Windsor and Eton

Windsor and Eton are twin towns, in Berkshire, in the South East of England, separated by the River Thames and joined by Windsor Bridge.

Windsor Castle and the River Thames from the Brocas Meadows in Eton

Windsor is an ancient town most famous for its castle, construction of which began in 1075, and which is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world. The royal standard flies from the keep of the Castle when the Queen is in residence.

Eton is a smaller town, dominated by Eton College, the ancient public (US English:private) school which educates many of England's establishment (especially those who go on to become politicians, judges and diplomats).

Understand

Visitor information

Contact the Royal Windsor Information Centre, +44 1753 743900, for further information on attractions, events, places to stay and things to do.

Get in

By plane

Windsor and Eton is well served by London's collection of airports and actually under the flight-path of Heathrow. For travellers coming directly to Windsor, the most convenient (in reducing order of convenience) are:

By train

In Windsor and Eton there are two railway stations (0845 748 49 50) (see the National Rail website for up-to-date information about stations, fares, and schedules)). Both stations are within walking distance of each other and Windsor Castle. Assuming that you will be coming from London the choice of which route to use probably comes down to how far from Waterloo and Paddington stations you will stay. Depart from the nearest.

Fares:

By bus

By car

Windsor is served by the M4 motorway (freeway) which runs from London to Bristol and South Wales. It is about an hour's drive from central London. The best junction to use is J6.

Park and ride facilities are available at 2 sites; see National Park and Ride Directory.

By bicycle

Windsor lies on National Cycle Route 4 (LondonSt David's).

By tour

There are numerous sightseeing tour companies that offer tours by coach from London to Windsor in a day and these tours can also include Stonehenge and Bath.

Get around

If you are planning to do any visiting or exploring beyond central Windsor and Eton, you will probably want to obtain a decent map of the area. You should ensure that any map you buy clearly shows the national grid reference lines, and explains how to use them, as grid references are frequently used to indicate out of town locations. For driving or cycling, Ordnance Survey Landranger 175 (scale 1:50000) covers Windsor and to the west, including all the places mentioned below except Runnymede and Ordnance Survey Landranger 176 (scale 1:50000) covers the area to the east, including Runnymede. For walking, Ordnance Survey Explorer 160 (scale 1:25000).

By foot

Neither Windsor nor Eton is desperately large and walking is a good way around the central area. For example it will take you no more than 15 minutes to walk from Eton College Chapel to Windsor Castle. Several streets, including Windsor Bridge and Peascod Street (the main shopping street) are pedestrianised. Short walk in central Windsor using map with pop-up images

By bus

Windsor has a reasonable bus service, both within the town and to the surrounding area, although frequencies can be quite low with little service in the evenings or on Sunday.

By car

Neither Windsor nor Eton is big enough to get really congested, although traffic delays can be severe on summer weekend mornings and evenings, when Legoland is popular, and on evenings when there is horse-racing at Windsor racecourse. One issue that you may find in driving around Windsor and Eton is that Windsor Bridge is for pedestrians only. To get between Windsor and Eton requires you to drive out to the Windsor by-pass, cross the river on that, then go most of the way into Slough before taking the old Windsor Road from that town back into Eton; it is easily quicker to walk.

See

Central Windsor and Eton

These places to see are all within the central area of Windsor or within Eton just across Windsor Bridge. They are all within easy walking distance of each other, the main shopping center and both railway stations.

Windsor Castle
Eton High Street from Windsor Bridge

Windsor based website, walking.org, is ran by a group of keen local walkers and details a number of walks for holidaymakers .

Surrounding Areas

These places to see are a little further out; some are accessible by longer walks, others will require the use of car, bike or public transport.

Do

Theatre Royal

Buy

Market Cross House (Crooked House of Windsor)

It is important to remember in Windsor that it is most definitely not a "clone-town". Therefore it does not offer an entirely Shopping Centre based retail experience. It is more based around Peascod Street (the high street), King Edward Court, Thames Street, Windsor Royal Station and St Leonard's Road. In this case it has many, many different mixtures of independent fashion boutiques such as Michael Chell, Coco etc.; and of course large retail chains such as H&M, Monsoon and so on. It also has a variety of specialist retailers such as Molton Brown, Hotel Chocolat (extremely tasty handmade chocolate), Havana House Fine Cigar Merchants and Oil and Vinegar to name a few. There a far too many different shops that a visitor can step into, so they are not all named, instead take a walk through the places listed previously and enjoy the atmosphere of one of the most beautiful towns in England.

Eat

There are lots of places to eat in and around Windsor & Eton, and a good way to find one is simply to keep your eyes open as you visit. The prices are estimates for a meal including drinks and tips.

Drink

Windsor is a small, compact and cosy town, so you won't need a taxi if you're thinking of going from bar to bar.

Windsor is peppered with pubs, bars and a couple of clubs, some of these nestle neatly on the bank of the Thames, these are definitely worth a visit, especially come the summer months - they are expensive mind, so make sure your packing plastic if you're up for more than a couple of rounds.

There are a handful of venues to be found under the shadow of the Castle (Thames street) most of these are of the chain variety,one of which is the cheapest place in town to eat and drink, all the venues on Thames street are popular with Windsor's smartly dressed workers and picture happy cosmopolitan tourists.

The arches (2 minutes walk) from the Castle are home to Windsor’s late night venues, clubs and style bars, most of these will require you to be smartly dressed. Expect queues on busy nights of the week and higher than average drinks prices! The arches are well worth a visit, the bars found here are housed inside old Victorian railway arches, which make them a really atmospheric choice and a great place to wind up or wind down - depending on your mood.

The edge of town, bottom of Peascod Street, just 2 minutes walk from the arches, is where you’ll find Windsor’s affluent residents socialising, cafe culture is certainly alive in this part of town,and in the summer months people spill onto the pedestrianised streets till very late 7 nights a week, it’s a great spot for people watching and unwinding from a day out. There is a good selection of restaurants to be found down here, probably the best in town, so well worth the short walk. If you’re looking to tap in the local scene and fill your belly this is where to go.

Windsor is also home to some excellent traditional English pubs serving great real ale and good English pub grub, a comprehensive guide to Windsor’s pubs,bars and what’s on is WindsorGo

Sleep

There are many hotels in Windsor, some are right opposite the Castle, but don't expect cheap rooms from them. Contact the Royal Windsor Information Centre for further information on guest houses, hotels and self-catering accommodation. +44 1753 743900.

  Beaumont Estate, Burfield Road,  +44 1793 819000, fax: +44 1753 640100, e-mail: . Check-in: 3pm, check-out: 11am. This is a hotel and event venue offering over 400 bedrooms and 75 event suites. It originated as a family home from the 14th century, and is made up of several buildings - including an old school house and an iconic white mansion – featuring ornate architecture like grand white exterior pillars, barrel-vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows. £84.00+.

Connect

There a lots of cafés, pubs and bars in Windsor with free WiFi internet hotspot's. A detailed list can be found

Windsor's area code (for landline numbers) is +44 1753 when dialled from outside the United Kingdom or 01753 from within.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, September 18, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.