The second trip of the 2005 County Challenge saw me in Berkshire to the west of London. I get the feeling that a lot of the tourist bits that I'll do will be to historic places and this was no different with a trip around Windsor Castle and Donnington Castle ruins.

Donnington was deserted, not surprising given the time of year and the weather but it was really interesting. You can still see all of the defensive earthworks which the cavaliers created during the civil war. In contrast Windsor is a thoroughly modern tourist attraction. Even on a cold, wet February afternoon it was absolutely heaving. I am not sure I'd want to go during the summer holiday season. But it is, without doubt, something worth seeing. Just the sheer opulence of the place is staggering so as a tool with which to manipulate visiting dignataries I am sure it's very effective. Rather bizarrely for a British attraction the staf were great as well, more than happy to answer your questions and with a genuine affection for the castle and town.

A couple of the staff implied that the Queen was in residence and there were a couple of corgies running around the courtyard but I'm not sure if that was just for effect. The one thing you would notice if you lived there was the number of jets flying very low overhead, it is just on the flightpath as you come into Heathrow from the west.

Overall an interesting trip, hopefully the remaining 37 counties are as good.

I've uploaded the few photos I took to Flickr