Thames Valley
Overview
 
The Thames Valley Region is a loose term for the English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 counties and towns roughly following the course of the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 as it flows from Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire is a county in the South East region of England, bordering on Warwickshire and Northamptonshire , Buckinghamshire , Berkshire , Wiltshire and Gloucestershire ....

 in the west to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in the east. It includes parts of Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....

, Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

, North Hampshire
Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

, Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

 and west London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. It does not include the source of the Thames at Thames Head
Thames Head
Thames Head is a site in Gloucestershire, traditionally identified as the source of the River Thames, a major river which runs through the centre of London. It lies near the village of Kemble and the town of Cirencester....

 in Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean....

, Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

, central or east London or the outflowing of the Thames into the Thames Estuary
Thames Estuary
The Thames Mouth is the estuary in which the River Thames meets the waters of the North Sea.It is not easy to define the limits of the estuary, although physically the head of Sea Reach, near Canvey Island on the Essex shore is probably the western boundary...

.

The phrase Thames Valley Region should not be confused with the term M4 Corridor
M4 corridor
The M4 corridor is the area in the United Kingdom adjacent to the M4 motorway, which runs from London to South Wales. The area is a major hub for high-technology companies...

which denotes the route of the M4 motorway which provides East/West travel on a more southerly route extending from Hammersmith
Hammersmith
Hammersmith is an urban centre in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London, England, in the United Kingdom, approximately five miles west of Charing Cross on the north bank of the River Thames...

 through Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

, Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....

 and Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

 and over the River Severn
River Severn
The River Severn is the longest river in Great Britain, at about , but the second longest on the British Isles, behind the River Shannon. It rises at an altitude of on Plynlimon, Ceredigion near Llanidloes, Powys, in the Cambrian Mountains of mid Wales...

 via the Second Severn Crossing
Second Severn Crossing
The Second Severn Crossing is a bridge which carries the M4 motorway over the River Severn between England and Wales, inaugurated on 5 June 1996 by HRH The Prince of Wales to augment the traffic capacity of the original Severn Bridge built in 1966...

 Toll Bridge
Toll bridge
A toll bridge is a bridge over which traffic may pass upon payment of a toll, or fee.- History :The practice of collecting tolls on bridges probably harks back to the days of ferry crossings where people paid a fee to be ferried across stretches of water. As boats became impractical to carry large...

into South Wales
South Wales
South Wales is an area of Wales bordered by England and the Bristol Channel to the east and south, and Mid Wales and West Wales to the north and west. The most densely populated region in the south-west of the United Kingdom, it is home to around 2.1 million people and includes the capital city of...

.
The Thames Valley region is one of the wealthiest regions in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, helped by good communications, a well educated work force, proximity to London and strong local employers.
Encyclopedia
The Thames Valley Region is a loose term for the English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 counties and towns roughly following the course of the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 as it flows from Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire is a county in the South East region of England, bordering on Warwickshire and Northamptonshire , Buckinghamshire , Berkshire , Wiltshire and Gloucestershire ....

 in the west to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in the east. It includes parts of Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....

, Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

, North Hampshire
Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

, Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

 and west London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. It does not include the source of the Thames at Thames Head
Thames Head
Thames Head is a site in Gloucestershire, traditionally identified as the source of the River Thames, a major river which runs through the centre of London. It lies near the village of Kemble and the town of Cirencester....

 in Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean....

, Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

, central or east London or the outflowing of the Thames into the Thames Estuary
Thames Estuary
The Thames Mouth is the estuary in which the River Thames meets the waters of the North Sea.It is not easy to define the limits of the estuary, although physically the head of Sea Reach, near Canvey Island on the Essex shore is probably the western boundary...

.

The phrase Thames Valley Region should not be confused with the term M4 Corridor
M4 corridor
The M4 corridor is the area in the United Kingdom adjacent to the M4 motorway, which runs from London to South Wales. The area is a major hub for high-technology companies...

which denotes the route of the M4 motorway which provides East/West travel on a more southerly route extending from Hammersmith
Hammersmith
Hammersmith is an urban centre in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London, England, in the United Kingdom, approximately five miles west of Charing Cross on the north bank of the River Thames...

 through Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

, Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....

 and Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

 and over the River Severn
River Severn
The River Severn is the longest river in Great Britain, at about , but the second longest on the British Isles, behind the River Shannon. It rises at an altitude of on Plynlimon, Ceredigion near Llanidloes, Powys, in the Cambrian Mountains of mid Wales...

 via the Second Severn Crossing
Second Severn Crossing
The Second Severn Crossing is a bridge which carries the M4 motorway over the River Severn between England and Wales, inaugurated on 5 June 1996 by HRH The Prince of Wales to augment the traffic capacity of the original Severn Bridge built in 1966...

 Toll Bridge
Toll bridge
A toll bridge is a bridge over which traffic may pass upon payment of a toll, or fee.- History :The practice of collecting tolls on bridges probably harks back to the days of ferry crossings where people paid a fee to be ferried across stretches of water. As boats became impractical to carry large...

into South Wales
South Wales
South Wales is an area of Wales bordered by England and the Bristol Channel to the east and south, and Mid Wales and West Wales to the north and west. The most densely populated region in the south-west of the United Kingdom, it is home to around 2.1 million people and includes the capital city of...

.

Economy

The Thames Valley region is one of the wealthiest regions in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, helped by good communications, a well educated work force, proximity to London and strong local employers. Its economy was valued at £32 billion in 2007.

In the twentieth century, historic industries have been replaced by modern knowledge-based industries, primarily information and communications technology and life sciences.

The direct labour force amounts to 1 million people, but the total workforce within an hour of the Thames Valley towns is close to 3.7 million.

