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When many people imagine England, towns like Windsor are exactly what they picture, filled with castles & history. Most notably the home of Windsor Castle, Windsor is one of the most popular day trips from London, which is just down the River Thames. You can either take a full-day Windsor day trip or combine it with other nearby sights on your own or via a group tour. This Windsor travel guide contains details on how to get to Windsor, things to see & do in Windsor, where to eat & drink in Windsor, & more.
Getting to Windsor from London
Public Transportation from London to Windsor
There are frequent trains from London Paddington to Windsor & Eton Central, as well as from London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside with a travel time between 45 minutes & 1 hour depending on which train you take & where you board. Book ahead for the cheapest fares.
If you’re tempted to drive to Windsor, it seems like most drivers get stuck in constant traffic. It’s a small town that’s easily covered on foot, by bike, or by hop-on, hop-off buses. Speaking of bikes, Windsor is an especially popular day trip for cyclists given how close it is to both London & the countryside.
Windsor Tours from London
There are plenty of Windsor day trip tours leaving from London. Many of the Windsor tours only visit the Royal Borough or combine a visit with other royal properties such as Buckingham Palace or Hampton Court. There are also some more ambitious tours that include Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford, & more. While most of those places warrant their own separate day trips, a combined London day trip that includes Windsor as well is a good option for anyone with a limited schedule. Find the best Windsor tours here.
Things to do in Windsor (Tourist attractions, food & drink, & more)
Windsor has a good balance of indoor & outdoor activities, many of which incorporate the history of the Royal Borough. Here are the best Windsor activities, including options for people who love the outdoors (and those who don’t).
Windsor Castle is one of the most famous castles in England. It has been home to English monarchs since Henry I, who ruled in the early 12th century. It’s the oldest & longest continuously occupied royal residence in the world. Nowadays, it’s the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II. Visitors can see the State Apartments, which are filled with royal treasures, as well as St. George’s Chapel, where King Henry VIII was buried.
Given the popularity of Windsor Castle tours (which are self-paced, but with an audio guide), it’s important to book ahead of time. Even if you can’t visit the castle itself, the outer walls are still the focal point of the town. Buy tickets for Windsor Castle here. It is also part of some London city passes.
Changing the Guard
One of the highlights of the royal pageantry in Windsor is Changing the Guard. During this procession, guards march through Windsor to Windsor Castle. The schedule varies by season but typically occurs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. You can see more details here.
The Long Walk & Windsor Great Park
Just outside of Windsor Castle, the Long Walk stretches nearly 3 miles to Windsor Great Park. It’s a fantastic place for a, uhhh long walk.
Windsor Great Park has been a royal property since the days of William the Conqueror. Some of the ancient oak trees date back that far. The Deer Park section has over 500 red deer.
Legoland Windsor Resort
The Legoland Windsor Resort is the largest Legoland in the world. It is the most visited theme park in the United Kingdom.
Legoland Windsor features a variety of Lego-themed rides, displays, live shows, and interactive activities aimed at children (as well as Lego enthusiasts of all ages). Buy tickets for Legoland Windsor here
The River Thames is another lovely place for a walk in Windsor. There are several restaurants & pubs along the Windsor Promenade. For the more ambitious, you can follow the river even further to arrive at your day trip to Windsor on foot or by bicycle.
Boating on the River Thames
For an even closer experience with the water, there are several options for boating on the River Thames in Windsor, including cruises, motorboats, canoes, and kayaks.
Cross the bridge to visit Windsor’s twin town, Eton. Home of Eton College, the quaint streets are lined with restaurants & shops.
There is also a 2-mile loop path called The Eton Walkway that visits many of the town’s highlights.
Theater Royal Windsor
The Theater Royal Windsor hosts a variety of live theater performances, including drama, comedy, panto, musicals, opera, and more.
Windsor & Royal Borough Museum
Local museums are a great way to learn about a place you are visiting on a day trip. The Windsor & Royal Borough Museum, which is located in the Windsor Guildhall, covers the history of Windsor dating back to the Stone Age, specifically with a local & social focus. There are exhibits about the Roman era, both World Wars, transportation, architecture, art, and more.
Peascod Street is the main street of Windsor’s pedestrianized shopping & dining zone.
Running southwest from Windsor Castle, Peascod Street & the surrounding area are lined with shops, restaurants, and bars, and other things to do in Windsor.
Dr. Choc’s Windsor Chocolate Factory
Located across the street from Windsor Castle, Dr. Choc’s Windsor Chocolate Factory is a popular chocolate shop offering a cafe with plenty of chocolate snacks, gifts, workshops & more. It’s a tasty addition to any Windsor day trip. Book a chocolate-making workshop at Dr. Choc’s here
Diamond Jubilee Monument
Just off the Queen’s Walkway in The Goswells near Alexandra Park is the Diamond Jubilee Monument. The fountain was built in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
The design of the Diamond Jubilee Fountain represents the crown jewels, and it’s a popular place to cool off on warm days. It’s also lit up at night.
Alexandra Gardens is a nice park following along the River Thames to the west of the Windsor town center.
It has plenty of space for picnicking & leisure activities, as well as a bandstand and lots of seating. The park also frequently holds large events.
Frogmore House & Gardens
Frogmore House is a royal residence located behind Windsor Castle in Home Park. Built in the 17th century, the estate & gardens are open for tours on a limited schedule, typically in August. The name comes from the frogs that inhabit the marshy area surrounding the house. In addition to the house & gardens, the property is also home to the mausoleum of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert. It continues to be used as a royal event space, hosting the wedding reception for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Places to eat & drink in Windsor
Windsor has a nice selection of restaurants that are not tourist traps. If you’re after a hearty lunch, try Meat at the Parish, Long Walk Grill, or Windsor Grill. Fans of Italian food will enjoy Enzo’s or Sebastian’s. For Mediterranean food, check out Antalya, Meimo, or Best Meze Grill.
As you’d expect, there are plenty of pubs to visit for lunch & a pint in Windsor. One of the best is The Corner House, which has a great ale, cider, and craft beer selection. For even more Windsor craft beer, be sure to visit A Hoppy Place and Windsor & Eton Brewery.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Windsor, check out these Windsor hotels.
Last updated on July 16, 2022