Spending a Day In Windsor, England

Located on the south bank of River Thames, the town of Windsor was recently in news for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Dominated by Windsor Castle, the Queen's favorite weekend home - Windsor is a great place to spend a day (or time permitting even a weekend) if you are vacationing in London. Visit the many historic buildings, walk the cobbled streets, dine at the many restaurants and pubs, indulge in shopping, enjoy a picnic in the park....there are may things to do in Windsor.

Here is how you can plan a fun day in Windsor.

Tour The Windsor Castle

Start with a visit to Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. The castle attracts lots of visitors all year round and it's advisable to visit as early as possible.

Tickets can be bought on the spot or in advance to save time. Do check this website for visit timings and planned closures. We reached the castle at 9.30 am on a Monday and waited around 30 minutes to get inside. Hire the expert services of a tour guide or tour on your own with an audio guide and be prepared to spend 2-3 hours once inside.

One of three official royal residences, there is lot to see and witnessing the changing of the guard ceremony is a good experience.

Explore the state apartments that form the centerpiece of the castle and include bed chambers, drawing rooms, and St. George's Hall - used for state banquets. The Semi-State Rooms are the private apartments created for George IV and Queen Mary's Doll House is the largest and most famous doll house in the world.

Also make time to visit St George's Chapel within the grounds of Windsor Castle - one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. Buy a royal souvenir from the Castle shops - choose from delicate china, homeware, clothing and jewellery, toys, books and postcards.

The Long Walk

A straight three mile path that links Windsor Castle with Snow Hill in Windsor Great Park is known as The Long Walk. This tree-lined avenue stretches till the Copper Horse statue - a huge installation  and one you reach there, pause and soak in the spectacular views back towards the Castle. Savill Garden established in 1930 houses beautiful plants from around the globe and is a major attraction in itself.

Enjoy a Boat Trip

If you want to enjoy spectacular views of the castle while traveling upstream from Windsor, opt for a boat trip on river Thames. Approximately lasting 40 minutes, the ride enables you to enjoy views of Eton College, Mill House and Windsor Racecourse on the round trip.

Enjoy a Picnic Lunch at Alexandra Gardens

An ideal place to relax with family, located right across the castle and near the river. A mini amusement area shall keep toddlers busy as you enjoy a quiet picnic lunch packed from a nearby cafe.

Visit Windsor & Eton Brewery

With three different types of brewery tours, Windsor & Eton Brewery is a delight to visit. Get insights into how beer is made, raw materials used and insights into history of British breweries. Enjoy some local beers before you end the tour, win win - right?

Visit Legoland

A theme park and resort at Windsor, a trip to Legoland can be combined with a visit to Windsor Castle. Enjoy over 50 plus rides and attractions by hopping on a shuttle bus from Windsor town centre.

Image Source - Dave Catchpole - Creative Commons

Image Source - Dave Catchpole - Creative Commons

Magna Carta Memorial

Runnymede, an attractive meadow now owned by the National Trust is home to Magna Carta Memorial, just couple of miles from Windsor. Club your visit to the memorial with a boat ride that runs from Windsor till Runnymede. Designed and built by famous architect Sir Edward Maufe, the memorial was built in 1957 to commemorate the Great Charter. Magna Carta originated in 1215 as a peace treaty between King John and a group of rebellious barons.

Image Source - Andrew Bowden - Creative Commons

Indulge in Shopping

Located opposite Windsor Castle, Windsor Royal Shopping offers department stores, high street chains, shops, cafes and restaurants inside a grade II listed Victorian Railway Station, once used by Queen Victoria to welcome visiting heads of state. Walk around the cobbled stone path, soak in the festive atmosphere and practice the art of balancing your shopping - the summer sales are tempting!

Dine At Historic Pubs

The options of dining in Windsor are limitless as the town center and nearby areas feature historic pubs, modern restaurants and chic cafes. If you want a different experience visit the Two Brewers pub located near Park Street gates that leads onto the long walk for wine, beer and ales or a delicious Sunday roast. The Boatman is another perfect choice to enjoy riverside views over Eton while enjoying a coffee, a drink or classic British cuisine.

Image Source - Mike T - Creative Commons

How Do I Get Here:

The fastest way to reach Windsor involves a 10 minute walk from Windsor & Eton Central Station. Southwestern Railway operates a direct service to Windsor & Eton Riverside Station from London Waterloo Station and Great Western runs service to Windsor & Eton Central Station from Paddington Station (requires one change at Slough).