Looking for a beautiful, yet unique place to take your family? The stunning town of Windsor will more than fit the bill. An easy train ride from London, Windsor makes a fantastic day trip, but with more than 1000 years of history, brought effortlessly into the 21st century, Windsor deserves to be a destination city, in its own right. You can easily spend days just walking around and taking in the history and beauty of this town, but there is so much more to Windsor than just history, and whatever the age of your family, you will be spoiled for choice with this list of best things to do.
1. Windsor Castle
No trip to Windsor would be complete without visiting the Queen’s favorite country house, and the oldest inhabited castle in the world! Start your visit off with a free tour of the castle precinct and learn about the history of this huge castle, then make your way inside and purchase a ticket to marvel at the state rooms, semi-state rooms, Queen Mary’s dollhouse, St George’s chapel and one of the finest private art collections in the world.
Once you have finished inside, don’t leave without witnessing the pomp and pageantry of the changing of the guard, a quintessentially British tradition - be sure to have your camera ready! At 53 GBP (68.73 USD) for a family of five, this is a surprisingly affordable outing.
Address: Windsor SL4 1NJ, UK
Website: Windsor Castle
2. Bekonscot Model Village and Railway
Just a 20-minute drive from Windsor, the Bekonscot Model Village and Railway is a delightful day out for families of all ages. Beautifully crafted and maintained, this is the oldest model railway and village in the world and definitely worth a visit! With immaculately maintained gardens, a ride on a train, a children’s play area, six villages set in the 1930’s, and an 80-year-old model train display, you can spend a happy few hours here. The open season runs until the end of October, and the last day for 2017 is the 29th.
Bekonscot Model Village and Railway
Address: Warwick Road, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, HP9 2PL
Website: Bekonscot Model Village and Railway
3. Legoland Windsor
The only Legoland in the UK, this is a whole day of adventure for your family! With all kinds of rides, spectacular Lego sculptures, including a life-sized Lego zebra, restaurants, and performances, a visit to Legoland is something your children will be talking about, for days after! Don’t worry about your kids getting bored waiting in line for rides, each ride has giant bins of Lego blocks in the queuing area, for you to create your own sculptural masterpiece, while you wait your turn.
Address: Winkfield Road Windsor Berkshire SL4 4AY
Website: Legoland Windsor
4. Take a carriage ride through Windsor Great Park
A huge park with one of the most spectacular views of the castle in the city, a carriage ride is a perfect way to take it all in, without wearing your legs out! Ascot Carriages provides 30, 60 and 90-minute tours, and you have the added bonus of a personal tour guide in your driver, who will happily share unique historical insights about the park, as you pass by points of interest. For something different, you can pack a picnic and arrange for your driver to stop for half an hour by the lake, while you eat lunch and feed the ducks, before finishing your ride. If you have older children who would prefer to ride a horse through the park instead, Tally Ho Stables has a range of horses suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike.
Address: The Savill Garden, Wick Lane, Egham TW20 0XD, United Kingdom
Website: Ascot Carriages
Tally Ho Stables
Address: Tally Ho Farm Crouch Lane | Winkfield, Windsor SL4 4RZ, England
Website: Tally Ho stables
The River Thames is home to many a famous rowing regatta, but you don’t need to have a strong rowing arm to enjoy boating on the Thames. With so many beautiful sights to see from the river, why not take one of the many river tours available? On the affordable end, you can take a 40 minute round trip on one of the large tour boats, which will take you past lots of historic locations, including Eton College and Windsor Castle. If you are wanting to splurge, you can book a private river cruise, complete with afternoon tea, on a beautiful wooden charter boat.
Thames Riverboat Tour
Fringilla Boat Trips
Website: Fringilla Boat Trips
6. Take a walking tour of Old Town
Book a tour with Windsor Guided Tours, and you will not be getting your usual, run of the mill, well-rehearsed tour guide. Instead, you will be led around this 1000-year-old city by the head of the local archeological society. Far from boring, these award-winning walking tours can be tailored to your family’s needs and will include lots of quirky and little-known details about the town. Windsor Guided Tours have daytime and evening tours available, and if you have older children that are up for a bit of a challenge, you can book the Treasure Hunt tour.
