I've seen the Changing of the Guard at so many places so many times that I didn't even think to see if it was going on when we visited with the kids but as luck would have it we were passing by where it takes places just before 11:00 am, a Palace employee pointed it out to us and we went down to near St. George's Chapel to watch.
This is a terrific alternative to the severely overcrowded and overhyped Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, I asked if they still wanted to see that when we were through and neither one expressed an interest and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
According to the website it takes place on alternate days at 11:00, weather permitting, but not on Sunday except for July when it is performed daily. To see which days they have it on, check on the website before you go as sometimes it is odd days and sometimes even.
If you don't happen to be inside the castle, just before 11am the furry hatted men march up the High Street before turning up the road to the entrance. Otherwise, you must be inside the castle to witness the changing of the guard.
What need i say,from the train station it's about a 10 minute walk into the centre,the river is at the far end of the main street.Lots of pubs,restaurants and cafes to enjoy as well as the University grounds.
Take the train from Central station to Slough 6 minutes and if you time it correctly it should take with only the 1 stop at Reading,40 minutes from Slough.Go after 9.30 and the tickets are cheaper.
Check the web page for train times.Click on quick links on the right side of the page.
Have a look at where the famous rowing regatta takes place and enjoy the pleasant little town.Couple of pubs by the river to sit outside or walk down the river bank with a picnic.
Take the train from Central station to slough 6 minutes,change,then either platform 1 or 3 but probably 3 to Twyford 20 minutes,change,then 12 minutes to Henley.Be careful as the trains only run from Twyford hourly so don't just miss one and have to wait too long.
Check web page below for timetables,quick link on the right side of the page.
Eton is a independent boarding school for roughly 1,300 boys between the ages of 13-18, it is called a "public" school but it is what Americans would call a private school, fees are paid by the family and in 2007 it cost a whoppping £26,490 per year. It is what Americans would call a prep(atory) school as most of the boys go on to college. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI. There is a historical link with Cambridge University but they aren ot affiliated.
Eton is a short walk from Windsor Castle, if you'd like to visit Eton, click on the Eton College website and it is listed under "Visits to Eton". Currently it appears to only be open to visitors from March-early October, there are guided tours that you can take (currently £5.50) or casual admission (currently £4.20) that allows access to the School Yard, College Chapel, The Cloisters, and the Museum of Eton Life. Even if you don't opt to pay the admission fee, it's a nice walk from Windsor and you can see the young men scurrying around in their tails and top hats, the uniform of a young lad at Eton.
In August 2004, I did visit Eton as it was included on the London Pass. Unfortunately it was lunch time and the chapel was closed between 1 and 2 pm so all I got to see was the cloisters, the museum and the courtyard. Since it was "free" it was an OK visit but I think I would have been disappointed had I paid admission.
It's full name is actually King's College of Our Lady of Eton, and this is possibly the most famous school in the world. Having said that, there are several equally prestigious public schools in Britain, but those are perhaps less known internationally, and it is also the one known to have produced most prime ministers (18). The school was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI so it is quite old as far as still existing schools go, and was originally founded to help 70 less well off boys to education, and to promote the King's new college at Cambridge through sending the boys onto this. The king also intended to build the longest chapel in the world, but that was less than halved as Edward IV took over the crown and was more interested in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. In fact, a lot of Henry VI's planned buildings seem to have been scrapped at this time and some only finished a lot later. The Chapel, although smaller than originally planned, is the most visible part of the school, and a masterpiece of a building. Around 1300 boys study here and fees are incredibly high.
The chapel can be seen from Windsor Castle, where you think it's quite a shame that these historical buildings come with a backdrop of power stations and other industry, but then again, that just goes to show that not even kids with super-rich parents escape that sort of thing, and it's not as if it is in their back yard. Still, it does remind you that you are in the densely populated area outside London rather than in some school in the Scottish Highlands. We never had time to get closer, but I would definitely have done so, had my day not been completely taken over by the castle. Eton is a village in its own right north of Windsor and you can walk here along the river in no time at all.
Let's face it, this is what people come here for so it has to be the top tip. I was surprised to see just how close to the town centre the castle gates are even if I knew from pictures that it was in the town itself. We came here for Easter which is probably one of the worst times of the year for visiting the London area in general since it is heaving with tourists, but what can you do when you have children at school and love to travel. I recommend anyone who doesn't have kids to see it at another time, but the bonus we got was still that the Queen herself is in residence over Easter so the flag was raised and we knew she could be looking at us even if she probably wasn't.
