Within the last 4 days of 2017, I made the 24hr migration from rural South Australia to a town called Windsor in England. At this point in time, I didn’t know much about Windsor, but 16 months into calling this magical place home, I truly believe I couldn’t have found a better place to live during my stint in England.
Windsor’s beauty is widespread and my amazement and awe of this beautiful royal town rich in history, is yet to lessen than the day I arrived.
Leaving a 38 degree day behind during a South Australian Boxing Day, I was welcomed to nothing more than 3 degrees, in Heathrow airport. A 40 pound taxi fair fare and about 25 minutes later, I found myself at the top of The Windsor Royal Shopping, where the taxi driver and I attempted to navigate our way to the Travelodge, my place of hibernation while I recovered from jet lag and began my new life as an Aussie expat ready to explore Windsor and beyond.
How to get to Windsor?
If you’re planning on leaving London for the day to explore the beautiful town of Windsor, it is a quick train ride from Paddington Station – 17 minutes on the express or about half an hour on a normal train. The express train will take you straight to Slough, where you then get on the 6 minute train to Windsor and Eton Central where you find yourself in the heart of Windsor and only a 50m walk to the Travelodge for budget accommodation – as easy as that!
Where to stay?
The Travelodge was a fantastic comfortable budget stay: double bed, private bathroom with a bath tub, television and breakfast served from 6am and in a perfect location – literally in the heart of the town, with shops, cafes and restaurants at your finger tips, as well as the train station a hop, skip and a jump away.For bookings: https://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/329/Windsor-Central-hotel
What to do and see?
So Windsor, where to explore?
By far, the biggest attraction and highlight of this stunning town would be Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and has been the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years. Home to Her Royal Majesty the Queen on many of her weekends, the infamous visit of Donald Trump and his lack of etiquette in 2017, and most recently and famously, the magnificent location of the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – and what a day it was!
St George’s Chapel
The famous location of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, place of worship for Her Majesty and the Royal Family as well as a church serving the local community. Construction of St George’s Chapel began in 1475 by Edward IV and was completed by Henry VIII in 1528. The architecture represents one of the finest examples of ‘Perpendicular Gothic Style’ in the country. Well worth a visit to see the magnificent interior, attend a service or just admire the history amongst the many tombs and resting places of the royal family including King George V & Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
The Crooked House of Windsor
Located at the top of the High Street and just outside the Windsor Castle, is the gravity defying ‘Crooked House of Windsor’. Built in 1592 and currently a jewellery store called Jersey Pearl, but has previously been a butcher shop and tea house, while hiding a mysterious passageway under the basement thought to lead directly into Windsor Castle to deliver fresh vegetables from the original market square…
The Long Walk
The Long Walk – by far my favourite place to relax or explore and somewhere I walk literally every weekend! It is the only place I know that has as much beauty in Winter as it does in Spring, Summer or Autumn. Whether its a crisp frosty Winter’s morning, the sunshine of Spring, a relaxing picnic under a shady Elm tree in Summer, or a walk through the thousand’s of fallen orange Autumn leaves, this place is just something else. Don’t forget to venture to The Copper Horse statue at the end (a 4.2km walk one way), and keep a lookout for the herd of 500 deer within the deer park, introduced as a herd of about 40 in 1979 by Prince Phillip. Look to the left of the Long Walk, and you might be able to locate Prince Harry and Meghan’s Frogmore Cottage in the distance!
Places to eat:
Windsor has every type of food, restaurant, pub or cafe you could ever be looking for!
Some of my favourites include:
- Duchess of Cambridge – a pub overlooking the castle with fantastic British pub food, drinks and atmosphere.
- Prince Harry – also near the castle, and who wouldn’t go to a pub renamed after the Prince before his wedding day!
- Bluegrass – an American burger place with literally the best burgers and ‘Frickles’ (fried pickles) you’ve ever eaten.
- Over the Eton bridge, Cote Brasserie is a beautiful French restaurant overlooking the River Thames.
- Sel et Sucre – a deliciously French cafe, where you are surrounded by pink roses as you eat some of the most deliciously waffles, crepes or baguettes.
- Madam Posh – again French and surrounded by roses, with amazing breakfast, coffee, afternoon tea desserts and high tea!
The list doesn’t end there, and after 1.5 years of living in Windsor I’ve barely even touched the sides of what food Windsor has to offer!
What else is there to do in Windsor?
Windsor is a tourist’s playground lined with nature, an abundance of shopping, every type of food you could ever want, British culture and steeped in Royal history. Other recommended experiences include:
- Exploring the grounds of the Great Park beyond the Long Walk and the Deer Park.
- Taking a boat cruise up the River Thames, or hire your own boat!
- Feeding the swans, property of Her Majesty the Queen!
- Crossing the bridge to Eton and visiting its many restaurants and shops at any time of day. Don’t forget to keep walking until you reach Eton College.
- Take a tour of Windsor and Eton Brewery and taste their many beers.
- Eat a Sunday Roast at one of the many English Pubs.
- Take just about any tour you could want around the town!
- Just walk around and enjoy what this magical town has to offer, whether its shopping or food you’re after, the only problem you will have is deciding where to go!
Honestly, of all the places I have been in England over the past year and a half, Windsor is still by far my favourite place to be. It never fails to amaze me with it’s natural beauty, abundance of things to do, or just being able to admire the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. If you are looking for a place steeped in history and British culture, Windsor is the place to be – I promise you’ll love it!
For more information about the history of Windsor Castle check out the following books: https://www.amazon.com.au/s?k=Windsor+castle&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss
For more information about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan check out the following books: https://www.amazon.com.au/s?k=meghan+and+harry&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss
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