Special Sub-Topic: Berkshire and Oxfordshire for Visitors
|Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world.|
t. Highlights of the twelfth-century castle include artworks by Van Dyck and Leonardo da Vinci, plus the soaring sixteenth-century St George's Chapel. Outside the castle lies the huge Windsor Great Park, which stretches all the way to the lake at Virginia Water in Surrey. Across the River Thames you might explore Eton College. Past pupils, who dressed in top hats and dress coasts, include a huge proportion of British Prime Ministers.
|Which of these people are you most likely to find at the annual Reading Festival in Berkshire?|
Rock groups. The festival in the town of Reading attracts the biggest names in rock and punk, plus a variety of other musicians and comedians. The Womad festival, which takes place annually on the same site by the River Thames, showcases world music.
|Which theme park lies in southeast Berkshire?|
Legoland. Legoland allows you to see the sights of the world, made from little multi-coloured bricks! If you want a rather grander day out, Ascot racecourse, which was founded by Queen Anne in 1711, is now best-known for hosting the Royal Ascot racing festival.
|Which annual event takes place on the river at Henley-on-Thames, in Oxfordshire?|
Regatta. The Henley Regatta is a famous, and very grand, amateur rowing championship, with competitors often of Olympic standard. Just north of Henley lie the Chiltern Hills, ideal for walking, and Stonor Park, a grand Tudor house which was a refuge for persecuted Catholics, and was, much later, where Graham Greene wrote 'Our Man in Havana'.
|According to the nursery rhyme, to which Oxfordshire town might you "ride a cock horse"?|
Banbury. The present Banbury Cross is less than 150 years old, having replaced the mediaeval immortalised in the rhyme. The town is also known for Banbury Cakes, a tasty pastry with raisins.
|Which British Prime Minister was born in the glorious surroundings of Blenheim Palace?|
Winston Churchill. Blenheim, the only non-royal palace in England, is also the nation's largest private house. Everything in the Baroque mansion is of the most glorious quality - furniture from Versailles, carvings by Grinling Gibbons, décor by Nicholas Hawksmoor, and the overall design by John Vanbrugh. Meanwhile, the extensive gardens were landscaped by Capability Brown. If you can only visit one eighteenth-century house in Britain, make this the one.
|What is the correct name of the valley in southern Oxfordshire?|
Vale of the White Horse. The Vale of the White Horse is named after the 2000-year-old white horse carved in the Berkshire Downs (although now in Oxfordshire). The horse is more than one hundred metres long and marked with chalk. Other Iron Age sites in the area include several hill forts and burial mounds, and the ancient Ridgeway track along the top of the downs, making this a fascinating place for a walk.
|Which picturesque range of hills runs from Gloucestershire into western Oxfordshire?|
Cotswolds. Western Oxfordshire is dotted with picturesque villages and small towns, such as Burford and Chipping Norton. This area also contains William Morris' summer house at Kelmscott. This Tudor manor house now displays many of his masterful arts and crafts designs.
|Which Oxford-based museum claims to be the oldest in the world?|
Ashmolean Museum. The Ashmolean Museum was opened in 1683, and now exhibits a huge range of art and archaeology. The nearby Pitt-Rivers Museum has objects brought by British explorers from around the world, while other fascinating museums in the city include the Museum of Oxford with exhibits on local history, the Bate Collection of woodwind instruments, the Museum of the History of Science. Galleries include the Christ Church Picture Gallery, showcasing Michelangelo and da Vinci paintings and Modern Art Oxford, and the city is also home to the four-hundred year old Bodleian Library - the second largest in the country.
|Which is college of the University of Oxford was the first to be founded?|
University College. University College was founded in 1249, but more impressive are Christ Church, with its own cathedral, and Magdalen College, with its own deer park. Also worth a visit in the city are the botanical gardens (Britain's oldest), situated by the River Cherwell, on which you might go punting, or you might visit one of the many classical concerts.
Oxford is just one of the unmissable gems in the counties of Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The region makes for great day-trips from London, but rewards a longer visit.
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