Some of the things we love most about Windsor
PUBLISHED: 14:58 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:59 27 February 2017
© Maureen McLean. All Rights Reserved
Whether you take the car, train or simply head into town on foot, the sights and sounds of the Royal town are always a pick-me-up
If you’re feeling the chill, it’s easy to get cosy indoors and then realise as darkness falls that you haven’t taken a step outside, and even be temporarily glad of it! But that’s not good for our spirits or physical well-being and the chirpiest people of all ages you meet are those who wrap up well and then head out to meet others with the same outlook.
However cold it is, Windsor is a great place for winter ‘people-watching’ as you’ll always find plenty of folk, not just the tourists, drawn by its charms.
There’s the Castle of course, and one of our favourites is to take a look at the chilly Thames and then decide that’s a good enough reason to head for the feast of shops and cafes nearby!
Not that we’re quite ready to leave the river behind just yet, A great way to see the town is a combination of a river trip and road trip with the Windsor Duck Tours, see www.windsorducktours.co.uk. River cruises along the Thames are also available with French Brothers (www.frenchbrothers.co.uk). Their 40 mins trips run 10am to 3pm, weekends only, until 5 February, and then 10am to 5pm daily from 11 February, all subject to river conditions of course.
Stay on dry land, though, and you can buy two bags of swan food for £1 at the café next to the River Thames where the river cruises leave.
Another great way to see Windsor is to go on a guided cycling tour with Mind the Gap Tours. The tours depart from Windsor & Eton Riverside Train Station at 10.30am and 2.30pm and last for three hours. They cost £25 per person and cycles are provided, see www.mindthegaptours.com.
Still full of energy? The Long Walk is really popular for walkers and joggers. It’s 2.65 miles long and starts at the George IV gateway at Windsor Castle and ends at the famous Copper Horse. Erected in 1831 as a memorial to George III, it can be seen for miles around. The Long walk is part of Windsor Great Park and you can often see deer grazing nearby. Not up to jogging? You can watch the hardy souls who do while enjoying a gentle amble of your own.
Back in the town centre, both local people and tourists love to watch the Changing of the Guard. This time of year the soldiers wear long coats to keep them nice and warm. But trust us, they’re still hard as nails underneath!
For details see www.royalcollection.org.uk.
If you are a resident of The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead you may be eligible for an Advantage card. This gives discounts to premises such as many restaurants and includes free entry into Windsor Castle including the State Apartments and Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House.
And you don’t need to be a visitor from overseas to make the most of the friendly Tourist Office in Windsor Royal Shopping – it’s full of ideas for places to go in Windsor.
For instance, the Diamond Jubilee Fountain is near to Alexandra Gardens and both are well worth a visit. The Fountain was commissioned in 2012 to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The new bandstand in Alexandra Gardens is a great addition to the town.
And here’s a good way to keep the kids occupied. Why not try one of the East Berkshire Windsor Murder Mystery Treasure Trails? You can download them at www.treasuretrails.co.uk and they cost £6.99.
Windsor’s streets of older homes are full of their own history and just before Park Street and at the end of St Albans Street are two red and blue postboxes. The blue one dates back to 1934 and is the only one in the country. It commemorates the first Airmail delivery.
During your visit look out for the Queen’s Walkway markers around the town. The Walkway takes you on a fabulous self guided four mile walk around 63 of Windsor’s attractions – see www.outdoortrust.com.
If you are interested in history we can recommend the Blue Badge guides in Windsor (www.windsortouristguides.co.uk). They do some really interesting tours about old parts of Windsor.
Locals and visitors from across the globe always like to stop off at the Crooked House (now occupied by Jersey Pearls). It’s located right next to the Windsor Museum and Windsor Guildhall. HRH Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were married at the Guildhall in 2005 and Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish had their Civil Partnership at the Guildhall in the same year.
Make a day of it and complete your visit with a trip to The Theatre Royal Windsor. They host some wonderful plays, musicals and comedy evenings throughout the year. February’s line-up includes Dreamboats and Petticoats, Simon Williams’s cutting edge thriller Kiss of Death, Ayckbourn’s Henceforward, Ding Dong Murder Me On High, the latest installment of Inspector Pratt’s adventures by Peter Gordon, and Willy Russell’s tremendous musical, Blood Brothers. See theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk.
Windsor is a really great place for shopping and eating out. It has some cobbled streets and atmospheric pubs. Windsor Royal Shopping has plenty of eateries and is home to the Windsor Central Railway station.
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