If you’re something of a fan of the British Royals or captivated by the eventful history of the UK, then you may well want to check out all the possible palaces, castles and historical sites on a trip to London.
Indeed, for many who come to the UK capital for a short break, visiting Windsor Castle is a must-do. Yet, that means for those booked into the likes of hotels in Hyde Park taking a day out of their stay in order to accommodate a Windsor Castle visit. Why so? Because the attraction isn’t actually in the city itself.
So, that begs the question – is it definitely worth taking the time and effort to keep it in your London itinerary…?
What is Windsor Castle?
One of the chief residences of the UK monarch (and the birthplace of a good number of them, too), Windsor Castle is a medieval castle-cum-palace, whose construction began almost immediately after the Norman Conquest led by William the Conqueror (William I) in the year 1070.
Located in the Royal town of Windsor, it’s been, remarkably, continuously occupied and in constant use since the 11th Century – meaning that, to this day, it’s the oldest and largest occupied castle anywhere on the planet.
Despite appearances, perhaps, it’s also a large site, including some glorious features, such as St George’s Chapel. The latter being familiar to millions the world over, following this year’s funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the 2016 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
How do you get to Windsor Castle?
Now, to go and see Windsor Castle while in London (staying, say, at a hotel near Oxford Street London) usually means hopping on a coach or minibus and travelling the hour or so journey, by road, to Windsor. Then, of course, it means being guided around the attraction – and maybe around the other sights of Windsor, like the legendary Eton College private school.
Windsor is certainly within easy reach of London; you can also take a train from Paddington Station (within walking distance, of course, of Hyde Park accommodation), but often guided tours of the attraction will provide a road-going transport of their own.
Are tours of Windsor Castle recommended?
In short, yes; absolutely. As mentioned, not only should a decent (and affordable) Windsor Castle tour cover all transportation to and from the attraction, it should ensure you get a thorough look-around all that’s worth seeing at the historic site, courtesy of a knowledgeable guide, and potentially more besides (e.g. Eton and the Great Walk).
Indeed, you may even be able to combine Windsor Castle with another major historical site all within a one day-long tour to and from your London location (thus, ensuring you’re back in time for dinner at one of those chic restaurants in Hyde Park).
For instance, how about combining a tour of this terrific castle with one of the stunning Stonehenge? Fair dos, Stonehenge isn’t exactly in Windsor’s vicinity (lying about 100 miles away), but it’s within relatively easy reach by coach and, of course, it’s on the bucket-list for many visitors to England.
So, if these two amazing historical sites are on your list of must-visits, why not combine them, if you can?