My recent travels in England took me to the town of Windsor (& Eton) in Berkshire for what I thought was the first time. However I realised that back in 2000 I had actually visited the Legoland nearby, so this on my return to the town of Windsor on another backpacking journey, was a chance to chill out in the comfort of the Sir Christopher Wren Hotel and Spa, meet up with my Antarctica travel buddy Paul Gray and go out for drinks with Jill Moran, who was my manager in PJ Gallagher’s Irish Pub in Parramatta 5 years ago. Reunions aside, what a setting for it – the town of Windsor is gorgeous.
After touring the Tower of London and Poppies Display, staying in the Mad Hatter, I hopped on a direct train from London Waterloo all the way to Windsor & Eton Riverside. Trains are frequent and cosy, A return price varies but mine cost just over £20. The journey takes around 50 minutes.
Once in Windsor & Eton, I checked out some of these top 5 sights in Windsor, though there is easily enough here to occupy you for a couple of days – Legoland on its own can be a day trip.
1. Windsor Castle
This is the number one sight. The Queen lives here! Tourists from all over the world come here to see this glorious English building.
The rule is that if the Union Flag (Union Jack) is raised, then the Queen’s at home and it was when I was there. So for one night I was sharing a town with Queen Elizabeth the Second!
Standard Prices for visiting Windsor Castle:
Over 60/Student (with valid ID) £16.75
Under 17/Disabled £11.00
Under 5 Free
Family £48.00 (2 adults and 3 under 17s)
When the State Apartments are closed:
Over 60/Student (with valid ID) £9.00
Under 17/Disabled £6.50
Under 5 Free
Family £26.50 (2 adults and 3 under 17s)
Admission to the Castle is free to residents of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead with an Advantage Card.
2. The Thames
The Thames is at its most tranquil and idyllic here. Away from the bustling smoky fumes of crowded London, take some time to relax by the Thames here in Windsor. The Sit Christopher Wren Hotel has a fantastic Thames side restaurant and you can walk at leisure along the river feeding the swans and ducks.
3. The Crooked House
This is one of the most peculiar and famous pubs in all of England. A house that is tilted on its side. Pop in for a pint or a cup of tea. In fact, Windsor is an awesome town for a pub crawl.
4. Legoland Windsor
Back in the year 2000 I visited Legoland Windsor. I’ve always been a huge fan of Lego from when I was a child. Ticket prices vary, and are listed on the official Legoland Windsor website.
5. Eton College
Most people know the town as Windsor, but it’s actually two towns joined together by a bridge across the Thames. Walk across it and you get to the town of Eton, which of course houses the world famous Eton College. It’s a 5 minute walk from the bridge.
Tours of Eton College can be organised from £7.50. Famous people like Prince William, Antarctic Explorer Lawrence Oates, Adventurer Bear Grylls and authors George Orwell and Ian Fleming studied here.
Eton has also produced a whopping nineteen British Prime Ministers, including Sir Robert Walpole, William Pitt the Elder, the first Duke of Wellington, William Ewart Gladstone, the fifth Lord Rosebery, Arthur James Balfour, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, and the current Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Those are just a quick fire top 5 for you when you hit up Windsor. I recommend staying at the Sir Christopher Wren Hotel and Spa:
Sir Christopher Wren
Hotel and Spa
Berkshire SL4 1PX
t: +44 1753 442400
f: +44 1753 442490
Here are my videos from the top 5 sights in Windsor & Eton while backpacking in England: