Berkshire is known for its long history of sheep farming and one of the largest sheep fairs in the country is still held at East Ilsley. One of the home counties, Berkshire was recognised by the Queen as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 due to one of the oldest and largest Royal Residences in the world, Windsor Castle.
Berkshire is located to the west of London in the M4 corridor with none of the county being further than around ten miles from the motorway. Spanning 487 square miles, Berkshire borders Hampshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire
Berkshire is a county of historic origin, a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council. The county town is Reading.
The geographic county occupies the valleys of the middle Thames and its tributary, the Kennet, immediately to the west of London. It is divided into six unitary authorities: Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, and Wokingham.