Home to the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world
ome to the Queen's favourite weekend retreat, Windsor Castle , one of the country’s most famous school, Eton College , and the blockbusting entertainment of LEGOLAND Windsor, this Royal Berkshire town packs a mighty punch. Combine this with charming countryside, historic gardens, the River Thames and world-renowned racecourses and you’ve got all you need for a perfect day trip or short break.
History and Heritage
Windsor Castle is the world’s largest occupied castle and bursting with almost a thousand years of turbulent history. Every monarch from Henry II to Queen Elizabeth II has been carrying out home improvements making the interior as impressive as it's past. Head to St George's Chapel in the Castle where Henry VIII is buried next to his wife Jane Seymour (The queen, not the actress.) Across the river, you’ll find Eton College, founded by King Henry VI in 1440.
Arts and Culture
For West End shows without the sting of London prices head to Theatre Royal , an intimate space where classic and contemporary productions never fail to delight audiences. Film buffs should keep an eye out for the independent films showing at The Firestation as well as the latest talent delivering live comedy and music.
Must See Attractions
A visit to the Castle is essential, but be sure to coincide your visit with the impressive Changing of the Guard ceremony. In the summer, ride the Royal Windsor Wheel to get the best views over Windsor’s sights and the Thames Valley. Take a stroll through the mighty Windsor Great Park where the Queen likes to stretch her legs and Saxon kings used to hunt. And budding gardeners and those with green thumbs should not miss the Savill Gardens .
Food and Drink
Indulge in the quintessentially English pleasure of scones and petit fours with afternoon tea at the Castle Hotel . Or forget traditional altogether at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Restaurant in Bray where science pushes cooking to the outer limits of weird deliciousness - remember though there’s a waiting list nearly as long as the list of ingredients. To sample delicious wines before creating your own batch, Grape Inventions is a great place to spend an afternoon.
Equestrian is big news in Windsor – with the world-famous Ascot and Royal Windsor racecourses , there’s always a race meeting perfect for a flutter. The rowing lake at Dorney has been chosen for the Olympic venue of the 2012 rowing, so why not try it out before the world’s best arrive? Golfers can take their pick from Wentworth , Sunningdale and Stoke Park - some of the finest championship courses in the country.
Located inside the elegant grade II listed Victorian Railway Station, Windsor Royal Station has stylish shops and an oh-so continental ambiance. The historic Peascod Street has plenty of shops to explore as well as the independent Daniel department store which has a large toy department. Or cross the river and explore Eton’s cobbled streets for that one-off purchase.
The highlight of the equestrian calendar is the Royal Windsor Horse Show , where over 3000 horses and ponies jump and show each May in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Less about the horses and more about the outfits, the Gold Cup or Ladies Day is a day of big hats and champagne. Windsor Festival in September has events and concerts to satisfy any culture vulture.
With 55 interactive rides and enough Lego bricks to wow any child, LEGOLAND Windsor has water rides, rollercoasters and amazing constructions. If you want to try your hand at some watersports, then Bray Lake Watersports offers courses on how to sail, windsurf or kayak throughout the year. If you’re the next Tony Hawk then Extreme Motion skate park in Alexandra Gardens , has rails and ramps for all abilities, great for perfecting those kick flips and no complies.
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More about... Windsor
windsor.gov.uk - the official tourism website.
Things to do
From events and attractions to fine dining and nights out; discover things to do in Windsor