Windsor is best known for Windsor Castle, HRH’s London residence and her favourite. You can tell whether she’s at home – when she’s in, the Royal Standard flies over the Round Tower and when she’s out, the Union Flag flies there instead. And who wouldn’t want a night in here in order to view one’s incredible collection of art in the State Rooms – Rubens, Rembrandt, Canaletto and the odd Gainsborough. Windsor Castle also has a ‘Changing of the Guard’ ceremony where many have tried and many have failed to get the guards to drop their guard.
The Theatre Royal is Windsor’s splendid Victorian theatre which stages a big variety of touring productions – many of them pre or post West End - and there are always some big names prepared to Panto so get ready to shout ‘behind you’ if you’re visiting at Xmas. Those in search of nightlife should head for the arches – pubs, clubs and bars gathered together inside old Victorian railway arches. Make sure to pop into The Old Kings Head which bears a plaque recording the warrant for the execution of Charles I in 1648 and is said to be where William Shakespeare wrote the Merry Wives of Windsor.
Windsor’s Top 10
10. Windsor Great Park Allegedly the ghost of Herne the Hunter rides his phantom black stallion, hell hounds in tow, here. Enough to put anyone off their picnic.
5. Royal Windsor Racecourse If racing be the sport of Kings then surely it’s good enough for you.
9. French Brothers Ltd Take a Thames trip up to Hampton Court Palace or Maidenhead.
4. The Savill Garden A series of gardens within a garden – inspiring.
8. The Royal Windsor Wheel Offers spectacular 360 degree views from 60 metres up. 12 minutes is time enough to find out if you have vertigo or not.
3. Legoland Windsor is one of the UK’s top attractions. 55 rides and plenty of LEGO bricks.
7. St George’s Chapel was built in 1475 (ish) and is the burial place of no less than 10 sovereigns.
2. Eton College Prime installer of the British ‘stiff upper lip’.
6. The Orchard Poyle Horse Drawn Carriages 30 minutes but if you’re really keen to show off take the one hour tour.
1. Guildhall is on Windsor High Street and built by Sir Christopher Wren (can’t be awful then).
The Royal Windsor Horse show is held each May in the grounds of Windsor Castle and simply must be attended.
The Royal Swan Upping is an annual census of swans on the Thames (did you know that swans in the UK are the property of the crown?)
The Windsor Festival is an annual event considered one of the most exciting of its kind in the country and takes place in September/October.
The Real Ale and Hog Roast Festival is held during August at Windsor Racecourse. Pig out on beer and well, pigs.
Oh yes its Ladies Night during the month of July at Royal Windsor Racecourse. Get all dolled up and prepare to shine.
Windsor Farmers’ Market at St Leonard’s Road, brings you fresh, seasonal food in July.
Open Air Theatre at The Savill Garden is a fabulous summer event which takes place during August.
Head to Legoland Windsor in October for its annual Halloween Brick or Treat Fireworks Spectacular (bricks – geddit?) in October.
Race for Life Windsor helps raise funds for cancer research, starts at Windsor Racecourse in July and now in its 17th year.
The Windsor Dragon Boat Festival is now in its fifth year, a Thames event which takes place in September.
When to Go
· During the summer months Windsor can get quite hot – spring and autumn are excellent times to plan a sightseeing trip though with temperatures comfortable and plenty of sunshine. Winters have their fair share of cold, frosty days, so pack plenty of warm clothing if visiting during this period.
· Summer temperatures level out at around 22°C during the daytime and 11°C or so at night. During the winter months of December and January expect temperatures of between 0 and 7°C.
· Winters tend to be damper than summers but British weather is well known for its unpredictability so pack accordingly.
· Windsor is right next door to the M4 motorway, and close to the M25 making it highly accessible by road. The journey time into central London is around one hour.
· Windsor has two railway stations, Windsor and Eton Central (A.K.A. Royal Windsor Station) and trains run from Slough into London Paddington, a journey which takes around an hour.
· Windsor is close to Heathrow International airport where you can get a flight to just about anywhere. Taxis, trains and buses run from Heathrow into Windsor – black cabs are a luxury though at around £30 for a one way trip. The Heathrow Express runs a fast and frequent service though.
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