In May 2018, Windsor is set to host the much-anticipated wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Whether you're heading over for the festivities or simply looking for a fun and convenient day trip from London, here's a guide to Windsor's must-see attractions. Also make sure to check out our royally inspired deals on hotels!
No trip to Windsor would be complete without a visit to Windsor Castle, the world's oldest and largest occupied castle, and home to Queen Elizabeth II. Since its foundation in the 11th Century by William the Conqueror, the castle has been home to 39 monarchs. You can explore centuries of royal history in its grand rooms, which are full of treasures, from ornate furniture and famous paintings to suits of armour and magnificent silverware. Visit St George's Chapel for a breath-taking example of Gothic architecture and, if you're visiting at the right time, be sure to witness the pomp and pageantry of the ceremony for the Changing the Guard.
Windsor Great Park
There's no better way to unwind and get some fresh air than to spend time in Windsor Great Park, which offers nearly 5,000 acres of beautiful green space dotted with monuments and horticultural wonders. The park is home to 500 wild deer and is enriched by over 1,000 years of fascinating royal history. It's well worth taking a leisurely stroll along the glorious avenue of trees known as the Long Walk, which runs all the way from Windsor Castle to the impressive Copper Horse Statue. The colourful Savill Garden, dating back to the time of George VI, is another stunning place to explore within the park.
Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne and maintains close associations with the royal family to this day. The annual Royal Ascot - a highlight of the British social calendar, dating back to the very beginning of the racecourse's history - is attended by the Queen and other royals. There is vast press coverage of the event, and an emphasis on fashion that often surpasses the focus on the races themselves! A trip to Ascot is a great opportunity to get caught up in the spirit of the races, and to enjoy a fabulous picnic in the sunshine. Royal Windsor Racecourse, which is near to Windsor Castle, is another great course for horse-racing enthusiasts to visit.
Windsor and Royal Borough Museum
Opened by the Queen in 2011 at the Berkshire town guildhall, where Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005, this museum is perfect for digging a bit deeper into Windsor's rich history. Boasting a vast collection of objects, from prehistoric tools to Roman artefacts and military items from wars across the centuries, it's an interesting and accessible attraction for the whole family.
Eton College and the Natural History Museum
The famous Eton College was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI and continues to be a very influential establishment to this day. Public visits are available through online booking for small groups and individuals, and Eton's three museums - the Museum of Antiquities, the Museum of Eton Life and the Natural History Museum - are open to the public on Sunday afternoons. With more than 16,000 specimens and displays, the Natural History Museum is the perfect place to learn about local wildlife and biodiversity. It even houses a rare page of Charles Darwin's original manuscript of On the Origin of Species.
If you're convinced that a day trip simply isn't enough, why not make a weekend of it and book one of our fantastic Windsor hotels? Let us know if we missed any of your favourite Windsor spots in the comments below.