A town entirely built around a castle, you can bank on Windsor for a royal serving.
If you visit on a weekend, there is a steady chance HM the Queen will be in the area too! Keep an eye out for the Royal Standard flag whilst doing the rounds of historic chapels and riverside tea rooms.
Less than an hour from the capital, it makes a fulfilling day trip for anyone hoping to discover English heritage and its royal family.
Starting with the obvious, the Queen’s weekend home is the centrepiece of the entire town.
Windsor Castle is both the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, which are just two massive reasons you need to visit. Plus, you can’t blag you’ve been to Windsor without having seen the castle.
Inside the fortress walls, you will find lavish gilding, an unsettlingly giant collection of impaling instruments and Queen Mary’s intricate dollhouse which requires hours of attention in itself.
Discover what it was like to be an Edwardian in England with the architectural creation that nailed life to a T. It even features running hot and cold water and electricity. Don’t miss the library of miniature classics complete with pages.
Prepare for the long queues of excited tourists. You need to book your ticket in advance. We suggest you do this with a combined entry for St George’s Cathedral chapel next door, where the Royal Weddings are held.
St George’s Chapel
In due course, for your full sweep of British history, St George’s Chapel is a gothic building paying homage to the life and death of monarchs.
Here you can visit the resting place of noteworthy Kings and Queens. Look out for Henry VIII, Edward IV, the loopy George III and the genuine George VI (not Colin Firth).
Inside the 15th-century chapel, you can attend an Evensong every day except Wednesdays, at 5.15 pm. The traditional service features music, readings and prayer and is a moving experience regardless of your standing point.
The spine-tingling venue is where Prince Harry married Meghan Markle more intimately than at other Royal Weddings. And you can see where it all went down.
Frogmore House and Gardens
You likely recognise Frogmore estate from vintage photos of the royals enjoying a stretch on the lawn.
The House and Gardens have been a royal family retreat for over 300 years. And for just a few days a year, you get the chance to explore, delivering a glimpse of royal life.
The next-door neighbour to the castle invites you to admire its plush interior, painted flowers (the Mary Moser Room) and spectacular grounds. See where the famous royal photo shoot took place and even reenact the images.
Outside you will find the solemn Mausoleum, where the notoriously fierce Queen Victoria and her husband lay to rest. The Queen ordered the structure to be made in the style of Raphael who Prince Albert was fond of.
If you are from England then you probably know Windsor’s river as the one from East Enders. Its real name, just as well-known, is the River Thames.
It is particularly enticing to visit in the sunshine. If you are lucky enough to have a day of rays, you should not miss the opportunity!
Grab a coffee or some lunch and sit on one of the worry-free benches to watch the swans go about their day. Cast your gaze to the opposite bank where you will spot the famous university town of Eton.
If you are up for an adventure, the Thames snakes through 20 miles of towns and villages, all the way past the iconic Tower Bridge. You can follow it as near or as far as you fancy.
For those wanting to follow in the footsteps of the royals, travelling on the water by boat was the old-fashioned way of getting around town. Don’t miss the Duck Boat tours that take you on a thrilling adventure off and on land.
Similarly, you could hire a rowing or motorboat to tour the famous river on your own accord.
Changing of the Guards
It has been said the guard change in Windsor is better than the one at the Queen’s main residence. If it is anything like Buckingham, you are in for a delight.
Each morning you can watch the processions of the guards travelling between Victoria Barracks and Windsor Castle.
At this point, the men will have been on duty for a mighty 24 to 48 hours, which means you get to watch the grand finale of their noble shift. Often the English spectacle is topped off with a traditional marching band.
The best places to watch are either on Windsor Highstreet or from a post at the Corn Exchange under the Guildhall.
With entry to the castle, you can watch the ceremony that takes place inside the walls. This is why it is best to plan ahead. The date and time of the procession alter, so be sure to refer to the website.
Equally as entertaining as watching the guard change is every child and adult child’s dream. Legoland is one of the most popular theme parks in Europe. The resort is based completely on the colourful bricks we are all too familiar with.
Enjoy 55 rides, including those exclusive to Windsor.
Do not miss the one and only LEGO Vikings ride in the world and the neighbouring Loki’s Labyrinth maze. LEGO Mythica is another exclusive to the resort, featuring a 4D cinema and huge mythical LEGO creatures. Drive LEGO cars and let the tots get creative inside the giant DUPLO toy.
Take your pick of the themed dorms across both LEGO hotels. Crack the treasure hunt inside the room and enjoy a complimentary breakfast!
Shuttle buses from the town centre handle the travel, so you can start your day out stress-free.
Windsor Great Park
One of Windsor’s finest assets is the breathtakingly spacious Windsor Great Park. Just seeing it will be inspiration enough to throw your running shoes on and get active.
The park itself is a piece of history since it was the royal family’s private hunting ground during the 13th century.
These days, you can roam the grounds gun-free and appreciate what is left of the semi-wild red deer. Admire the voluminous nature, including the Savill and Valley Gardens and the manmade waterfall.
The Long Walk spans down the middle of the park, leading from Ascot to Windsor Castle. Use the castle as your motivation as it grows larger and larger while you follow the 3-mile-long trail.
See the notorious Edwardian theatre that has been ruling over the town for 200 years. Sandwiched between the castle and the Thames, here you can anticipate some of the finest theatre England has to offer.
