On what happened to be the hottest day of 2017 so far, we set out on an adventure to another (yes, we are slightly obsessed) royal palace, Windsor Castle. April has bought with it some beautiful weather and we thought we would take full advantage of it while it lasted because this is Britain and Summer-like weather never lasts. However, on the day we went to Windsor even at 10am it was 19 degrees, so we knew that it was going to be a scorcher!
We had been meaning to visit Windsor Castle for a while as Alice is a massive fan of the Royal family (as you may be able to tell from a few of our pervious posts) and we have free access with Alice’s work. So why not see Windsor Castle for free!?
Once we arrived we strolled though the quaint paved street towards The Long Walk. whenever you see pictures of Windsor park they are normally taken from The Long Walk as it is a three mile long, tree lined walkway that begins at Windsor Castle and ends at the copper horse statue in the Deer Park. The views from this avenue are endless, and even more perfect in the spring sun. We didn’t walk the whole length as we wanted enough time to make it around the Castle, however, we did have a cute picnic near the entrance of the Castle with food from M&S including everyone’s favourite Colin the Caterpillar Sweets and punnets of strawberries and raspberries.
On our way in to the castle we passed a very long queue to get in (luckily we didn’t have to wait in it) so we suggest, if you’re heading to Windsor Castle on a weekend, to book in advance (you can do this online through their website) or get there early! Heading in to the castle grounds we picked up free audio guides and started our tour (if you have been here a while you will know we love an audio guide). Learning all about the history of the castle, how it has changed throughout history and how the different monarchs have added to its aesthetic. As an added treat the Queen was at Windsor castle while we were there… ok we didn’t see her and nothing fancy happened but you can tell by the flag flown from the central turret. It’s the same at any other of the Queen’s residences, if they have a union jack flying it means the Queen isn’t there, but if the Royal Standard is flying- SHE IS IN!
After walking through the main courtyard we headed towards the state rooms and Queen Mary’s doll house. Unfortunately you can not take pictures inside so we don’t have any to show you. There is an option to skip the doll house, but we say don’t. It is the doll house of dreams. Seriously, it is HUGE, has working water and electrics and miniature driveway. What more can you ask for?!
As you go through the state rooms you’re lead through the history of the royal family and Windsor Castle. Starting with the entrance hall which many royals and VIP’s have wondered down to enter the palace. This leads on to the Waterloo room. An enormous hall decorated with paintings of aristocrats, Popes, Kings and army heroes from the Battle of Waterloo (hence the name.)
Slowly we wondered from room to room being told by our audio guides about the bed chambers, meeting halls and ballrooms; but the most impressive of them all was St George’s Hall. The roof was rebuilt after the fire, in 1992, using traditional methods and its pretty impressive but all along this hall are shields of members and former members of the Order of the Garter. Those shields that are painted white are people who have been shamed and had the Order taken off them, they keep up the shield to embarrass them.
Heading back out to the courtyard you exit near a gateway, this looks over to the private quarters (THIS IS WHERE THE QUEEN LIVES!) We tried looks for her but she must have been hiding. From here we popped in to one of the shops and drooled at all the royal china, which we definitely need for our flat. From here you have the option to go in to St Georges chapel, this is where Charles I is berried. Unfortunately we visited on a Sunday so it meant that the chapel was closed, we didn’t mind because it is a working chapel and it means that we will just have to visit again!
Have you guys ever been to Windsor?