Windsor might have gone back to everyday life since the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan but there are still plenty of reasons why you should visit this historic town following their big day
During May 2018, the eyes of the world were focused on the Berkshire town of Windsor where the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took place. Windsor however, has always been a popular tourist destination, but what is it that regularly attracts tourists from all over the world?
The main attraction at Windsor is obviously Windsor Castle which was built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror and is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. It is also the Queen’s favourite weekend residence. Daily tours are available around the castle and there is something for everyone.
The romantics among us who were unable to secure an invitation to the wedding will be able to see the venue of St Georges Chapel and walk in the footsteps of the royal couple.
For the historically minded, during the tour you will be able to visit the tombs of many members of the British royal family including Henry VIII, Charles I, Prince Albert, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.
For those with children or with an inner child, a visit to see Queen Mary’s Dolls House is a must. This was designed and built for Queen Mary by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was intended to depict all aspects of the royal household both above and below stairs during the 1920’s.
Windsor Great Park
And if you enjoy the great outdoors and getting back to nature, take a trip to Windsor Great Park. This royal park stretches for over 2,020 hectares comprising parkland, forest trails and ancient woodlands. The iconic Long Walk is the ideal place to burn of some steam while taking in panoramic views of the castle and the ancient oak trees. The park is also home to a herd of over 500 red deer who roam freely and are noted for being very photogenic.
Once finished on the tour of the castle, for those who have not had enough of seeing how ‘the other half lives’, just a short walk outside Windsor is the world-famous Eton College, whose ex pupils include Hugh Laurie, Boris Johnson, Bear Grylls, George Orwell and Damian Lewis. For a small fee, tours can be arranged around this famous school.
Changing of the Guard
For the royalists amongst us, and those who love pomp and ceremony, it is essential to watch the changing of the guard outside Windsor castle. During the change traffic is stopped and the High Street is transformed into a parade ground, while the guards march into and out of the castle. The actual venue for this ceremony depends on whether the Queen is in residence or not, so if you wish to view this spectacular event it’s worth checking on the Windsor Castle website.
Should you not have the desire for the darker side, but still wish to learn more about the stranger history of Windsor then perhaps a murder mystery treasure trail would fit the bill. Suitable for all ages, this is a self-guided tour around existing buildings, permanent features and monuments, solving clues while trying to work out ‘whodunit’. During your treasure trail tour you may be lucky enough to see some of the quirkier sites of Windsor, such as the ‘crooked house’. Officially called the Market Cross House, it was built in the 17th century and is famous for its dramatic leaning posture. Also, situated outside the castle is one of the few remaining blue post boxes left in the country. These were put in place by George V to receive and send airmail correspondence during World War II.
Windsor Duck Tour
For those who want to see the sights of Windsor in an unconventional way, booking a trip on the Windsor Duck tour will not disappoint. This tour begins in a yellow amphibious vehicle in the heart of Windsor viewing many of the most famous sights. The vehicle then ventures down a slipway into the river for a journey into and along the Thames, with breathtaking views of the castle and other notable historical sights. Reviews from previous customers have stated that it’s an amazing tour suitable for all ages, with tour guides who are amusing and well informed!
Windsor is clearly noted for its history, but should you want to explore its darker side as night falls, ghost tours are also available. Guides dressed in authentic historical costumes tell the spooky tales of royal ghosts, phantom horsemen, burnings at the stake and the gruesome history of the town and the castle. Clearly not for the fainthearted!
Windsor has so many attractions for everyone young and old but if you tire of the historic and want something a little more adrenaline filled, then Legoland is the place to go. Bursting with interactive family rides, live shows and amazing attractions; be prepared to unleash your inner child.
Image source: Windsor.gov.uk