Sunday 24 September 2023

Day trip to Windsor - photo heavy!

 We had a really good journey to Windsor so that started the day off well.  Absolutely no hold ups and an hour and a half later, there we were, entering the coach park.  It's very conveniently sited, being one side of the railway line which is a terminus (is that the right word - end of the line) with a nice view of the top of the castle.  Go left and there looked like a nice park/grassed area which I didn't explore.  Go right and up some stairs (or a lift) and you're in the railway station.

This old steam train was in the railway area.  it did have an info board but here's a YouTube link.

There were also loads of cafe type places; there was a real street cafe vibe in the area, in fact.  Nice.

So I meandered up and along and at the end of the road, there was the castle - ever so close to both coach park and station.

I was early so, after asking a few questions of the extremely helpful community police who were there in a fair force (sorry) and a bit of general meandering to get my bearings,  I turned left and walked down the hill one side (still loads of eating places) and up the other side, noting where the hop on hop off bus stop was.  I didn't intend to go for one this time but next time I will have more time . . .

Loads of bunting everywhere.

An interesting mix of old and more modern building - most were listed

Looking back up to the castle.

(These three were along Peascod Street - what a wonderful Old English name)

One of the entrances along Castle Hill - where the guards enter when they are changing!  It was also the way you exit when you've finished looking round the castle.

See that bollard bottom left - there's a whole row of them and they are electronic.  They take less and two seconds to disappear into the ground and reappear - very swish!!


Just a view - but see that blue sky.  It was a glorious morning!

Just a door.  Someone must have a key, surely?

Making my way back up, crowds were gathering.  Oi oi, thought I and, yes, it was almost time for a bit of pomp and ceremony as this very pleasant police officer told us.

It was nice to be part of a bit of understated crowd control - you see it on the telly and it's really good although I have no doubt things could turn tough very quickly, if necessary.  However, it was all extremely jolly and good natured.

I managed to get a short video clip - not brilliant but just a wee taster.  

Bringing up the rear, though, were some very tough, fully armed soldier types - you really wouldn't want to argue with them!!

Another very helpful and pleasant person, this time inside and part of the castle staff.  They were easily identified by their uniform, very smart and 'royal livery' looking and every single one I spoke to was helpful and friendly.  Great service.

There was a fair old queue of eleven o'clock-ers and we all filed dutifully up a zig zag path and into the security area where they scan your ticket and check your bags.  Security wasn't intrusive but it was definitely there.

I love those little models of places.  They give you such a great idea of the overall layout, especially when there's so much magnificence.

It was, of course, originally built as a Norman defensive castle for military and control purposes

I think this is the very oldest part.

They get everywhere, don't they?  This was quite bedraggled by now but still very cute.

A couple of views across the countryside.  This is part of Eton - imagine going to school among so much splendour.

Such a fantastic site for a military castle.  The Normans certainly knew what they were doing.

I queued to see the doll's house and this was the most disappointing part.  The house itself was magnificent, truly amazing, but the lighting was very dim (for obvious reasons) and we were sort of shunted through too quickly.  I could have stood there for ages, just looking for details of which there were plenty and just absorbing it all.  However, with such crowds and queues waiting, it just wasn't possible and I totally understand that.
Then I looked around the State Apartments.  So much gold, so much magnificence, so many famous and wonderful painting, china, plate, fabrics.  Rather overwhelming really and I have to go back for another look at some point.  I wasn't shunted through this part but one can only absorb so much . . .

You weren't allowed to take photos inside at all so here's a link or two.

Finally, I went to St George's Chapel - although 'chapel ' is a bit of a misnomer as it is huge!

Again, I had to follow a set path which is a bit of a shame as I'd loved to have been able to wander.  I wonder if people are allowed into services (it is an active church) without having to have a ticket.

At one point everything slowed down and I wondered why but it was as we passed where the late Queen and Prince Philip are buried, under the same stone.

(not my photo, obviously - I gather it is the official one)

I found it all very moving and so did most of the crowd, judging by the way they slowed, fell silent and many bowed their heads briefly.

And finally, you have to, don't you!

You know you are getting old when His Majesty's guards look young enough to be your grandson.
I don't know how he kept a straight face during all the shenanigans in front of him but I didn't see his eyes even flicker once.  Very impressive.

A perfect end to a lovely visit.

Not the end of the whole visit, of course, but after that there was just time to grab a bite to eat (M&S Cafe!) and a gentle wander around the shops before going back to the coach for another very easy journey home again.

I noticed a Travelodge right next to the station so now I am planning a short break there.  There was so much I didn't so.  I didn't do a tour of the old kitchens of the castle because you have to book and there were no convenient times left.  I want to walk up to Eton, I want to go on a hop on, hop off bus tour, I want to go on the river, I want to visit Legoland - and that's just for starters.
I've looked up the price of accommodation and it's very reasonable although I bet it shoots up when there's a Royal event on the horizon.  I can avoid those times though.

Anyway - maybe next spring.  Watch this space.
(Come on, premium bonds!!!!)


  1. Such beautiful pictures! I love that great big door.

    1. I so love old doors. The people who have passed through them in their time . . .

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. Windsor Castle can't be absorbed all in one day.
    Being shunted at speed past Queen Mary's dolls house is always disappointing.
    Was it the Irish Guards changing guard? (I noticed the dog - it looked like an Irish wolfhound) x x x

    1. I think it must have been, although I don't know - it's a big hint though, isn't it?
      Yes, it was a bit disappointing but if/when I have a stay, I can book an early slot and get there early too so maybe it won't be so crowded.

  3. What a wonderful day trip you had out to Windsor,Joy. So much to see and do in one day. No wonder you are planning a future visit to see a few more things. And the weather was glorious yesterday too. D has been to Windsor and St Georges Chapel but it was a few years ago. Have a lovely week.
    B x

    1. I guess some things don't really change that much but, changeless or not, some things just need a second view, I agree. Or a third or a fourth . . . :-)

  4. You had a beautiful day for your visit. I hadn't realised, but my daughter was in Windsor yesterday, I wonder if your paths crossed. Xx

    1. What a coincidence. It is possible, I guess. xx

  5. That sounds like a wonderful trip. I will go back and follow the link to the dollhouse.

    1. It is a beautiful thing, Stephanie - the dolls' house to beat all dolls' houses. xx

  6. Such gorgeous pictures. I can't imagine attending university is such splendid surroundings.

    God bless.

    1. It's actually a school, not a university. The most expensive, posh, exclusive private (fee paying) school in the UK - one of them, anyway.
      The royal family tend to send their boys there - both WIlliam and Harry went to Eton and the chances are George will too. It's actually their local school!
      They do have what I consider a very silly uniform though.

  7. Great photos of a fabulous day out! i wondered what's behind that gold curtain thingy on top of the steps at the Queen's grave.
    Pity about the doll's house, if you ever get a chance to visit Leonardslee gardens, about 1.30 hours away, it's well worth a visit during rhododendron time. There is also a building housing a miniature Victorian village, which is absolutely amazing and I can spend hours gazing in awe at it.
    Annabeth x

    1. Sorry, Edwardian not Victorian!!

    2. That sounds really lovely. I'll look that one up, thanks. xx