Berkhamsted is an historic town in the west of Hertfordshire, set on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, part of the borough of Dacorum. Berkhamsted is historically important as the place where the crown of England was offered to William the Conqueror in 1066. Shortly after the Battle of Hastings, the Normans skirted the Chilterns and prepared to storm London. The Saxon leaders went into damage limitation mode and rode to Berkhamsted where they surrendered to William the Conqueror in return for certain legal and banking privileges, still enjoyed by the city of London. William subsequently rode to London to be crowned King of England at Westminster on Christmas Day, 1066.
Berkhamsted is famous for its castle, which now lies in ruins. Throughout Berkhamsted's history kings and queens, princes and princesses, court favourites and distinguished foreign visitors stayed at the castle.
Nowadays Berkhamsted is a pretty market town with a bustling local economy. As well as being surrounded by attractive countryside, Berkhamsted is only 35 minutes from Euston, positioned just outside the bounds of the Greater London conurbation.
Read more about Berkhamsted in the About Berkhamsted section.
History of Berkhamsted
Find out more about the town's remarkable history by visiting our Berkhamsted history section.
Other places near Berkhamsted
Berkhamsted is conveniently close to several major towns and cities, which are great destinations for a day out if you are staying in Berkhamsted as well as providing a wealth of employment opportunities for the town's population. The main ones are listed below with appoximate distances from Berkhamsted and local websites to explore further:
The nearest town is Hemel Hempstead, which is just a few miles to the East of Berkhamsted and is considered the most populated urban area in Hertfordshire. Further East lies the historic market town of St. Albans with its spectacular cathedral.
About 10 miles South-East is Watford, a town with a strong commercial and business presence with many major employers, corporate head offices and its large Harlequin Shopping Centre.
About 10 miles North-East is Luton, the largest town in the area (though actually in Bedfordshire) with a population of around 240,000.
To the West lies Aylesbury, the county town of Buckinghamshire, and to the South West lies
High Wycombe, also in Buckinghamshire.
A little further afield (approx. 30 miles East), Oxford, the "city of dreaming spires" is well worth visiting owing to its world famous university and its striking architecture. Other Oxford attractions include the remarkable 18th century Radcliffe Camera and Oxford Castle which reincarnated as Oxford's local prison in the 18th century and today is a visitor attraction and hotel with guests staying in its former cells!