Berkshire is one of the oldest counties in England, being created by Alfred the Great of Wessex. It is also proudly known officially as the Royal County of Berkshire, the title being bestowed upon it by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as her personal residence is at Windsor Castle.
Berkshire is one of the Home Counties west of London, the history of which has been strongly influenced by its strategic position and the River Thames which flows through it. The quiet scenes of English country life, the inspiration of so many artists and writers, still remain a reality. The Thames is a valuable leisure facility and traditional boating trips are enjoyed from numerous tranquil riverside villages.
The Berkshire Downs connect the Chiltern Hills in the east with the Marlborough Downs in the west. The Downs are a hilly area with well wooded valleys and especially open upland areas, famous for their ever present racehorse training gallops. Lambourn and the thatched villages of East Garston and Eastbury are famous for their horse-racing stables. There are racecourses at Ascot, Newbury and Windsor.
This is a land of bright sunshine and magnificent cloud formation. Here in summer is Ricard Jefferies, ‘rich blue of that unattainable flower of the sky …..’
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