If you like to do things at your own pace and don’t want a guide, the Queens Walkway is a gentle, 6.3 km (4 mile) walk through the older part of town, taking in 63 of the most popular historic attractions. Simple to follow, and with plenty of places to stop, it’s an easy way to see what makes this town so special.
Windsor Guided Tours
Address: Usual Meeting point - outside the Sir Christopher Wren Hotel, Thames St, Windsor, SL4 1PX
Website: Windsor Guided Tours
7. A day at the Ascot
An iconic British establishment, the Ascot Racecourse holds many events throughout the year, the most famous being the Ascot Week. While not all events are designed to be family friendly, children are always welcome here, if they have an adult with them. During the summer, Ascot holds the Summer Mile Racing Weekend and if you time your trip right, you can take advantage of an event designed especially for families.
Ascot has a very strict dress code, so make sure you read up, before you go! If you aren’t visiting when there is an event on but would still like to experience the racing atmosphere in Windsor, try the Monday Night Racing at the Royal Windsor Racecourse - a weekly event that will not disappoint!
Address: High St, Ascot SL5 7JX, UK
Website: Ascot Racecourse
Royal Windsor Racecourse
Address: Maidenhead Rd, Windsor SL4 5JJ, UK
Website: Royal Windsor Racecourse
8. Frogmore House
Frogmore House is just a mile (1.6 km) from Windsor Castle and was used in the past as a country retreat for the Royal Family. Set amongst serenely tranquil gardens, designed largely by Queen Charlotte in the 19th century, it is no longer used as a Royal residence but set aside for special events. If you are wanting to visit this elegant house and its spectacular gardens, you will need to plan your visit carefully, as it is only open to the public three days a year. These three days are very special because they are charity events and the type of event and the dates vary from year to year. Alternatively, if you have a group of 15 or more, you can take a guided tour on any Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday of August.
Address: Frogmore Estate, Home Park, Windsor
Website: Frogmore House
9. The Natural History Museum at Eton College
Unless you have a son who is planning to attend this prestigious academy, you will have very limited opportunities to visit this ancient institution, (whose graduates include Princes William and Harry) but on a Sunday afternoon, the College’s Natural History Museum is open to the public. The Museum houses 16,000 specimens and artifacts, including a rare original page from Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin Of Species”. A visit here provides an opportunity to see this famous college and explore the natural history and biodiversity of the Thames Valley.
Eton College Natural History Museum
Address: South Meadow Lane, Eton, SL4 6EW.
Website: Eton College Natural History Museum
10. Visit the Fudge Kitchen
Fudge is a traditional English sweet, and the Fudge Kitchen makes all their fudge by hand, to an original recipe. Pay a short but sweet visit to their shop in Windsor between 11 am and 4 pm, to watch fudge being made, sample the huge variety of flavors and maybe purchase a slice or two as a gift for your loved ones (provided you don’t succumb to temptation and eat it all before you get back!)
If you like to be more hands-on, you can book a fudge making experience and make your own batch to take home. While you are unlikely to spend more than an hour here, it is a wonderfully different thing to do on your visit to Windsor, and the Willy Wonka-like manager is sure to be a big hit with the kids!.
The Fudge Kitchen
Address: 20 Thames St, Windsor SL4 1PL, UK
Website: The Fudge Kitchen
Keep everyone entertained!
If you are traveling with children, it can be difficult to choose a destination that is going to keep everybody happy and entertained, but you won’t find that problem in Windsor. With so much to choose from, it won’t matter what mood your kids are in! Take a relaxing river cruise, have an adventure packed day at Legoland, or explore the history of this ancient city - whatever your style, a visit to Windsor will be unforgettable, for all the right reasons.
Get Trip101 in your inbox