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The Buying Agent Insider Guide


The county of Berkshire wears its historic connections with the Royal Family well, having had the honour of being named the ‘Royal’ county by The Queen in 1957, recognising the vital part Windsor Castle plays in both the life of Her Majesty and the county itself.

If the Royal Standard is flying over Windsor Castle it means the Monarch is ‘at home’ and indeed she does feel at home when she is in residence at this magnificent 11th Century edifice, which is well worth a visit, dripping as it is in ceremony and history.

If Windsor feels like the historic centre of Berkshire then don’t let that paint a picture of a county which is all about its past. Berkshire combines pretty and historic towns and villages with a modern, upbeat economy based on the powerhouses of places such as Reading and Wokingham, with their easy transport connections to London. Add in some glorious countryside to provide breathing space from the conurbations and you have the most wonderful of counties in which to live.


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Reading – ever-burgeoning with its hi-tech comms businesses and its fast train links to London, Reading has managed to balance new development with the old, meaning there is a fabulous range of properties on offer to buyers.

Windsor – historic and charming, Windsor is a fantastic place to call home with its mix of ancient streets offering everything from Tudor splendour to modern apartments.

Henley on Thames – the river runs through it and Henley is a gorgeous place to call home if you like messing about on the river and owning a property which could either be one of the iconic riverside mansions or, equally, a modern flat or townhouse.

Newbury – this medieval gem offers some wonderful property choices from the historic to the modern, spanning all types of design and build.

Goring-on-Thames – another community to take its cue from the river, Goring is green and gorgeous and some of the properties take the breath away. Discreet living is eminently possible here, with many a mansion tucked away from view but offering luxury and fine living in some of the most agreeable surroundings in the UK.


Best hotels in Berkshire

Cliveden House ( is just about as good as it gets when it comes to a country house hotel and estate. Impeccable service, amazing rooms and simply superb fine dining options combine to make a stay at this historic property simply magnificent. Hurley House Hotel ( is simply wonderful – a magnificently developed property at the heart of the county with easy access to the River Thames and all the facilities one might expect from a hotel at the top of its game. Coworth Park ( brings all the service and standards one might expect from the iconic Dorchester hotel brand to a country setting which is stunning and unmatched in its design.


Best restaurants in Berkshire

Never mind the best restaurants in Berkshire – the county’s delightful village of Bray needs a listing all of its own, home as it is to no less than three Michelin-starred restaurants: The Waterside Inn ( is the iconic restaurant opened by brothers Michel and Albert Roux which every year retains its wonderful three-star rating. The Fat Duck ( Heston Blumenthal’s original and best restaurant, pretty much redefined fine dining upon opening and is still home to amazing food, constantly pushing the boundaries. Not content with this, Blumenthal also has the Hind’s Head ( a more traditional establishment in a 15th Century setting where the food has a wow factor you will remember for years to come.

Moving away from Bray, elsewhere in the county try L’ortolan ( for exceptional food in an atmospheric setting, The Woodspeen ( a restaurant and cookery school set in a 19th Century farmhouse, or The Crowne ( for French cooking presented with élan and attention to detail.


Best schools in Berkshire

Eton College ( continues to stand as a beacon for all that is right in education and standards, offering an unsurpassed experience to boys from 13 to 18. Pangbourne College ( prides itself on the level of pastoral care it offers to boys and girls aged 11 to 19, as well as the excellence of its academic record. Downe House School ( offers an excellent and fulfilling educational experience to girls aged from 11 to 18. 


Buying Agents Berkshire Fact

Reading was home to the first of the UK’s quirky and well known Little Chef roadside restaurants, which opened in Oxford Road in 1958.




James Nightingall