hillsides of southern England. It is seen best from the A420 near Swindon. It dates to the Iron Age, and was almost certainly associated with the Iron Age fort above it. From the top it is easy to identify the small, cone-shaped hill beside the road below where, according to tradition, St George killed the dragon. It is called Dragon Hill. The surrounding area is named the Vale of the White Horse.
England's largest inhabited castle and home of English monarchs since the time of William the conquer; who built the first fortress here in the 11th century.
Many parts of the castle are open to the public, including the elaborate State Apartments - magnificently decorated with finely carved, gilded ceilings and beautifully adorned furnishing. Many of the finest paintings from the Royal Collection adorn its walls, including works by Canaletto, Gainsborough, Rembrandt and Rubens.
The most elaborate building in the castle complex is the Gothic style St Georges Chapel, were the tombs of ten English monarchs reside, including Charles I and Henry VIII.
Many important people were once imprisoned at the Castle including, James I of Scotland and Thomas Howard (Earl of Surrey) who was held at Windsor before his execution.
South of the castle lies Windsor Great Park, a remnant of an extensive royal hunting forest with tree lined walks and ancient oaks, ideal for a pleasant afternoon stroll.
Opening times: daily Nov~Feb,
9.45am to 4.15pm; Mar~Oct, 9.45am to 5pm (closed Good
Fri & Xmas) - Admission Charge
Location: Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ - Tel: 020 7766 7304 - Website
Facilities: Shop, café, toilets for disabled
Please note that the above information was accurate at the time this page was last updated. This information is subject to change at any time (opening times in particular), therefore if you plan on visiting any of the above attractions, please check the owner's website first or phone them for the latest details.