The Best Things to See and Do in Windsor, England

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

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

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

Legoland

Though you’re unlikely to glimpse Her Majesty hurtling top-speed on the Dragon Ride rollercoaster, head to Legoland for an enchanting day out. With scenes and UK cities built painstakingly out of Legos, this day out is escapism for the whole family.

Ascot Racecourse

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Looking for somewhere to stay near Windsor? Book one of the best hotels surrounding the town – close to London’s Heathrow airport – and enjoy the benefits of seeing all of the Royal sights whilst still being within reach of the capital city.

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