The queues stretched around the corner towards the old town church, and we had to wait quite a while to get in, but at least we had planned for this and arrived early, so we were fine about this - arriving early is definitely a must in general since there is so much to see inside and you might want to see Windsor itself afterwards too. Another reason for planning your visit a bit is that there is not so much as a tea room inside the castle walls, so if you get hungry you are stuck if you haven't brought a chocolate bar. We wondered if this was for security reasons, waste logistics or just an agreement with the town council to keep everywhere else in business.
You go through a security check as at an airport before you are let in, and then you can head for the audioguide corner and pick up a guide which tells you a lot about the castle and also has a childrens version. There are several major languages to choose from even if you probably get more of the English history details with the English version. Prince Charles welcomes you as you start the guide, and then your'e off. Walking the stretch into the main gate, the castle unfolds in front of you and you start to realise just how big it is as it stretches to the park beyond (where you can go by horse and carriage summertime).
To be ctd.
Close to the castle, there is shop which lets customers hire victorian or Tudor clothings full will accessories. So you can get your snaps taken in true royal style.
The price wasn't advertised outside. But I saw some customers, and it looked quite authentic.
Other than the castle, there is a theme park called lego land. Although we didn;t go there, I am sure kids would love it. There a shuttle bus frequently from the station taking passengers to lego land.
Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world and, dating back to the time of William the Conqueror, is the oldest in continuous occupation. The castle's floor area is approximately 484,000 square feet.
Together with Buckingham Palace in London and Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, it is one of the principal official residences of the British monarch. Queen Elizabeth II spends many weekends of the year at the castle, using it for both state and private entertaining. Her other two residences, Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle, are the Royal Family's private homes.
Jim Garrahy's Fudge Kitchen have excellent fudge - theyve got a shop here in Windsor and unfortunately it was shut by the time I got back from the Long Walk - but in a conversation with staff at their Cambridge branch the other day all their fudges are made with only small fat content which is from cream without any bad hydrogenated fats - loads of sugar but not as much as saturated fat as a lot of fudges might have you worrying about.
Comes in a range of delicious flavours - chocolate or double trouble chocolate are 2 of the best...!
The Castle is quite expensive to visit :
£17 .50 for adults, £14.50 for over 60s, £9.00 for children.
The castle covers 13 acres and is the largest inhabited castle in the world. The castle is built on a high chalk ridge, close to the river Thames.
The Royal Apartments are open every day [ although Her Majesty's private apartments are separate and never open to visitors.] The rooms are richly decorated and contain many works of art (collected by kings and queens over the last 4 centuries).
My favourite is Queen Mary's Dolls' House which was designed by the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1924. It is fascinating to see the miniature contents which were made by the manufacturers . Even the bottles in the wine cellar contain genuine vintage wine!
St George's Chapel is open daily except Sundays. It is the spiritual home of the Knights of the Order of the Garter. Ten sovereigns are buried here. Evensong is held in the chapel at 17:15 daily. Visitors are welcome.
Because of congestion , during the summer a shorter route is used through the Royal Apartments. This means that more rooms can be seen during winter season, from late September until around Easter.
The castle is open almost every day. It will be shut on the following dates,
25 & 26 December every year and if there are special events. So it is advisable to check beforehand.
1 November to February 28
09:45 to 15:00, castle closes at 16:15
1 March to 31 October
09:45 to16:00, castle closes at 17:15
For more information see RoyalWindsor.com
Windsor Castle, in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, is the largest inhabited castle in the world and, dating back to the time of William the Conqueror, is the oldest in continuous occupation. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II stays at Windsor over Easter every year.
The Round Tower is the landmark of Windsor Castle.
St George's Chapel is the place of worship at Windsor Castle. It is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. It is the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter. The magnificent State Apartments are furnished with some of the finest works of art from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Canaletto and Gainsborough.
Peascod Street is an extremely old street and as such confounds visitors with the strange pronunciation of its name. Locally it is known as 'Pesscott' street', not, as it might seem, 'peez cod street'. As you might expect from one of the oldest streets in the town, it offers a wealth of shopping from top to bottom! In order to make the experience even more pleasurable, the entire shopping area was closed to traffic and turned into an attractive pedestrian precinct in the mid 1990s
Windsor is particularly well served when it comes to shops. As a tourist town there is a wide selection of gift shops around the castle together with stylish shops and restaurants in Windsor Royal Station .Stylish shops and restaurants of repute, its architectural elegance creates a place to shop, eat, meet and enjoy.
Concessions in the Concourse
Visit the concourse where a collection of small, independent businesses have personally sourced a unique range of gifts, accessories and homewares.
This little black-and-white house looks like it's had too much to drink and tilts like a drunk towards one side!. Enjoy a light lunch, a Royal cream tea (tea and scones with clotted cream and jam) or dinner (bring your own wine). A member of the Slow Food movement, which advocates healthy eating, this adorable restaurant sources its produce locally.The building is supposed to be 300 years old!
We did not eat in here!