Places of Interest
The details below are intended as a general guide only. For specific tour details, first check Availability and then follow the link from the Tour Description.
is the finest occupied Victorian castle in England and has recently become famous as the setting for the hugely popular television drama ‘Downton Abbey‘. It was the home of Lord Carnarvon, who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, and there is an exhibition of Egyptian objects throughout the cellars. Visitors can tour the castle’s state rooms, including the richly decorated Saloon with its remarkable leather wall coverings and the music room with a Baroque ceiling and walls adorned with Italian embroideries, as well as the staircases and some first floor bedrooms.
one of the UK’s most historic houses, is set in 2,000 acres of award-winning formal gardens, pioneered by landscape architect ‘Capability’ Brown in the 18th century. The Palace was built on Queen Anne’s orders for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, in recognition of his victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704, a victory that saved Europe from French domination. Blenheim Palace is also famed as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s great wartime leader and visitors can see the Churchill Exhibition including the room where he was born in 1874. Tours of the State Rooms reveal the rich history of the Palace and its collection, including a magnificent series of tapestries and a host of exquisite treasures.
occupies an idyllic setting on the east bank of the River Thames as it flows through the ‘Goring Gap’, within a Designated Area of Outstanding Beauty. The spectacular scenery in and around Goring is the setting for such classic stories as ‘The Wind In The Willows‘ and ‘Watership Down‘ and the rural landscape is some of the most photographed in the country.
Visitors can enjoy scenic riverside walks, nature trails or just browsing the excellent choice of shops.
is a town full of history and charm, dominated by 900 year old Windsor Castle, which is the largest inhabited castle in the world. The castle and gardens are open to the public for most of the year. The town of Windsor is full of interesting buildings, including the Old King’s Head which has a plaque recording the execution warrant for Charles I in 1648. Some believe that Shakespeare penned ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor‘ here. Other sights to look out for are the Parish Church and the Guildhall, built by Sir Christopher Wren, as well as the Crooked House tearoom and Queen Charlotte Street, which at just over 50ft in length is officially the shortest street in Britain. Just across the river from Windsor is Eton College, founded in 1440 by Henry VI. Tours are available, including an exhibition of the College’s history and the oldest school room in the world.
was founded in the 12th century and is overlooked by the beautiful Chiltern landscape of wooded hills and open fields. Best known for its annual Royal Regatta, Henley attracts some of the world´s finest rowers and its association with the sport is demonstrated at the town’s River and Rowing Museum. Henley is also home to the Kenton Theatre, one of the oldest performing theatres in the country.
is just a 30 minute bus ride from Wallingford and offers a wealth of attractions. With its magnificent architecture, impressive yet intimate colleges, romantic rivers and hidden nooks and crannies as well as an impressive array of shops the ‘City of Spires’ makes for a delightful day out.
is a delightful market town, purported to be the oldest town in England. For centuries it was dominated by a great Benedictine Abbey, larger than Westminster Abbey is today, which was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1538 following the dissolution of the monasteries. A few of the original buildings survive close to the river. Abingdon’s intriguing museum is housed in an elegant building with stunning rooftop views over the town. There are many interesting shops and cafés located around the pedestrian square and there is a regular Monday market that has been established since the early 1300’s.
is a university town which has a history spanning 1200 years. The museum contains a fascinating array of objects from around the world, including Britain’s full size copy of the Bayeux Tapestry which was completed in 1885. Nearby Stratfield Saye House has been home to the Dukes of Wellington since 1817. Visitors can view the fascinating collection of paintings and furniture and see the Wellington Exhibition featuring his magnificent funeral carriage and charting his military and political life. Reading has a great selection of shops, from high street brands in its two modern shopping malls to quirky little sweet shops and high-end jewellers.
is an attractive market town in west Berkshire; the Kennet and Avon Canal dissects the town which has many historical buildings and places of interest, including the Corn Exchange Theatre and the Museum by the Canal. Newbury Racecourse is within one mile of the town centre and is home to the finest racing stables in the country.
is a market town which lies at the foot of the Berkshire Downs escarpment. It was the birthplace of the Anglo-Saxon king Alfred the Great in the 9th century and the residence for many years of Poet Laureate John Betjeman: the ringing chamber of the town’s 13th century Parish Church holds a handwritten copy of ‘Wantage Bells’, which was written for the wedding of his daughter during which the bells were rung. The town’s buildings are mostly 17th and 18th century and are set in narrow cobbled streets and passages. The Vale and Downland museum, which resides in a Grade II listed converted 17th century cloth-merchant’s house, contains a number of exhibitions and artefacts relating to local history.