Berkshire has a rich and varied landscape, matched by its rich historic environment. The chalk hills of the Berkshire Downs have attracted human habitation since prehistoric times and contain a number of important Neolithic and Bronze Age sites. Later periods saw the landscape dotted with Roman villas and medieval castles, the remains of which are present today. Sites include:
- The area around the Vale of the White Horse (included here because the Downs were once wholly in Berkshire). This area contains the Neolithic long barrow at Wayland’s Smithy; the Bronze Age Uffington White Horse; and the late Bronze Age/early Iron Age hillforts of Liddington and Uffington.
- Seven Barrows Bronze Age cemetery, which actually contains more than 30 barrows!
- The Ridgeway which is possibly Britain’s oldest road having been used for at least 5000 years.
- Roman villas at Cox Green, Cornhill Farm, Lower Basildon and Woolstone. Two Roman roads, Camlet Way and Ermin Street, pass through the county too.
- A wealth of castles, many built during the turbulent 12th century civil war between Stephen and Matilda. These include Donnington Castle and, of course, Windsor Castle.
- A number of abbeys and monastic sites such as Hurley Priory, Bisham Abbey and Reading Abbey.