A royally good day in Windsor – win an overnight stay
As Windsor prepares for its second royal wedding of 2018, read our guide to the charming market town and find out what to expect on Friday 12 October. To celebrate Princess Eugenie's and Jack Brooksbank's big day, we're also offering you the chance to win an overnight stay for two at Windsor's Royal Adelaide hotel, including dinner, breakfast and Windsor Castle tickets. Scroll on to find out more.
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 11-12 October).
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: FRIDAY 12 OCTOBER
Set inside the castle grounds, St George’s Chapel (above) is the venue for Eugenie and Jack's wedding, which will be the ninth royal marriage held here. The ceremony begins at 11am, with hundreds of guests expected in St George’s Chapel and a further 1,200 members of the public invited inside the castle walls.
The newlyweds will embark on a short carriage procession after the service, from the Royal Mews to the High Street. The best places to secure a view of the carriage will be on Castle Hill, the High Street or Park Street. The couple will not travel down the Long Walk. When the carriage returns, the Queen will host a private reception for wedding guests at Windsor Castle.
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.
WIN AN OVERNIGHT STAY IN WINDSOR
If you're making plans to visit Windsor before the end of 2019, don't miss your chance to win an overnight stay with us. We're offering two lucky readers the chance to enjoy a booking with the Royal Adelaide Hotel, which is a ten-minute walk from the castle. The prize includes an overnight stay in one of the hotel's Classic Double Rooms (pictured above), a three-course dinner in the restaurant, a Full English breakfast and two adult tickets to enter Windsor Castle.
To enter, simply tell us the name of Princess Eugenie's sister and send your answer along with your full name to email@example.com before midnight on Sunday 14 October 2018. The winner will be contacted on Monday 15 October 2018; your email address will not be kept by us, nor will it be shared by us for marketing purposes.
This prize must be redeemed before 31 Dec 2019
The prize is valid for two people only
Booking excludes peak times as informed by the hotel at the time of booking, including Royal Ascot, Farnborough Airshow and the Windsor Horse Show
Car parking costs £15 per night, per car
Sticking to the capital? Read our guide on how to spend a royal day in London.
Images: 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; Royal Adelaide Hotel imagery courtesy of Royal Adelaide Hotel