The Best Things to See and Do in Windsor, England

Top attractions in Windsor include the queen's weekend home, Windsor Castle
Top attractions in Windsor include the queen's weekend home, Windsor Castle | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Annie Hopkins
13 August 2020

What could possibly be more English than a stay in the historic market town of Windsor, the favourite weekend destination of the Queen herself? Home to beautiful parks, fabulous shopping and of course its fairytale-worthy castle, this picturesque Berkshire town is truly regal. Read our guide to the top attractions and things to do in Windsor.

Windsor Castle

Archaeological site, Historical Landmark
Map View
Windsor Castle from the Long Walk, Windsor Great Park, Berkshire, England, UK
© Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Topping the list is Windsor’s primary claim to fame: Windsor Castle. It is at this striking 11th-century building that our beloved Queen Liz spends part of her year. The palace is said to be the longest-occupied royal residence in the whole of Europe. Stride up the magnificent Long Walk path towards the castle, possibly spotting a red deer on your journey. Head inside to breathe in the luxurious interior, and be sure to gaze at Queen Mary’s exquisite dolls’ house too!

Windsor Great Park

Park, Shop
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For a taste of the high life, choose a classy carriage ride through Windsor’s stunning Great Park. You can practice your royal wave as you glide through the lush trees and immaculate lawns. Horseback riding is also an option if you’d rather gallop your way through the pretty scenery. Next, wander through Savill Gardens, a gorgeous spot in the sprawling acres of Windsor’s Great Park. With colourful flower beds and arching trees, these well-cared-for gardens are a pleasant place to stroll and take in some terrifically English horticulture.

Ascot Racecourse

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No visit to Windsor would be complete without a glamorous day out at the Ascot Racecourse. The thrill of placing a bet on your favourite horse, clinking champagne glasses and hearing the thunder of hooves lets you feel like a royal for the day. Don your most flamboyant hat, though, or they might not let you in.

Windsor Town Bridge

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England, Berkshire, Windsor, Swans and Windsor Town Bridge
© Steve Vidler / Alamy Stock Photo

The majestic River Thames guides boaters on their merry way through Windsor’s heart, flanked by bobbing geese and the Queen’s very own swans. A wonderful way to take in its charm is from Windsor Town Bridge. Opened in 1824, the three-arched bridge joins Windsor with its neighbouring Eton. Cross on foot or cycle along to admire the view.

Eton College

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The fanciest school in all the land, Eton College has educated royals and politicians alike. With its upright architecture and castle-style crenellations, it’s not hard to believe that some of the country’s richest spent their school days scampering these imposing corridors. The school offers a seasonal program of guided tours and provides a true taste of how the other half lives.

Sip a pint in a proper British pub

Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
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The Two Brewers pub on Park Street, Windsor, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom, Europe
© Stuart Black / Alamy Stock Photo

For a true slice of England, there’s nothing like sitting down to a roast lunch with a refreshing pint of best bitter. Though Windsor is home to many characterful bars, the Two Brewers and the Duchess of Cambridge are among the most popular for moreish fare and thirst-quenching local beers.

Take an open-top bus tour

Architectural Landmark
Map View
Though living like a local is the Holy Grail of holiday-making, it can also be brilliant fun to embrace the fact that you’re a tourist. Catching an open-top bus is actually the perfect way to take in Windsor’s loveliness while having a nice sit-down. You’ll spot the highlights from a flattering angle (especially if you choose the top deck), so wrap up warm and hope for sunshine. You can take in Windsor in more depth than many residents ever have before.

Shop 'til you drop

Shopping Mall
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England, Berkshire, Windsor Royal Shopping arcade on old railway station platform
© travelib europe / Alamy Stock Photo
One of the key reasons to visit beautiful Windsor is to enjoy the town’s glorious selection of shops. For some retail therapy, head over to Windsor Royal Shopping, located inside a grade-II listed Victorian railway station. Lots of the original features (like the Jubilee Arch and Queen Victoria’s Royal Waiting Room) remain intact, turning this shopping spree into a walk-on role in a period drama.
These recommendations were updated on August 13, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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