Windsor is a beautiful town located right along the river Thames. Home to the famous Windsor Castle where the Royal family live. Seeing as though the two of us live just a few minutes away from Windsor, you could say it’s an area close to our hearts. It’s perfect for shopping, eating, sightseeing, drinking and so much more. Whether you are staying one night or three, Windsor has something for everyone. We hope you enjoy our guide to Windsor.
Windsor is located west of London and is easily accessible via train, car or bus. If you are travelling by car there are several parking structures to use, and you can easily pay for hourly parking during your visit. If you are traveling from London,your best bet is to take the train from Paddington to Slough, then from Slough to Windsor. Alternatively, the other option by train is to travel from Waterloo directly to Windsor & Eton riverside. The journey can vary in time, but both take you to the very heart of Windsor.
Things to Do
Windsor Castle is famous for a number of reasons, but most notably it’s where the royal family live! Fun fact, Windsor Castle is the largest and the oldest occupied castle in the world. It was founded by the Great William the Conqueror back in the 11th century. The castle is open all year to visitors, which is a great activity to do as a couple or as a family. On the tour you are allowed to walk around the incredible grounds and learn about the deep history Windsor Castle has to offer.
However, you don’t have to pay to enjoy the beauty of the Castle. There are definitely some amazing photo opportunities around, our personal favourite is along the Long walk.
The Long Walk & Great Windsor Park
The Long Walk is located within Great Windsor park; boasting a 3 mile long path ending at the Copper Horse statue. If you’re lucky with the weather, you can even see London on a clear day! Both Hanna and I have done the Long Walk a few times and it’s definitely a workout. Totaling 6 miles there and back, the walk is a commintment but completely worth it for the views at the end.
The River Thames
Windsor is located on the River Thames which provides visitors a multitude of beautiful river side walks. There are plenty of options for walking, relaxing, or even a picnic. In our opinion, the best time to visit is during the summer. Although it can be enjoyed during all seasons, summer is our favorite due to the warm weather and longer days. Tip, be on the lookout for the swans, they love the visitors especially the ones with bread.
Eton & Eton College
Eton and Eton College are notable places to visit adjacent to Windsor. Eton College is known to be one of the most famous colleges in the United Kingdom. Dozens of Prime Minister’s and royal family members have attended school there. Equally, Eton itself is home to a wonderful high street, filled with pubs, bars, and beautiful boutiques. Therefore, if find yourself in Windsor, be sure to check out Eton over the bridge.
One of our favourite things to do whilst in Windsor is to shop. There are plenty of popular retailers, boutiques and cafes to visit. You can find most of the shops located on the high street however, there are a few boutiques hidden along the back streets. If you have time to explore they are definitely worth hunting down.
If you fancy a royal weekend away, then look no further than the Castle Hotel Windsor. This beautiful hotel is located right on the highstreet and is a stone’s throw away from Windsor Castle itself. With beautiful interiors, and amazing rooms, you’ll find everything you need to feel like a royal away from home. The hotel dates back 500 years where you can still see the classic architecture and design throughout the hotel and its many rooms. During the 1600’s the hotel actually flourished as the mermaid Inn, where it began to brew its own beer and cider. One innkeeper, George Pennington, even dealt with a national coin shortage by creating a metal token, known as the pennington penny.
During our stay we had the privilege of sleeping in the William Want suite. The suite was cozy with a large double bed and an incredible view of the windsor castle. The amenities covered everything you could need to be comfortable. If you fancy staying at the Castle Hotel Windsor be sure to check them out here.
If you are unable to stay at the hotel we highly recommend having their afternoon tea. The menu was created by the legendary Captain Sir Tom Moore in honour of the Captain Tom Moore foundation. With the hotel contributing 10% to the foundation with every afternoon tea sold. For more details click here.
One thing that we really loved about the Castle Hotel Windsor, is their signature restaurant, Leaf. Leaf focuses on creating incredible cuisines from locally sourced produce. Supporting dining inside and outside, with the outside boasting a beautiful garden terrace. Both of us really enjoyed our dinner there, we started off with calamari and a baked camembert. Honestly, the starter was divine. For the main we ordered the butter chicken and 8oz sirloin steak, again, the mains were beautifully cooked and incredibly tasty. Finally, for dessert we both decided on a chocolate brownie, because who can so no to brownies.
If you are feeling touristy and fancy a classic British meal, you must try Riverside Fish and Chips. We often eat here during the summer as it’s a great place to grab lunch. Additionally, with it being located next to the river Thames, it’s possible to grab some food on the go, find a cute place by the river and watch the world go by. Definitely, a must if you’re visiting
One thing that we love about Windsor is the number of pubs that are available. Of which, Browns is a fan favourite. Located right on the river, Browns offers amazing gastro food, plus, it doesn’t get much better than having a pint riverside. During the month of June, Browns gets very popular when the Ascot Races are taking place due to the ferry between Ascot and Windsor being located opposite.
Cote Brasserie can be found on the river next to the bridge in Eton. Cote Brasserie provides a more elegant dining experience, especially with their champaign brunch. We have had lunch here several times and it does not disappoint. Bookings do become full during the summer months, however, the wait isn’t to long if you time it right. If you are here for a short stay, we recommend booking in advance to save any hassle.
Established in 1792 the Two Brewers is a local favourite in Windsor. Located on park street next to the entrance for the Long Walk, this is a beautiful English pub you need to visit. They serve pub food and classic British drinks, boasting a wonderful pub menu including a variety of fine wines.
Finally on our list is the Castle Kebab and Grill. If you are craving some easy tasty food then the Castle Kebab has you covered. Although not super healthy, there is nothing better than a donna kebab after a few drinks. This has a special place in Hanna’s heart as their garlic and herb sauce is to die for.
For more travel guides located in the UK, be sure to check them out here.