Visit the world-famous Windsor Castle, admire panoramic views from the Great Park, enjoy stylish shopping or indulge yourself at some of the world’s finest restaurants on a visit to Windsor
Situated on a sweeping curve of the River Thames, Windsor Castle has been home to the British monarchy since the time of William the Conqueror in the 11th century. Today, it is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and is the Queen’s favourite weekend retreat.
A visit to Windsor wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the castle and highlights include the stunning State Apartments with paintings from the Royal Collection, the splendid Gothic St George’s Chapel and Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House – the largest, most beautiful dolls’ house in the world.
Windsor has some wonderful family attractions and is a great place to bring the kids. They will love LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, which has interactive rides, LEGO building workshops and driving schools. The town also has family-friendly museums, such as the Windsor & Royal Borough Museum, as well as acres of outdoor space to explore.
The great outdoors
Take a riverside stroll along the Thames Path or head to the historic Windsor Great Park. The Long Walk is a three-mile, tree-lined avenue leading through the park to the magnificent Copper Horse statue. From here, you will find stunning panoramic views of Windsor and the surrounding countryside. The park is home to ancient woodlands and an outstanding collection of plants from around the world.
Take the Heritage Trail across Windsor Bridge into Eton and admire the impressive architecture of this world-famous public school and on Sunday’s between 2:30 and 5pm, Eton’s Natural History Museum opens its doors to visitors. You can enjoy a boat trip on the Thames or take a tour in an amphibious vehicle around the town and along the river with a Windsor Duck Tour. Alternatively, sit back and relax in a horse-drawn carriage or open-top bus and admire the views.
If you’re looking for outdoor activities then you’ll find plenty of things to do in Windsor. There are many walking trails and cycle paths, and the area is popular for horse-riding, with local riding schools offering lessons. If golf is your game, the area has some wonderful courses nearby, while Bray Lake Watersports offers paddle-boarding, windsurfing, kayaking and sailing. Fancy a flutter? Then head to the Royal Windsor Racecourse, which is set in a picturesque location on the banks of the Thames. Soak up the exciting atmosphere of flat racing from April to October and its famous Monday night race meetings during the summer months.
Windsor is a wonderful place for a spot of retail therapy. Its centre is compact and full of high-quality outlets. The Windsor Royal Shopping Centre is set in a Grade II-listed Victorian railway station and is home to upmarket brands such as Aquascutum and Jaeger. Head to King Edward Court Shopping Centre for high-street brands and wander down Peascod Street for great charity shops and vintage stores. The area by the castle is jam-packed with specialist outlets selling everything from local jewellery to Moorcroft pottery, while across the river in Eton you’ll find galleries, antique shops and a great selection of independent retailers.
Food and drink
With a fantastic cafe culture and a superb selection of restaurants, Windsor offers a wide range of options to suit every occasion. You’ll find modern French at A la Russe, contemporary Mediterranean and Moroccan cuisine at Meimo, and traditional wood-fired pizza at Sebastian’s Italian. For al fresco dining, head to The Boatman, where you can enjoy traditional English food with a modern twist on the riverside terrace overlooking the Thames.
Across the river in Eton is Flaming Cow, which serves fabulous burgers, ribs and hot dogs. The kids’ menu makes it a great choice for families. Windsor also has an impressive selection of international restaurants serving everything from Japanese and Thai to Indian and Mexican.
Just outside the town in the nearby village of Bray, you’ll find two three-Michelin starred restaurants: the Roux brothers’ legendary The Waterside Inn and Heston Blumenthal’s world-renowned The Fat Duck. Blumenthal also runs the Hinds Head pub in the village. Booking is advised!
After a hard day’s sightseeing, why not relax in one of Windsor’s traditional pubs or stylish bars. The Two Brewers is a cosy 17th-century pub located near the entrance to the Long Walk and is a favourite with locals, while The Duchess of Cambridge sits opposite Windsor Castle and serves traditional ales, cocktails and a large selection of continental lagers. The Boatman is the town’s only riverside pub and its outdoor terrace is a great place to unwind on a sunny afternoon.
If you are looking for some evening entertainment, then head for the elegant Theatre Royal. This beautiful Edwardian theatre opened in 1910 and boasts the acclaimed Bill Kenwright as its producer. The theatre’s varied programme of events ranges from the classics to dance, music and pantomime, and many of its shows debut here before transferring to the West End. You’ll also find great comedy, music, theatre, dance and film at The Firestation Centre for Arts and Culture, and live music from Wednesday through to Sunday at The Old Ticket Hall.