Spend a day in the heart of Windsor and feel like a royal:
- Visit Windsor Castle, a home of Queen Elizabeth
- Walk through the quaint little town
- Dine at a place where King Henry VIII went to undercover
- …and more!
About a little over a year ago I found my way to England to visit London💂🏻♂️and the mysterious Stonehenge and then onto Scotland enjoying the old fairly tale charm (and Scotch! 🥃 ) of Edinburgh. Now I’m back in the United Kingdom, and this time I am in Windsor or “Win-zaah” as the Brits say.
Windsor is a short ride, about 25 minutes, from Heathrow Airport and about 45 minutes to London by rail. It has a quaint little historic town with restaurants and bars.
Windsor, Home of the Queen
Windsor is the home of the original Windsor Royal Castle built back in the 1000s AD as a fort and residence of Kings and Queens from back in the day. Queen Elizabeth’s royal line has taken the last name Windsor after this town although her primary residence is at Buckingham Palace in London.
Around the castle I saw the Queen’s guard 💂🏻♂️💂🏻♂️💂🏻♂️marching in sync around the premises and holding some serious machine guns. What a difference from the bayonets and swords from millennials past!
In my mind I kept humming “ooh wee go” from The Wizard 🧙♂️ of Oz because the guards reminded me of the marching guards from the movie.
The three places within the castle grounds are where you could enter. They are the Royal Chapel, Queen Mary’s dollhouse, for those not afraid of life-sized dolls, and the State Apartments.
The Royal Chapel is located inside the castle. Some famous royals have their crypts here including Queen Elizabeth’s father King George IV, mother Queen Elizabeth I, and sister Princess Margaret. The legendary King Henry VIII is buried there alongside one of his many wives Jane Seymour.
The State Apartments are still in use for dignitary and royal events. They are more like a museum of the Royal family, showcasing oil paintings and portraits, guns and armor, royal statues, royal garments, antique furniture and more. It is worth a quick walk through to see glimpses in time.
Notably, one of the guards told me that during private parties for the staff they are welcome to lounge around the areas, sitting on the antique chairs and using the tables: It’s kind of an odd feeling for them because they spend all day telling tourists to not touch anything!
Last stop is the gift shop where they are selling all things Royal including plush corgis, royal chocolates, fine Windsor China. Of course they are selling Prince Harry and Meghan Markle 👰🏻 wedding souvenirs ahead of the wedding in May 2018. Did you happen to catch the wedding? If so, do you recognize the scenes here from the big day?
Chinese Food and King Henry VIII?
Finally, I had dinner at a Chinese restaurant across the street from the castle called 1423 China Kitchen after 1423, the date the building was constructed. This building apparently is second oldest building in Windsor, behind the castle itself. More so, it is the place where King Henry VIII met his mistresses. He accessed the house though a secret underground tunnel from the castle.
In addition, the town of Windsor has its fun share of local pubs. Also, it has a restaurant scene hidden away near the train station. Another fun event is to check out check out the Royal Windsor Racecourse where they race the racehorses 🐎. The Queen likes to come here each year for the grand Royal Ascot event in June.
Heading to Windsor is worth the trek.