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A highlight of any tour of the British Isles is the royal enclave of Windsor and the esteemed school of Eton nearby. Visitors come to admire the castle, wander around this quaint Thames-side town and get an insight into the lifestyles of the British royal family and England’s elitist upper class.
Windsor Castle is stunning in its magnificence, with its immense grey walls broken regularly by medieval towers. Upon entering through the massive gates, most visitors head straight for the spectacular St George’s Chapel. Inside the castle proper, highlights include interesting Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, the excellent Gallery, the gilded State Apartments, the King’s Dressing Room, the Queen’s exquisite private art collection, St George’s Hall and the Lantern Lobby. The famous Changing of the Guard takes place in the mornings outside the main gates.
Across the river from the castle is the famous school of Eton, situated in a quaint little village filled with bookshops and antique dealers. The college itself offers guided tours which provide an interesting glimpse at the lifestyle of England’s privileged upper class. The tour includes the original 15th century schoolroom, the gorgeous College Chapel and the Museum of Eton Life.
For a refreshing break from the crowds of the castle, stroll through the vast Windsor Great Park or alternatively, the tranquil Savill Garden nearby to the south. For accommodation, restaurants and nightlife, you are better off to base yourself in west London, which has a much greater variety to choose from.
An interesting and much more peaceful way to reach Windsor other than by the overcrowded trains and buses is to take the scenic route along the Thames River through the countryside of Chiswick and Osterley, where you can stop along the way and explore the magnificent estates of Chiswick House, Syon House, Osterley House and Hampton Court.
Heathrow International Airport serves direct flights from most world cities. From Heathrow, there are various reliable and frequent transportation options to Windsor. From London you can select two rail routes, from either Paddington or Waterloo stations, each taking 45 minutes.