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14 Cultural Date Ideas In Berkshire That Won’t Cost You A Penny

14 Cultural Date Ideas In Berkshire That Won’t Cost You A Penny

Endless countryside trails and mystical woodlands make it easy to see why the Queen calls Berkshire home. But you don’t need diamonds in your pockets for these 14 cultural date ideas.

1. Picnic by the Thames?

    From its source at the Cotswolds to the bustling City of London, the Thames River winds its way through Berkshire. Part of the 184-mile National Trail, the Thames path hugs the river’s edge and offers countless idyllic settings for a perfect afternoon picnic date.

    2. Sneak a kiss in a gypsy caravan

      Take your date to the Riverside Museum. Home to both the Screen House and the Turbine House, these former industrial buildings depict bygone days on the river, including gypsy life.

      3. Take the Long Walk to Windsor Castle

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        Get to know your date on the long walk through Windsor Great Park. Take in the royal grandeur of the world’s oldest inhabited castle from afar without paying to look inside. End your day with a stroll around a stunning lake at nearby Virginia Water.

        4. “Grandma flew Spitfires.”

          What a great conversation starter on a first date. Maidenhead Heritage Centre is the permanent home to the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) exhibition, Grandma Flew Spitfires. On the doorstep, arched bridges criss-cross a river, providing a portrait setting for a cultural trip down memory lane. Local history and aviation talks are on offer throughout the year.

          5. Woo your date with poetry

            Stoke Poges churchyard was made famous by Poet, Thomas Grey’s Elegy, Written in a Country Churchyard.[1] Ironically, it also became his final resting place, alongside his mother and sister in an unmarked, unglamorous grave. Gray’s Elegy went on to be recited by adults and children alike, encompassing British culture; it’s a beautifully written memorandum to the rural working classes. You’ll surely impress your date by reciting a few lines and telling Grey’s story.

            6. Profess your love from an Iron Age hill fort

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              If you can’t decide between a hill walk or a woodland walk, why not head to quaint Bradenham Village where there’s a choice of pathways leading through beech woods, picturesque gardens and farmland. After the scenery warms your heart, when you reach the Iron Age fort where King Alfred fought off the Danes, if you’re feeling brave, ask for a second date.

              7. If you ruled the world…

                Stroll through the pretty riverside meadows at Runnymede and debate the cultural significance of the birthplace of democracy. In 1215, it was here that King John sealed the Magna Carta. Show off your best qualities and tell your date how life might be if you ruled the world.

                8. Follow in the footsteps of royalty

                  Just like Cromwell did, explore Donnington Castle and the surrounding downs and you’ll be walking in the footsteps of royalty. Built in the 14th century, the castle’s defences were key to keeping its residents safe during the English Civil War. They were built so well they are still intact today. Among its long list of notable visitors are thought to be Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

                  9. Connect over modern art

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                    After a romantic walk in the countryside, The Modern Artists Gallery near Pangbourne sets the perfect scene for connecting with your date over the talents of established and emerging artists. There’ll be no uncomfortable silences here.

                    10. Midsomer Murders trail

                      Okay, murder doesn’t usually go hand-in-hand with romance, however, fans of ITV’s Midsomer Murders will tell you that the Chilterns offer some of the prettiest rural walks in the UK. Crossing into Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, check out the locations used to shoot the series. There’s something about murder which will bring out the protector in one of you; a warm embrace is guaranteed.

                      11. Go Greek in Reading

                        Belonging to the University of Reading, The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology features the UK’s fourth largest collection of Greek ceramics. Also, it includes collections of Egyption and Pre-dynastic Roman artefacts.

                        12. Find giants in a tiny village church

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                          If you go on a date to the pint-sized village of Aldworth, you’ll discover St Mary’s Church, the resting place of the Aldworth Giants. The 7-foot stone effigies are thought to be life-sized replicas of nine members of the de la Beche family. Also in the grounds is a thousand-year-old yew tree and a pagan burial ground.

                          13. Embrace your animal instincts

                            The University of Reading is home to a fascinating collection of specimens from the animal kingdom. The Cole Museum of Zoology gives you and your date a chance to walk through evolution; you might get clucky over a dinosaur egg, get deep and meaningful about life, and without thought, grab an arm for reassurance when you spot a fossil of the world’s largest ever spider. If you’re worried about awkward silences, this quirky date idea should give you both lots to talk about. Donations of £1 are encouraged.

                            14. Get back in the saddle

                              Show your fun side and hit the bike trails at Swinley Forest. Designated a special protection area, this enchanting location will get your heart beating and bring out the child in you both. Get a real glimpse into your date’s personality: will they shy away from the challenge or show off? If you tumble, will they run to your rescue?

                              Image Source: 1. via nationaltrail.co.uk; 2. via picturesofengland.com; 3. via eventbrite.co.uk; 4. via shropshirestar.com; 5. via meticulousmick.wordpress.com; 6. via nationaltrust.org.uk; 7. via nationaltrust.org.uk; 8. via english-heritage.org.uk; 9. via stocksnap.io; 10. via isitmidsomer.com; 11. via museummutterings.wordpress.com; 12. via howardwilliamsblog.wordpress.com; 13. via notcot.com; 14. via pinkbike.com.

                              Featured photo credit: Unknown via pinkbike.com

                              Reference

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                              Last Updated on December 2, 2018

                              How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                              How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                              Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

                              The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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                              The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

                              Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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                              Review Your Past Flow

                              Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

                              Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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                              Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

                              Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

                              Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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                              Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

                              Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

                              We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

                              Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                                Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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