Berkshire is a county in the South East region of England, located immediately to the west of London. Whilst its proximity to the capital and its own centres of commerce ensure a large and affluent population, Berkshire still possesses much rural scenery, including long stretches of the River Thames. A visit to Windsor and its royal castle is a must for any first-time visitor to Britain.
Towns and villages
The following towns and villages may be of interest to visitors:
- Goring and Streatley
- Hungerford (England)
- Bray — home to three-star Michelin restaurant and molecular gastronomy pioneer, The Fat Duck
- Beale Park, Lower Basildon, Pangbourne, 0870 777 7160. Low Season (March & Oct) 10AM-5PM; High Season (Apr-Sept 10AM-6PM). A 350-acre park dedicated to the conservation of birds and a smaller selection of mammals, with children's playgrounds, cafeteria and steam train. £6.00 adults, £4.00 children.
On the whole Reading is a safe place, but, like most towns and cities in the country it can have its problems. The centre on a Friday and Saturday night can be intimidating for someone if they are not used to the kind of atmosphere generated.
Just west of Reading town centre, and in particular the Oxford Road district, though improved, has suffered from drug abuse and the sex trade. These areas are similar to those found around London, and are best avoided at night. The Forbury Gardens and Abbey ruins, though attractive during the day, are best avoided after dark.
As always just be cautious of your surroundings; it's obvious in Reading when one enters into a rougher area, but generally one's chances of being a victim in Reading are slim.