Berkshire is renowned for its royal heritage, historic towns, and rural beauty. Situated in the South of England and just a short journey from London, it’s not hard to see why it’s one of Britain’s favourite Home Counties.

Whether you’re needing an escape from the busy capital or you’re a local looking for an afternoon out, this county has it all. We’ve scoured the area far and wide and compiled a list of our favourite days out in Berkshire.

Visit the Royal Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle - Days Out in Berkshire

Open throughout the year, Windsor Castle transports you through the last 900 years of British royal history. Here, you can take tours through state apartments, castle treasuries and St George’s chapel (where Harry and Meghan got married), as well as witness the changing of the guard.

With events held on the castle grounds throughout the year including exclusive tours and exhibitions, Windsor Castle is a truly royal day out in Berkshire.

Find at: Windsor Castle, Windsor, SL4 1NJ

Meander through Maidenhead

Maidenhead - Days Out in Berkshire

Maidenhead (which is home to Essential Living’s Berkshire House) is a quintessential day out in Berkshire. Whether you’re ambling down the banks of the Thames, enjoying a drink in a local pub or shopping in the town centre, there’s loads to do in this market town.

Cruise down the Thames with the French Brothers, and drink in the beautiful scenery of Berkshire as you drift from Maidenhead to Windsor. Or try your hand at kayaking and wakeboarding at Taplow Lake.

We love Maidenhead so much that we created a guide dedicated to the town, which can be viewed here.

Delve into nature at the Living Rainforest

The Living Rainforest - Days Out in Berkshire

If you’re after some greenery, then overload your senses and experience the sights, sounds and smells of a tropical rainforest at the Living Rainforest just outside of Reading.

The Living Rainforest encompasses a stunning collection of plants and animals native to jungles around the world. Take a stroll and look out for tropical birds, vibrant orchids and the elusive sloth.

The Living Rainforest is a perfect destination for a dose of nature and education, making it one of our favourite days out in Berkshire.

Find at: Hampstead Norreys, RG18 0TN | Follow @livingrainforest

Go on set at Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle - Days Out in Berkshire

If you were an avid fan of Downton Abbey back in the day, then this destination is for you. Visit the very place it was set and filmed: Highclere Castle.

Located just a few miles south of Newbury, the 5000-acre estate dates back to 1679 and hosts an array of seasonal and cultural events throughout the year. Immerse yourself in this stunning estate and take in the magnificent architecture of the castle. Although technically located in Hampshire, it’s enjoyed as a local day out by many residents of Berkshire.

Find at: Highclere Park, Highclere, Newbury, RG20 9RN | Follow @highclere_castle

Dine in a Michelin starred restaurant at L’Ortolan

L'Ortolan - Days Out in Berkshire

If high-end French cuisine is your thing, then L’Ortolan is a must. Here you can enjoy fine-dining with a view as you taste the ravishing menu in the impressive grade II listed building.

And if sampling the ten course discovery menu isn’t quite enough, you can book a Michelin cooking experience, where the chefs will teach you just how they produce their sensational dishes, so you can master the tricks of the trade and indulge in traditional French cuisine.

Find at: Church Lane, Shinfield, Reading, RG2 9BY | Follow @lortolan

Escape from it all in Cookham

Cookham - Days Out in Berkshire

Like all Home Counties, Berkshire is not short of those peaceful, picturesque villages that belong in a painting. Cookham is one of those places.

It’s a perfect rural escape from the hustle and bustle of the busier cities, but that doesn’t mean it’s short of things to do. We’d recommend taking a stroll along the banks of the river Thames and stopping at a local pub for a late lunch. We love The Ferry for its stylish interior, delicious food (including a vegan menu) and the quintessential beer garden looking out over the river.

Place your bets at Newbury Racecourse

Newbury Racecourse - Days Out in Berkshire

With flat and jump races held throughout the year, Newbury Racecourse emanates exclusivity for the elite.

Don your best hat at Ladies Day, or admire the Arabian horses at the Dubai International Race Day. If you’re not much of an equestrian, you can still enjoy the Contemporary Art Fair, Christmas parties and the fan favourite: Gin Thursdays.

Whether you want to place a bet or simply enjoy the electric atmosphere of a race day, there really is something for everyone to enjoy at the races.

Find at: Racecourse Road, Newbury, RG14 7NZ | Follow @newburyracecourse

Relax at the Vineyard Spa

Vineyard Spa - Days Out in Berkshire

After all the excitement that Berkshire has to offer, you’ll need a place to wind down, and luckily, it has a place for that too.

Book yourself in for a wellness and pampering session at the Vineyard Spa. Whether that’s in the form of a massage, a facial, or simply enjoying the luxurious facilities on offer, which include a pool, jacuzzi and sauna. The spa even has treatments tailored for men, so there really is no excuse to not give yourself a well-deserved pamper.

Find at: The Vineyard, Stockcross, Newbury, RG20 8JU | Follow @thevineyardhotel

Wander around Windsor Great Park

Windsor Great Park - Days Out in Berkshire

The clue is in the name: Windsor Great Park is pretty great. And it’s easily one of the best days out in Berkshire. The magnificent grounds are spread over 4800 acres of both gardens and ancient woodland.

Admire the year-round beautiful blooms at Savill Garden or encounter deer as you take on the historic Long Walk. Or for the more adventurous, grab your trainers and try mountain biking through Swinley Forest to get your heart racing.

Find at: The Crown Estate, Windsor Great Park, SL4 2LG | Follow @windsorgreatpark

Engage in the events at Newbury Showground

Newbury Showground - Days Out in Berkshire

Living outside of London has many perks, and embracing the rural life is one of these. Newbury Showground is one of the best places to get involved in that country life.

The grounds host all manner of events relating to the countryside, including dog shows, cycling events and an annual ploughing match. The venue also accommodates the Berkshire Show each year. This event runs across two days featuring livestock, food and crafts, equestrian competitions and endless shopping opportunities. This is one of those days out in Berkshire not to be missed.

Find at: Priors Court, Hermitage, RG18 9QZ | Follow @newbury_showground

Days Out in Berkshire

Berkshire really does have it all. Whether you’re an adventurer, a foodie, a royalist or an animal enthusiast, this place isn’t short of things to do.

So it comes as no surprise that commuters and country-dwellers alike both take up residence here. After all, who wouldn’t want to live in the beautiful countryside with so many things to do right on your doorstep?


Berkshire House - Essential Living

Hannah Flint


Hannah curates the best lifestyle content for our readers. From the best destinations and days out through to the hottest local hangouts and up-and-coming eateries.