We have just spent an amazing week house/pet sitting in Old Windsor, Old Windsor is approx a mile outside the royal town of Windsor and is a pretty little suburb. Windsor is West of London about 13 miles outside of the capital and is prettily hugged by the River Thames, it is of course a well known residence of the royal family and is packed full of British pageantry and pomp – which we love!
We have taken advantage of our fabulous location and explored the local area, most people will no doubt stick to walking around Windsor and taking in the Castle view but we were determined to check out the surrounding area too.
Getting to Windsor
Via Train – From London Paddington or Waterloo its easy and fairly inexpensive to get the train. Windsor has two train stations – Windsor and Eton riverside which feeds into London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Central which feeds into London Paddington via Slough. Both journeys will take around 30 minutes and cost around 10.00 return (As of April 2016) each.
Via Car – Junction 6 off the M4 and approx 4 miles from the junction. At the weekend parking is awkward and expensive, so be prepared.
Below is our Top 5 ‘must do’ for Windsor and surrounding area! Have fun.
- Windsor – Obviously you have to visit the castle, I would not recommend looking around inside the castle, its expensive and usually really busy that any atmosphere is lost. Everything in Windsor is close so do not be tempted by the bus tour, you can easily walk most of the sites.
- Change of the Guards! Every morning (11.30am) in front of the Castle the guards change and its a typically British display of ceremony. Impressive and FREE!
- Lunch by the River Thames. Windsor has the usual shops, supermarkets and lots of coffee shops, so plenty of places to refresh, but if the sun is shining the River Thames is a pretty place to be and enjoy your lunch.
- Walk the Long Walk (also known as George IV Gateway). The Long Walk runs from Windsor Castle (the best view of the castle) to the 1829 Copper Horse statue of King George III atop Snow Hill. It is 2.65 miles in a very straight line so be prepared to walk. The statue is on the edge of Great Windsor Park, great place to view stags and deer and a lovely green space.
2. Walk from Windsor to Eton. Head towards the train station ‘Windsor and Eton Riverside’ before you reach the station turn right and walk across the bridge to Eton. Very very pretty long walk (approx 1 mile) through cobbled streets to the infamous Eton College. Marvel at the amazing architecture and take in some British history. Most of our politicians and a few British actors were schooled here, its very Harry Potter-esque!
3. Runnymede – The site where the Magna Carta was sealed. Runnymede is approx 4 miles outside Windsor, there is parking and it is well serviced by buses (No 71) from Windsor. Please click here for specifics about Runnymede and what there is to see, they explain it better than me. The memorials are interesting and are surrounded by the River Thames with plenty of green space, perfect for picnics. The memorials are FREE which is a bonus too. Stay away from the ‘pleasure area’ across the road from the memorials, its a poor way of trying to get you to spend money on your kids.
4. Get the train to Richmond! If you are staying in Windsor, Richmond is well worth a visit. Even if you are staying in London, Richmond is still worth a visit! The train from Windsor Eton & Riverside station takes approx 30 minutes and costs 12.00 return (As of April 2016). Richmond is home to Kew gardens, Richmond park, beautiful buildings and conservation areas, and a great museum. Visit Richmond Park and choose one of the trails, marvel at the architecture around the pretty streets at and walk alongside the River Thames. It has a less touristy feel to it, which we preferred. Well worth a stroll around.
5. We had to end with a PUB! There are plenty of quintessential British pubs in Windsor, but we really liked this one. Its a great pit stop to quench your thirst after meandering ‘The long walk’ and is steeped in interesting history. The Two Brewers will not disappoint.
A few little extra places we found, we did not get to explore them fully but were cute places to visit – Dorney & Egham.