I include this tip as Windsor is renowned for being one of the most expensive places in the country for buying a house.
The house in this picture, which is very close to the Castle, has a plaque on the wall, saying that someone had put aside £500 in his will to build this house. Today £500 probably wouldn't buy you the front door!
Whilst we were walking through the town, we looked in the windows of one of the more up-market Estate Agents (property vendors), and noticed a houe for sale that we were parked very close to.
See my Transportation tip for on getting to Windsor by Car to see this house, and to find out how much a house in Windsor costs today!
Even if you aren't inclined to stop by for a spot of tea or a meal, I think the building is interesting for it's crookedness and a bit of it's history.
The original building on this site was the Market Cross House, built in 1592 but demolished after a land dispute. The building that the Crooked House Tea Rooms is in was rebuilt soon after it's demolition, the crooked part came after it was restructured in 1718 with unseasoned green oak. Little did they know that they would be creating a tourist stop at the time!
According to their website, here is a secret passage to Windsor Castle in the basement, alledgedly used for illicit meeting between King Charles and his mistress, Nell Gywn and for the more mundane purpose of taking provisions to the castle kitchens. It is now blocked off, guess they don't want folks randomly popping up on the Castle grounds, especially without paying admission.
Located at 51 High Street
For a different view of Windsor Castle, head towards the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park which starts on the side of Windsor Castle and runs for about 3 miles. It was started during the reign of Charles II in 1680-1685 with the planting of a double avenue of elm trees. The addition of the carriage road was done by Queen Anne in 1710. The elms were eventually replaced after an outbreak of Dutch Elm Disease in the 1940s with Horse Chestnut and London Plane trees.
Cars and bicycles are not allowed on the Long Walk. I didn't walk the Long Walk, 6 miles round trip is a bit much even for me, but if you do there is The Copper Horse statue of King George III (the guy in charge during the American Revolutionary War) on top of Snow Hill at the other end where you are supposed to have a nice view of Windsor Castle. The statue was erected by his son, George IV, who didn't have all that good of a relationship with his dear old dad.
Windsor is unusual in having two railway stations. Windsor Central was built by Great Western Railways on the branch line from Slough, being completed just before the rival Richmond and Staines line. Both lines opened in 1849 (the two companies were presumably competing for royal patronage).
The Windsor and Eton Riverside station is the smaller of the two, and is particularly interesting for its brickwork. Along the outer walls are the initials VR (Victoria Regina) and PA (Prince Albert), picked out in black brick along with sundry other patterns. This is the wall which faces Windsor Castle, so someone obviously thought it would be nice for Her Maj to be reminded of the respect paid to her by the train company!
The Victorians built many wonderful constructions from brick (Kings Cross and Paddington stations, for example). Many peope do not know that child labour was used; children worked long, hard hours in the brickfields of England until George Smith managed to change the law in the late 1800's. Carrying 40 pounds of clay on their heads was normal, carrying it to the brickmaker and going back for more all through the day (estimated distance travelled in one working day was 12 miles); boys and girls, from age 8 upwards. Makes one think a little harder about the glory of Victorian buildings, doesn't it?
.............was a vital part of any street for many centuries (preceded by wells). Where else would one get one's water, and the latest gossip?
This one is on Thames Street, along from the Windsor and Eton Riverside station. It's not in its original position, but does give good idea of the sort of 'street furniture' which was commonplace in much of England until the 50's.
Thames Street itself was once lined with houses; in fact, this spot was supposed to be the inspiration for Mrs Page's house in Shakespeare's "Merry Wives of Windsor'. It was certainly the site of the 'Crispin Inn', demolished (as were all the houses on this part of the street) in 1861.
.....though quite impressive nevertheless.
The steam engine in Windsor Central Station won't be 'off the beaten track' for anyone who visits by train, but I suspect many other visitors won't get that far (exhausted by the shopping experience of the railway concourse, no doubt). It's a full-size replica, built in Swindon for the 1982 exhibition 'Royalty and railways'. Originally, it had a 'real' tender but when the exhibition was removed it was sold for scrap (!). The engine itself was too big to move, so stayed on the concourse.
It is, inevitably, named 'The Queen'.
Just a short walk or train journey from Windsor is Datchet,one of Shakespeares favourite villages.Right in the centre next to the Church is the Royal Stag which is said to be haunted by a ghostly Hand print that appears on a window in the corner of the bar.The web site below gives a great history of the pub said to be the oldest house in Datchet.
Pub telephone number below.
Address: The Royal Stag Datchet,The Green,SL3 9JH
Beautifully kept gardens in the ground of Windsor Castle,the tomb of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert,with some other Royals buried outside too.
As all three are only open on 6 days a year and the Mausoleum an extra day then to get to see these attractions is pretty rare for the average tourist.
May 16-18......10.00-17.30 last entry 16.00
August 26-28......10.00-17.30 last entry 16.00
Mausoleum only May 24.....11.00-16.00 last entry 15.30
Prices on the web page but they didn't make much sense for the May dates.
Entrance just 200m down the Long Walk on the left hand side.
Walk along the newly constructed flood relief.
Pleasant flat walk,no hills.To start go through Eton college and walk through their playing fields.Keep walking and you should encounter the Flood relief.Turn left and you can keep walking for 9 miles if you so wish but there are plenty of turn offs leading back to Eton Wick,The rowing centre at Dorney or just the river.
Good for a cycle ride.
Grade 1 listed Tudor Manor house.Home to the Palmer family for the last 450 years.
Not open that much so check the link below for details.
Dorney Court,Windsor,Berkshire,SL4 6QP.
The local pub is also named after the family.To get there if you didn't pass it when coming from Eton/Eton Wick,then turn right out of the drive at the junction turn right,signposted Eton and it's just around the bend.
For such a small village to have TWO 3 STAR Michelin restaurants is amazing but many stage and screen stars live around the area so....
Check this web page for a history... www.berkshirehistory.com/villages/bray.html
The 2 restaurants are the:- Expect to pay though!
THE FAT DUCK
THE WATERSIDE INN
There is another restaurant and a couple of pubs.
Take the Maidenhead road out of Windsor towards Maidenhead and turn right just after the bridge,signposted.
Supposedly a friendly ghost is moving stuff around the pub.
34,High st.Maidenhead,SL6 1QE.
From the train station cross the road at the traffic lights and take the road to the right,this bears around to the left.Follow this all the way to the High st.500m. The pub is along to the right.
For the train change at Slough,see my TRAINS TO PADDINGTON tip,list timetable there.
Found this looks diferent with the walks passing through some historical places.
14 walks around Berkshire,the last ending in Windsor.Of course you could do it in reverse.They seem to be in easy 3 hour stages so give them a look.Maps on the web pages to download and directions.
I have an interest in such things. I think it is very interesting to find a hidden memorial or plaque which commerorates some previously well known, but now long forgotten pioneer or notable.
This one is located in Windsor, and marks the birth place of Robert Keayne (1595-1656) - A member of the Honourable Artillery Company of London; a distinguished member of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, Founder and first captain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massacusetts (The oldest military organisation in the USA - 1638).
"A wise and public spirited citizen, a liberal patron of education, a generous contributor to thefoundation of Harvard College Cambridge Massachusetts 1636"
The plaque was erected by the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massacusetts USA 1912.
There are many such things - well worth watching out for them!
This is probably the most important college in the UK and where all the rich kids study including Prince William and Prince Harry.
This college Locations isn't very far from the Castle, its located just across the river from Windsor though most visitors go to visit the castle only
Eton college's former Students include 18 British Prime Ministers !!!
There are also guided tours at Eton just check before you go.