From fun things for the family to great places to eat and drink , and one of the largest and oldest inhabited castles in the world, Windsor has it all. Windsor has a mix of history and culture and is one of the best places in South East England to take a relaxing short break. Here we round up some of the best things to do when you visit Windsor.
Take a stroll down the Long Walk in Windsor Park
The Long Walk in Windsor Great Park is a dead-straight road that stretches 2.5 miles down from Windsor Castle to a famous copper statue of King George III. The surrounding park was used as hunting grounds for the monarchs till it was opened to the public. The most noticeable feature of the Long Walk are the two rows of trees that flank the avenue on both sides for the entire stretch. The park is also home to herds of deer that might give you company for a little while during your stroll. There are a variety of other things to see as the park features notable buildings that were used by royalty dating back hundreds of years, and Savill Garden, featuring an extraordinary range of flowers and trees from around the world.
Have a pub lunch on the River at the Boatman
The Boatman prides itself on being the only pub in Windsor with an uninterrupted view of the river Thames. The ambience is very inviting and cosy, combining traditional pub charm with a modern and quirky vibe. They even have an outdoor terrace with a retractable roof so you can enjoy food and drinks on the river no matter what the weather. The Boatman is also family friendly, offering a children’s menu and high-chairs if they are required.
Hunt for something unique at the speciality shops
There are roughly 150 shops spread across Windsor. Nestled among the high-street brands are some very unique speciality stores where you can purchase antiques and collectibles, and the only way to find them is by exploring and keeping an eye out. There is the Eton Antique Bookshop, which has lots of second-hand manuscripts on display.
Another great speciality shop is the Fudge Kitchen which has a lots of varieties of fudge and they don’t mind giving free samples. We also recommend A Hoppy Place, which is a craft beer bottle shop and tasting room just a short distance away from Windsor Castle. They have an impressive range of bottled beers and beers on tap, and since they buy only one keg per beer, there’s always something new to try.
Witness the changing of the guard (10:45 each morning)
The changing of the guard – also known as Guard Mounting – is an iconic ceremony that is witnessed by millions of people each year at Buckingham Palace, as well as Windsor Castle. This tradition has been carried out by Foot Guards on active duty since 1660, and signifies the moment when the soldier currently on duty swaps places with the soldier taking his place. The ceremony is accompanied by a full military band playing music ranging from traditional marches to contemporary pop songs.
Visit the chapel where Harry and Meghan got married (St George’s Chapel)
St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle is regarded as one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England, and it was also the setting for the wedding of Prince Harry with Meghan Markle. St George’s Chapel is also the burial place of ten monarchs including King George VI and Henry VIII. The chapel is also the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter, one of the oldest and most important orders of chivalry in the world. St George’s Chapel is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00.
Take the riverboat shuttle to Windsor Racecourse
A riverboat shuttle to Windsor Racecourse provides a spectacular view of Windsor Castle from the Thames. It’s a great way to see famous landmarks of Windsor, such as Eton College and the Brocas Meadows. The tours include full commentary about the surrounding areas, however, there are lots of options that can be tailored to the sort of experience you are looking for.
Discover Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House in Windsor Castle
Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House is the largest and most famous dollhouse in the world. It was built for Queen Mary, wife of King George V, between 1921 and 1924 and includes contributions from over 1500 of the finest artists and craftsmen of the early twentieth century. This dollhouse is incredibly detailed, including running hot and cold water, electricity, a fully stocked wine cellar and a garden. There is even a library of miniature books that contains original stories from notable authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Getting to Windsor
There are regular trains that will get you to either Windsor and Eton Riverside station from London Waterloo.