This With a Local supplies insider tips on things to do and see while visiting Windsor in Berkshire, England.
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Windsor attracts many international visitors because it’s the location of a royal residence, Windsor Castle. The fortress dominates the hilltop next to the town centre.
Of course, there’s much else to do in Windsor. For insights I approached Yasemen Kamer-White, who has lived her entire life in the town and can see the castle from her kitchen window.
Yasemen is the author of the book Lemon Compendium. The book features lemon-related recipes, health, beauty and household tips, plus poems and jokes:
Before asking Yasemen for insider tips about Windsor, based upon a lifetime of local knowledge, I pressed her for a lemon joke. “Why did the father lemon disapprove of his daughter?” she responded. “Because she was a little tart,” came the answer.
If that doesn’t leave a sour taste in your mouth then read on for Yesemen’s suggestions.
Why should travellers visit Windsor?
It has the Queen’s castle — Windsor Castle. You can go into the kitchen, they have very nice dolls’ houses. Kings and queens have got huge dolls’ houses — like the size of the real houses that an average Joe Bloggs lives in.
The river (Thames) is very beautiful in summer. You can hire a boat and go up and down.
Eton College is nice. There’s a bridge between Windsor and Eton adjoining the two.
It’s a lovely place to walk around, with lots of parks. They’ve got The Long Walk, a walk you can do in an hour from the castle to The Copper Horse [an equine statue of King George III that marks the end of the walk]. It’s in really safe surroundings. It’s enclosed, without cars, so safe for children. You picnics there and chill out. It’s a lovely place to be!
Where would you go for a drink?
Any pub in Eton! We have some very good old pubs. Any of the pubs on the cobbled streets is really nice.
What is your favourite place in Windsor?
In summer, down by the river, in a little boat. As a child I used to feed the birds and the ducks along there, which was really good fun. Sunbathing on the islands. It can be romantic walking along, and very safe.
Is there a legend or piece of history that you really like?
I’d have to go for the obvious, the fact that the Queen and royal family live in Windsor Castle. The castle is there on the High Street. Pop to the shop and get some milk then see that beautiful old castle. I’ve not seen her in the shops but I have seen her at other events — polo and suchlike. Windsor has the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club.
If people have a day or two to spare what should they do nearby?
Bray is nearby. If you’re a foodie then Bray is a good place. Heston Blumenthal has two pubs [The Hind’s Head and The Crown at Bray] and The Fat Duck (tel. 01628 580 333). You’ve also got The Waterside Inn (Ferry Road; tel. 01628 620691) by the Roux brothers. The food is good at Bray.
Marlowe is pretty with quirky little old pubs and bars.
Datchet is a sweet, little village. You can go there for coffee shops and things like that.
Windsor bus tour
Open-top double-decker buses operate tours of Windsor and neighbouring Eton. Some give the option of hopping-on and hopping-off at points of interest along the route. With commentaries, they can be an effective way of orientating.
Map of Windsor
Zoom into the map of Windsor below to find things to do in the town and surrounding area:
Travel to Windsor
Windsor is less than eight miles from London’s Heathrow Airport and approximately 23 miles west of the heart of London.
The nearest railway station to Windsor is Windsor and Eton. The rail journey from central London takes about an hour.
Enjoy cycling and transport history? Could consider riding a bicycle along the Grand Union Canal to get between London and Windsor. The 29-mile route takes approximately three hours to complete at a gentle pace with a handful of photo stops.
Hotels in Windsor
Looking for a place to stay in Windsor or the surrounding area? You can find and book accommodation in Windsor on the Booking.com website:
Places to eat in Windsor
If you are feeling hungry, take your pick from the pubs and restaurants in Windsor.
The Boatman (10 Thames Side; tel. 01753 620 010) is a long-established waterfront gastropub. Known to locals as ‘The Donkey House’, its nickname comes from the pack animals that used to be stabled in the building.
The Two Brewers (34 Park Street; tel. 01753 855 426) is a traditional British pub in historic premises. Close to The Long Walk, it offers a choice of draught ales. It’s an option for pub lunches or dinner and serves a traditional Sunday roast.
Gilbey’s (82-83 High Street, Eton; tel. 01753 854 921) in Eton is a modern British restaurant that is a good option if you like eating fish.
Books about Windsor
Keen to know more about Windsor and its royal connections? You can buy the following books from Amazon by clicking on the links or cover photos:
Kings & Queens: The Real Lives of the English Monarchs by Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan:
The photography illustrating this post is by Why Eye Photography. Specialising in food, travel and portrait photography, Why Eye Photography available for commissions across the United Kingdom and beyond.
Stuart Forster, the author of this post, can be commissioned to write food and travel features.
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A version of this post was initially published on Go Eat Do on 24 April 2018.