Berkshire divides into two clearly distinct sections with the boundary lying roughly on a north-south line through the centre of Reading. A trip to Berkshire during the UK school holidays combines the bustle of modern city life, with the history of ancient times.
The county of Berkshire lies to the west of London with its eastern boundary adjacent to Greater London. It stretches some 60 miles westwards to the Wiltshire border, with Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire to the north.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure that these half term holiday dates are accurate, there are occasions when circumstances beyond our control may result in changes.
Marvel at the skill and determination of the engineers who restored the 200 year old serene Kennet and Avon Canal in the 1990s after decades of decline. Horse drawn boats operate once again, delighting visitors every season. The Kennet and Avon Canal passes right through the south of West Berkshire taking in the surrounding North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The well maintained tow path enables visitors to enjoy the waterside route and the abundance of wildlife and plant life that have made the waterway their home. Angling, boating, canoeing, cycling and walking are just some of the ways to make use of this superb route.
By following the Canal through West Berkshire you can enjoy some of its most picturesque towns and villages; Hungerford, Kintbury, Marsh Benham, Midgham, Woolhampton, Aldermaston, Ufton Nervet, Sulhamstead and Burghfield are all en route, as is Newbury of course.
East Berkshire is relatively urbanised whilst the west is rural in character.
The River Thames runs along the Northern boundary and the area together with those counties that also have a boundary with the river, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire is commonly referred to as the Thames Valley.
With excellent road, rail and air links, Berkshire makes an idea base for a visit to the UK during the school holidays. Cheaper accommodation rates are generally to be found outside of the school holidays.
Further East in the county is Virginia Water. First dammed and flooded in 1753, Virginia Water was, until the creation of the great reservoirs, the largest man-made body of water in the British Isles.
The woodlands surrounding the lake have been continuously planted since the middle of the eighteenth century, and The Frost Farm Plantation, at the south-western end of the lake, is a designated SSI (Site of Special Interest) thanks to its maturity and biodiversity.
Visitors of all ages can still admire, on the south bank, the ornamental cascade from the 18th century and a ‘Roman temple' built from columns and lintels brought from the ancient city of Leptis Magna in the early 19th century. One of the area's more recent additions is a towering 100-foot high Totem Pole, a gift from the government of British Columbia.
The Royal Landscape is an area of a thousand acres of gardens and parkland, accessible to the public, at the southern end of Windsor Great Park. It includes The Savill Garden, The Valley Gardens and Virginia Water Lake. It is a man-made landscape, which has been shaped and planted over a period of 400 years. The Crown Estate is the owner and steward of Windsor Great Park.
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Berkshire is famous for Windsor Castle, Eton College, horse racing at Royal Ascot and Windsor racecourses as well as the many picturesque villages and historic houses that are waiting to be enjoyed during the UK school holidays.
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is home to many different and exciting attractions.
From equestrian events like polo and racing to the Changing of the Guard and carriage rides in Windsor Great Park, the Royal Borough of Berkshire offers great excitement for visitors on vacation during the UK half term holidays.
No trip to Berkshire during a half term break would be complete without a trip to the world famous Legoland near Windsor.
For those that prefer to get their feet wet why not take the family to a fun filled leisure pool with pirate ship, 3 giant water slides, rapids, volcano and geysers.
For the younger kids there are shallow waters a beach area, small slides and rain cloud. All this can be found at Coral Reef near Bracknell.
The Newbury area has a wealth of great days out for all the family. Experience fun at Beale Park, Bucklebury Farm Park and Krazy Klub Activity Centre. See history brought alive at Basildon Park, Shaw House and Highclere Castle.
You can be entertained at one of three theatres in and around the town or watch the latest movies at the seven screen cinema in the town centre.
For those people that would like a quieter break during half term, the area offers superb fishing on the River Kennet, inspiring walks across the Berkshire Downs or relaxing boat trips on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
At no cost at all you can explore Donnington Castle, Greenham Common and Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre, all easily accessible.