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If you are planning a trip to London, you should take time to spend at least one day in Windsor. The highlight of your trip there will be Windsor Castle, the favorite weekend home of the Queen. Depending on how much time you have, you will probably be able to do more than just the castle. You can see where Prince William & Harry went to school, where Prince Charles and Camilla were married and even spend some time at the ultimate theme park for kids! There is certainly something for everyone in Windsor!
As we said, the main stop for your day in Windsor is Windsor Castle. This castle is the residence of Her Majesty The Queen and is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world! Built in 1070 AD by William the Conquerer, it has gone through many changes including a recent renovation after a fire in 1992. You can choose to do a private tour of Windsor Castle or you can tour it on your own.
What You’ll See in Windsor Castle:
- St. George’s Chapel where 10 monarch are buried including the resting place of Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert
- The State Apartments containing the Queen’s Gallery and dining hall which feature the works of Rubens, Holbein, & Brueghel.
- Queen Mary’s Doll House which is largest and most intricate in the world and even includes a wine cellar!
- Great Park where you will see flowers and plants from around the world.
- Changing of the Guards
If you have the London Pass, you will not only get free entry but also a self-guided audio tour (lasts approx. 2 hours). You can also get free transportation via train at Paddington Station. Board a train for Slough and change at Slough for a train to Windsor & Eton Central. All you will need to do is show your London Pass to the ticket controller at the ticket barrier at London Paddington and they will let you through.
FACT: The castle is open year round even when The Queen is in residence. If the Royal Standard is flying at Windsor Castle, The Queen is at home. If the Union Flag is up, she’s not.
A trip to Windsor Castle should take you around 2-3 hours. That leaves you plenty of time for other things in the city.
Other things to see when you Spend a Day in Windsor:
- The Windsor Guildhall is the town hall of the town of Windsor. It is where Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were married and where Sir Elton John & David Furnish had their civil ceremony.
- Savill Garden was established in 1930 and houses plants from around the globe.
- Eton College was the boarding school for both Prince William and Prince Harry. Depending on when you go, you can take tours or just enjoy seeing it from the outside.
- Royal Windsor Racecourse is one of two figure-of-eight courses in the United Kingdom.
- LEGOLAND is a popular amusement park for kids who love the popular building blocks. Filled with rides and activities that surround Lego themes like Ninjago and Lego City, you will want to give yourself a day (if not longer) to enjoy all that it has to offer. Be sure to get your tickets to LEGOLAND in advance.
Where we at in Windsor: Wagamama (right across street from the castle) in the Royal Windsor Shopping District. If you aren’t familiar with Wagamama, it is an Asian Fusion chain restaurant. We found it to be a really great choice for our family. Food is fresh and served quickly. What we ate:
Chilli ramen: noodles in a spicy chicken broth topped with grilled steak, red onion, spring onions, bean sprouts, chilli, coriander and fresh lime
Teriyaki donburi: chicken in a teriyaki sauce served with sticky white rice, shredded carrots, pea shoots and onions.
Garnished with sesame seeds and a side of kimchee.
Can I just say that I wish we had Wagamama in the states! Okay, well, it is in New York and Boston, but still would love to see it nationwide!
Overall, Windsor is such a great place to visit and well worth the trip especially if you are planning to be in London. It is just too convenient to pass up. If you do get the chance to spend a day in Windsor, you won’t be disappointed.
Have you been to Windsor? What did you think?