Absorb yourself in the pantomime at the Theatre Royal. The cultural hub also showcases traditional and modern plays, musicals and opera performances with plenty of familiar faces.
You will not be stuck for something to do indoors in Windsor.
The Queen’s Walkway
The most effective way to explore Windsor is with 63 royal hotspots to commend Her Majesty’s milestone reign. Nothing hits the nail on the head better than The Queen’s Walkway.
Follow the 4-mile circular walking route that leads you by the 63 best features of Windsor. The trail was opened by the Queen during her 90th birthday celebrations marking her becoming Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
Allow a minimum of 2 hours to complete the trail that shows you parts you may and may not have noticed. Allow more if you wish to take advantage of the tempting coffee shops along the way!
There is a free online map which can also be purchased from the Information Office. Refer to the guide to learn more about the points along the route.
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t go out in England without stopping for a drink at the pub. Fortunately for you, there is a whole horde of traditional English pubs in Windsor.
Of course, many are named after royalty, which can kill two birds with one stone if you fancy. An example is The Crown & Cushion, a good old-fashioned pub serving proper pub grub. Enjoy the most glorious full English and fish and chips in town.
Meanwhile, Queen Charlotte serves plenty of options for a reasonable choice in a sophisticated vintage setting. They’re right around the corner from the castle so it would be rude not to.
Meanwhile, Windsor and Eton Brewery hope to overrule the throne and make beer the main attraction in Windsor. Since 2010 they have hosted comedy and music events accompanied by award-winning brews.
If you’re there for the Royal Wedding they have a beer just for the occasion!
St John the Baptist Church
Also near to the castle is the parish church which is the home of a very important piece of Christian art. The painting of The Last Supper is an anonymous national treasure that takes people by surprise above the entrance.
The wooden panel carved by Grinling Gibbons is also worth a peek for its intricate nature and personification. It is a historic element donated from St George’s Chapel, which means it would have been a part of historic royal occasions.
The church itself is on the same site it has been since the 12th century; unfortunately the church had to be rebuilt in the 1800s. You can still see some of the previous features on and around the site.
Visit before 5 pm daily on High Street.
Take the Thames Path to Runnymede where you can relish in significant moments of days past. The National Trust feature is filled to the brim with memorials, heritage sites and smashing views of the town.
The most important is the site where King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215, which was the very first step in creating British Parliament. It signifies the transition of power in the country from its previous royal dominance.
A 2015 commemoration of the act was installed where you can have your photo taken impersonating the Jurors involved in the agreement.
Spread around the park are dedications to JFK and the lives lost in World War Two where you can pay your respects.
Refresh your palette at the Magna Carta Tea Room with a tea and cream scone.
The only way this town could seem more English is on horseback! Horses are a recurring find in Windsor which might push you to grab the reins and investigate…
Riding groups like Tally Ho Stables and Wayside offer hacks through Windsor Great Park catered to every level of experience. No need to buy equipment, just long pants and shoes with a heel – they sort the rest.
Even the Queen has given it a go! You can spot her weekend pony, Emma, at the castle.
If the idea of being up high is offputting, you could live it up like the royals in a horse-drawn carriage. Be the centre of attention and hear helpful insights from the coachmen.
Of course, one of the biggest events in England is horse racing and Royal Ascot is the country’s best-known course. Meanwhile, the Royal Windsor Racecourse hosts live music nights. You can watch the sophisticated events here throughout the year.
Sugar, butter and milk – it is no wonder fudge is such an adored British staple.
Come watch it be made by the experts in the Fudge Kitchen. Their fudge-making demonstration will have you drooling and their 200-year-perfected recipe is the treat your tastebuds need.
They are wonderfully ethical and gluten-free! And you can even attend fudge-making sessions to taste all the different flavours and make your own batch to take home.
Want to see a traditional wedding take place in the same spot Prince Charles married Camilla? Or where Elton John married David Furnish?
The Guildhall is the showstopping English Baroque town hall where all the special ceremonies take place in Windsor.
Its naturally lit rooms and intimate nature make it a favourite with the locals. It is no wonder it has been used for royal weddings.
Enjoy a traditional spread of afternoon tea with clotted cream, scones and finger sandwiches.
Windsor & Royal Borough Museum
Inside the Guildhall you will find a small yet fascinating exhibition. The Windsor & Royal Borough Museum has a giant rotation including a 100,000-year-old mammoth tusk and important pieces of 19th-century art.
70 years of collecting forms an expansive collection with behind-the-scenes knowledge surrounding the artefacts. It is the place to go in Windsor to learn everything from prehistoric times to modern-day society in the local area.
See exclusive royal objects and paintings and learn all the royal gossip from the volunteers.
Seize your memorabilia from the number of excellent independent and mainstream shops the town has to offer.
Windsor Royal Shopping Centre is housed inside a converted railway station. You can still make out the frames of the old building while you weave between the fashionable shops and eateries.
Get all the goods in one place on High Street, Peascod Street and Thames Street. The latter is bound to find you heaps of antique fancies.
Do not miss the one-of-a-kind Crooked House of Windsor, distinguished by its black and white wonky face. Though momentarily closed and awaiting new ownership, its amusing facade is worth a visit just for photo ops!