Beautiful, regal and full of history, Windsor is the perfect short break destination. Find out when to see the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle and the best Windsor has to offer with our 2-day itinerary to help you make the most of your trip.
Day 1 – Arrive in Windsor
Windsor Castle and Changing of the Guard
You’re in Windsor and where else to begin but Windsor Castle? It’s a good idea to get there early so you can find the best spot to watch the Changing of the Guard. The royal ceremony usually takes place at 11:00am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, but the schedule does change so check for the latest updates before you travel.
After the ceremony, you’re primed to explore Windsor Castle and all its ancient grandeur. It’s the Queen’s official home and the oldest inhabited castle in the world. There’s a lot to see so we recommend giving yourself at least a couple of hours to see it all. Get tickets for Windsor Castle
St George’s Chapel
Visit the spectacular setting for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Open to visitors Monday to Saturday and located within the walls of Windsor Castle, St George’s Chapel is a sight of uniquely English Gothic architecture. Considered one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in Britain, construction of the chapel began over 500 years ago under the reign of Edward IV. When visiting make sure to look up so you see its remarkable stone ceiling – a feature added by Henry VII. The chapel is the final resting place of 10 monarchs, including Henry VIII and Charles I.
Eton has schooled some of the brightest and most famous minds, including both Prince Harry and Prince William, Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston. Guided tours of Eton College are available from 2 pm – 4 pm every Friday between 4 May and 7 September.
Frogmore House has been a favourite royal retreat since George III’s reign. Located in Home Park of Windsor Castle, it’s open to visitors for three days in the June and to pre-booked groups of 15 people or more throughout August. See its website for more information about visits.
Visitor openings at Eton College and Frogmore House are limited to specific dates, we only recommend visiting if your travel times permit.
Food and drink
After your day of sightseeing, uncover Windsor’s culinary delights. The town has plenty of eateries to suit all budgets. If you want that quintessential English experience, go for afternoon tea at the Michelin-starred Coworth Park. Its elegant Drawing Room offers scenic views of the surrounding countryside and the drinks menu has more than 20 varieties of tea.
Day 2 – See Windsor’s wild side and its racecourse
Windsor Great Park
There’s a good chance you’ve seen a picture of Windsor Castle nestling in the distance of the long sloping footpath of Windsor Great Park. The historic parkland is a vast green space teeming with monuments, ancient forests, spectacular garden displays, rare wildlife and colourful flora. You could spend all day there, but we think you should take in the delights of the river, too.
The River Thames
You might only picture London when you think of the River Thames, but the river flows through Windsor all the way to the Cotswolds. Stroll the riverside pathway and stop by coffee shops, bars and brasseries that line the waterfront. While tourism will peak during the summer months, you’ll still likely find spots of serenity to enjoy Windsor’s splendour. While riverside, see more of Windsor with a drink at hand on a riverboat that takes you to the private jetty of Windsor Racecourse…
Close to Windsor Castle, this is the ultimate racing destination. From the town centre, you can hop aboard a riverboat to the famous racecourse. Between April and October, the racecourse is packed with exciting events such as Monday Night Racing, the Best of British Festival, and Ladies Day. See their website for everything you need to know about events and days at the Racecourse.
How to get there?
Train from London: Direct trains from London Paddington and Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Central Station take about 40 minutes. Trains to Windsor & Eton Riverside take an extra 10 minutes but both stations are a short walk to Windsor Castle.
Coach: Travel by coach from London Victoria with Greenline or National Express. Coach travel takes just over 1 hour.