Since 2002, the Thames Valley has been the UK’s fastest growing region, averaging 3.5 per cent economic growth after inflation, well ahead of the 2.5 per cent national average.

Productivity is high, averaging £49,000 per worker in 2006, £8,600 higher than the south-east average. The workforce is skilled: 29 per cent of employment is in the knowledge economy
Knowledge economy
The knowledge economy is a term that refers either to an economy of knowledge focused on the production and management of knowledge in the frame of economic constraints, or to a knowledge-based economy. In the second meaning, more frequently used, it refers to the use of knowledge technologies to...

, compared with the national average of 17 per cent, and 37 per cent of people in employment hold a degree. One-fifth of Thames Valley workers are employed in managerial and senior positions, five points higher than the UK average.

Tourism

The Thames Valley region is a major tourist destination in the United Kingdom, both for domestic and international tourists. Some major attractions include:
  • Cliveden
    Cliveden
    Cliveden is an Italianate mansion and estate at Taplow, Buckinghamshire, England. Set on banks above the River Thames, its grounds slope down to the river. The site has been home to an Earl, two Dukes, a Prince of Wales and the Viscounts Astor....

    , Buckinghamshire
  • Eton
    Eton, Berkshire
    Eton is a town and civil parish in Berkshire, England, lying on the opposite bank of the River Thames to Windsor and connected to it by Windsor Bridge. The parish also includes the large village of Eton Wick, 2 miles west of the town, and has a population of 4,980. Eton was in Buckinghamshire until...

     and its college
    Eton College
    Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

    , Berkshire
  • Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire
  • Marlow
    Marlow, Buckinghamshire
    Marlow is a town and civil parish within Wycombe district in south Buckinghamshire, England...

    , Buckinghamshire
  • Runnymede
    Runnymede
    Runnymede is a water-meadow alongside the River Thames in the English county of Berkshire, and just over west of central London. It is notable for its association with the sealing of Magna Carta, and as a consequence is the site of a collection of memorials...

    , Surrey
  • The City of Oxford
    Oxford
    The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

    , Oxfordshire
  • Windsor
    Windsor, Berkshire
    Windsor is an affluent suburban town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England. It is widely known as the site of Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the British Royal Family....

     and its castle
    Windsor Castle
    Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

    , Berkshire

Policing

The Thames Valley Police
Thames Valley Police
Thames Valley Police, formerly known as Thames Valley Constabulary, is the territorial police force responsible for policing the Thames Valley area covered by the ceremonial counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire....

 cover the counties of Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

, Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....

 and Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire is a county in the South East region of England, bordering on Warwickshire and Northamptonshire , Buckinghamshire , Berkshire , Wiltshire and Gloucestershire ....

. Other forces cover the rest of the Thames Valley region.

Major towns and cities

  • Basingstoke
    Basingstoke
    Basingstoke is a town in northeast Hampshire, in south central England. It lies across a valley at the source of the River Loddon. It is southwest of London, northeast of Southampton, southwest of Reading and northeast of the county town, Winchester. In 2008 it had an estimated population of...

  • Bracknell
    Bracknell
    Bracknell is a town and civil parish in the Borough of Bracknell Forest in Berkshire, England. It lies to the south-east of Reading, southwest of Windsor and west of central London...

  • High Wycombe
    High Wycombe
    High Wycombe , commonly known as Wycombe and formally called Chepping Wycombe or Chipping Wycombe until 1946,is a large town in Buckinghamshire, England. It is west-north-west of Charing Cross in London; this figure is engraved on the Corn Market building in the centre of the town...

  • Maidenhead
    Maidenhead
    Maidenhead is a town and unparished area within the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, in Berkshire, England. It lies on the River Thames and is situated west of Charing Cross in London.-History:...

  • Newbury
    Newbury, Berkshire
    Newbury is a civil parish and the principal town in the west of the county of Berkshire in England. It is situated on the River Kennet and the Kennet and Avon Canal, and has a town centre containing many 17th century buildings. Newbury is best known for its racecourse and the adjoining former USAF...

  • Oxford
    Oxford
    The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

  • Reading
    Reading, Berkshire
    Reading is a large town and unitary authority area in England. It is located in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway, some west of London....

  • Slough
    Slough
    Slough is a borough and unitary authority within the ceremonial county of Royal Berkshire, England. The town straddles the A4 Bath Road and the Great Western Main Line, west of central London...

  • Swindon
    Swindon
    Swindon is a large town within the borough of Swindon and ceremonial county of Wiltshire, in South West England. It is midway between Bristol, west and Reading, east. London is east...

  • Woking
    Woking
    Woking is a large town and civil parish that shares its name with the surrounding local government district, located in the west of Surrey, UK. It is part of the Greater London Urban Area and the London commuter belt, with frequent trains and a journey time of 24 minutes to Waterloo station....


Universities

  • Buckinghamshire New University
  • Oxford Brookes University
    Oxford Brookes University
    Oxford Brookes University is a new university in Oxford, England. It was named to honour the school's founding principal, John Brookes. It has been ranked as the best new university by the Sunday Times University Guide 10 years in a row...

  • Oxford University
  • Reading University
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
    Royal Holloway, University of London
    Royal Holloway, University of London is a constituent college of the University of London. The college has three faculties, 18 academic departments, and about 8,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students from over 130 different countries...

  • Silwood Park
    Silwood Park
    Silwood Park is the rural campus of Imperial College London, England. It is situated near the village of Sunninghill, near Ascot in Berkshire. Since 1986, there have been major developments on the site with four new college buildings...

     campus of Imperial College London
    Imperial College London
    Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

  • Thames Valley University
    Thames Valley University
    The University of West London is a public university based in London, United Kingdom, with campuses in Ealing and Brentford, London, and Reading, Berkshire....

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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