A Royally Good Day in Windsor
If you're planning a trip to Windsor, read our guide to the charming market town and find out what to expect during the royal wedding on Saturday 19 May.
SIGHTSEEING AND ACTIVITIES
With its typically English cobbled streets, heritage buildings and glorious waterfront, there’s plenty to see.
Windsor’s royal roots date as far back as William the Conqueror, who chose the town as a site for a Norman stronghold in the 11th century. The result is the fairy-tale Windsor Castle (above), which now serves as an official residence of the Queen (don't forget that it will be closed to visitors 18-19 May).
Take a bus trip with The Original Tour to explore the town centre and nearby Eton College, which Princes William and Harry attended. You can hop on and off at 11 bus stops located around the town.
Liquid History Tours offers guided cycling tours through Windsor and the scenic Thames Valley, departing from Windsor & Eton Riverside station.
Don't miss the majestic Windsor Great Park. Covering 4,800 acres, this former royal hunting ground features monuments, forests and stunning gardens. Stroll around the Obelisk Pond and The Valley Gardens – you might see red deer.
Inside the park is the tranquil Savill Garden, with 35 acres of ornamental gardens. There’s a £10.50 entry fee; access to the rest of Windsor Great Park is free.
One of the best ways to enjoy Windsor’s riverside setting is on a cruise along the River Thames. Boat company Frangilla, Larus and Sula offers luxury Thames boat hire for up to 12 passengers. Cruises are also available with French Brothers.
Feeling energetic? Contact Canoe & Kayak Tours for a wonderful way to explore the river.
If you love shopping, head to the pretty Windsor Royal Shopping, located inside an atmospheric Victorian train station with nearly 30 shops.
EATING AND DRINKING
Begin with a hearty brunch at Bel & The Dragon near Windsor Castle, which has a menu using locally sourced ingredients. Elsewhere, enjoy the waterfront views at The Boatman (above), one of Windsor’s oldest pubs. For dinner, there’s fine dining that is fit for a queen at The Oxford Blue, a 17th-century country pub converted from two cottages. Expect elegantly presented British dishes including pig’s trotter, and pie and mash.
Got a sweet tooth? At Fudge Kitchen (above), try its exclusive Caramel Swirl – you can even learn how to make it.
For a sophisticated drink, riverside bar Gogos offers great cocktails, while wine lovers should visit the cosy, late-night bar No5 St Leonards Road.
ROYAL WEDDING DAY: SATURDAY 19 MAY
Set inside the castle grounds, St George’s Chapel (above) is the venue for Harry and Meghan's wedding, which will be the eighth royal marriage held here. The ceremony begins at noon, with around 800 guests expected in St George’s Chapel and a further 2,640 members of the public invited inside the castle walls.
The newlyweds will embark on a carriage procession at 1pm, including Castle Hill, Kings Road, Albert Road and then back to Windsor Castle via the Long Walk. When they return, the couple will join guests at a reception in St George’s Hall. In the evening, the Prince of Wales will host a private reception for close friends and family.
TRAVELLING TO WINDSOR
Windsor is located in the county of Berkshire and is 40km (25 miles) west from London. The best way to get there from London is by catching a train from Waterloo or Paddington, to Windsor & Eton Central station. The train journey takes between 30 minutes and one hour. Find out more at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Sticking to the capital? Read our guide on how to spend a royal day in London.
Grand Reception Room at Windsor Castle © Peter Smith, The Royal Collection & HM Queen Elizabeth II; Windsor Great Park © iStock; The Boatman courtesy of The Boatman; Fudge Kitchen courtesy of Fudge Kitchen; St George's Chapel © iStock; Windsor Castle from the River Thames © windsor.gov.uk