A couple of Saturdays ago, I took a trip with some of my lovely girl friends to the town of Windsor. We decided that whilst we were whiling away the summer, waiting for the University term to begin, or various jobs to start, we would spend a day playing ‘Tourist’ – something which I, in particular, enjoy very much. Windsor is a beautiful town, located on the banks of the Thames not all that far from London and is home to the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.
Rising bright and early on the Saturday morning, we began our trip, and after the short journey along the motorway, we arrived in Windsor. Literally, on stepping out of the car, we were immediately greeted by the sight of the magnificent castle in front of us. We slowly ambled up, through the sweet shopping centre. Windsor Royal Shopping, as it is so aptly named is located directly opposite the castle, in an area close to the old Victorian railway station. The surroundings still have a number of original features, such as cobbled stones, the Jubilee arch and an impressive old steam engine. I didn’t manage to get many pictures on this occasion, but luckily for you I have some from a previous visit..
The shopping centre not only houses a number of well known brands and restaurants, but also has an atmospheric arts and crafts market, perfect if you happen to be looking for quirky, one-off gifts or perhaps even something to treat yourself with!
On exiting the shopping centre, you are met with views of the castle and it is only a short walk across the road to get the ticket office. On the way, we passed one of Windsor’s ‘new tourist attractions’, installed a few years ago featuring a few members of the Royal Family. Definitely worth taking a look at!
Finally, we got to the Castle ticket office and thanks to my fabulous chum (and name buddy) Victoria and her Dad, who occasionally stewards at St.George’s Chapel, we were able to skip the queues and enter straight into the castle grounds, after picking up our trusty audio guides (which are free btw!).
We spent a good few hours exploring the castle and learning various facts about the different rooms and various items within them. The rooms are so lavishly decorated, with lashings of gold here, there and everywhere!
Roughly an hour and a half later, we were all feeling peckish so retired to the Moat Garden (there is a small fee to enter) to enjoy our picnic lunch.
The garden was so peaceful and serene, despite the masses of tourists we had faced inside the castle, so we were happy to escape and have a few moments to catch up on life.
It was soon time for me to say my farewells as I had a train to catch. As always it had been great spending time with my friends but I also came away having learnt a thing or two.. always a bonus, right!
More things to see in Windsor..
- Amble down the sweet cobbled streets, bursting with souvenir shops and cosy tea rooms
- Visit the River Thames
- Make sure you step inside the intricately designed St. George’s Chapel, still within the Castle grounds
- Take a walk through Windsor Great Park or visit the Savill Gardens
- Cross the river and explore Eton, home of the famous Boy’s boarding School Eton College
- Watch the ‘Changing the Guard’ ceremony (check the schedule here)
- Visit Runnymede, the historical riverside site where the Magna Carta was sealed
- For those visiting with children, perhaps take a trip to nearby Legoland