Retirement is a new beginning and where better for the over 55s to retire than the beautiful county of Berkshire? Just to the west of London with the River Thames flowing through the county, Berkshire is a county of contrasts with the historic town of Reading, Royal Windsor and Ascot and the market towns of Hungerford and Newbury and countless pretty villages. Berkshire is known for its heritage castles, country estates and picturesque countryside. Chalk ridgeways, meandering rivers and downs are wonderful places to walk. It’s also a modern county with great transport links and a wealth of places to relax, shop and dine. It’s the ideal place to enjoy the leisure time that retirement brings.
Home to Windsor Castle, the world’s largest and oldest inhabited castle and the Queen’s favourite weekend home, Windsor offers a fascinating mix of history, culture and heritage. Windsor is where you’ll find Dorney Court, a family home for more than 240 years and partially open to the public. Spend some of your retirement leisure time, exploring the mansion at Basildon Park – an 18th century mansion with a fine collection of furnishings and art works – or wander round the 400 acres of historic parkland and gardens. Ascot, just six miles from Windsor, is known worldwide for its spectacular racecourse.
If retirement means you’ve brought out your walking boots, you’ve plenty of choice of routes in Berkshire. Blackwater Valley Path follows the River Blackwater for 23 miles, there’s the Lambourn Valley Way between Uffington White Horse and Newbury and the Thames Path which follows the River Thames on its journey from the Cotswolds to London. You don’t have to travel far from Windsor to enjoy sweeping parkland, ancient woodland and forest trails – Windsor Great Park extends to over 4,800 acres and is home to the award-winning gardens, The Savill Garden and Valley Gardens. If you prefer to spend your hard-earned retirement on the golf course, Berkshire is well supplied with 39 golf clubs including the Berkshire Golf Club with two heathland courses, Sunningdale Golf Club and Mill Ride Golf Club. Or you could mess about on the river – with watersports on offer along the Thames.
From the market town stores to Newbury’s Kennet Shopping Centre, Nicholson’s Centre in Maidenhead and the Oracle Centre in Reading, Berkshire has a wonderful retail offering. Windsor is a lovely place to shop – browse round Peascod Street, Windsor Royal station and King Edward Court with contemporary stores and eateries, along with a fantastic range of independent retailers. Away from the races, Ascot is an attractive town with plenty of shops and café-bars and restaurants.