Top 10 things to do in Windsor

1. Visit The Queen’s official home: Windsor  Castle.  The  world’s  oldest  and largest  inhabited  castle,  is  an  official  residence  of  Her  Majesty  The  Queen. Highlights include the State Apartments, St  George’s  Chapel,  the  burial  place  of ten  monarchs,  and  Queen  Mary’s  Dolls House.   The   Changing   of   the   Guard, usually  accompanied  by  a  band,  takes place at 11:00 daily from April until the end  of  July  and  on  alternate  days  for the rest of the year (weather permitting and  except  Sundays).  The  best  viewing point is the Corn Exchange at the famous Windsor Guildhall.

Once inside the Castle, you   can  watch   the  actual  changing ceremony outside the Guardroom in the Lower Ward at 11.00am. www.royalcollection.org.uk

2. Learn to play polo. The Royal Borough hosts polo at a number of   venues   featuring   the   world’s   top professionals and plenty of opportunities to take part in half time ‘divot stamping’ –   Pretty   Woman   style.   National   and International  teams  compete,  with  their  entourage   of   ponies   (never   horses!) Lessons  are  also  available  where  you can  learn  the  rules  and  tactics  and perfect  your  polo  swing.  No  experience necessary. www.windsor.gov.uk

3. Dine out celebrity chef style. Looking for top notch dining? The Royal Borough  of  Windsor  and  Maidenhead offers Michelin stars, celebrity chefs and world-class  cuisine.  The  latest  addition is  Antony  Worrall  Thompson’s  Windsor Grill.  A  stone’s  throw  from  The  Long Walk, the Windsor Grill menu boasts an unrivalled range of prime Aberdeenshire steaks, handmade burgers, exquisite fish and  seafood  dishes  and  daily  changing specials.  In  the  nearby  village  of  Bray you  can  choose  from  two,  three-starred Michelin  restaurants  –  The  Waterside Inn  run  by  Michel  Roux  and  The  Fat Duck run by Heston Blumenthal – once voted best  restaurant  in  the  world. These are two of only four triple-starred Michelin restaurants in the UK. www.AWTRestaurants.com  ,www.waterside-inn.co.uk   , www.thefatduck.co.uk

4.Take a walk along the River Thames.The Thames is one of the most historic rivers in the world. There is something particularly magical about the river here, offering easy strolls along the Thames Path, with great views of Windsor, Eton College and the castle. The 8 mile walk to Maidenhead is delightful .You can also take a short detour from the path to visit Dorney Court manor house. Just before Maidenhead the river passes under Brunel’s Maidenhead railway bridge  The arch the Thames passes under is known as the Sounding Arch because of its spectacular echo – give it a try!

5. Tour Eton College. World  famous  Eton  College  opens  its doors  to  visitors  from  April  to  October.  Founded in  1440  by  King  Henry  VI,  the School  dress  still  consists  of  a  black tailcoat,     waistcoat     and     pin-striped trousers  introduced  in  the  1850s.  Eton has educated 19 British Prime Ministers, Princes   William   and   Harry   and   four times  Olympic  Gold  Medal  rower  Sir Matthew  Pinsent.  Short  guided  tours of approximately one hour in length are available. Pre-booking is essential. www.etoncollege.com

6.    Discover   Windsor’s   Olympic heritage. Book  a  private  walking  tour  for  your group with an expert Blue Badge tourist guide  and  discover  Windsor’s  Olympic heritage. Hear the amazing story of the 1908  Olympic  marathon  and  why  the official marathon route is 26 miles and 385 yards. Legend has it that the start of the marathon was moved to the Castle’s East Terrace because the then Princess of Wales wanted her children to see the race. See the only 1908 marathon route marker  on  Eton  High  Street  and  walk along part of the actual route. Also visit The  Long  Walk  to  see  where  the  1948 Olympic  road  cycle  race  took  place. www.windsortouristguides.co.uk

7. The Savill Garden. The  Savill  Garden  is  part  of  The  Royal Landscape,   which   also   includes   the Valley  Gardens  and  Virginia  Water.  It  is one  of  England’s  finest  woodland  and ornamental  gardens  with  35  acres  of trees,  shrubbery,  ponds  and  streams, lawns,  meadows    and formal  beds which are home to some of the world’s most  decorative  plants.  The  new  rose garden was opened by The Queen  in  June  2010.  This  exciting  and contemporary garden is best visited from mid- June to September.  www.thecrownestate.co.uk

8.  Horse-drawn  carriage ride through the Royal Landscape. Explore Windsor Great Park in style with a  romantic  horse-drawn  carriage  ride. Ascot  Carriages  offers  scenic  drives  in a  beautiful  carriage  previously  used  by the  Queen’s  Equerry  and  Horsemaster. Orchard  Poyle  runs  tours  from  outside Windsor Castle and down The Long Walk to Home Park.www.ascotcarriages.co.uk,       www.orchardpoyle.co.uk

9.  Count  swans  with  HM  Swan Marker. Follow  The Queen’s  Swan Marker, the Royal Swan Uppers and the Swan Uppers of the Vintners’ and  Dyers’  livery  companies.  The  party  use  six  traditional Thames  rowing  skiffs  and  The  Queen’s  Swan  Uppers  wear scarlet  uniforms.  When  a  brood  of  cygnets  is  sighted,  a cry  of  “All  up!”  is  given  to  signal  that  the  boats  should  get into  position.  On  passing  Windsor  Castle,  the  rowers  stand to  attention  in  their  boats  with  oars  raised  and  salute  “Her  Majesty The Queen, Seigneur of the Swans”. After weighing, measuring and a quick health check the swans are released back to the river Thames. www.royalswan.co.uk

10. Attend evensong at St George’s Chapel. The  Choir  of St  George’s Chapel  is  one of the leading Church  Choirs  in  the country.  It  comprises  24  boy  choristers  and  twelve  Lay  Clerks  singing  alto, tenor and bass. They perform Evensong at 5.15 pm (sung every day except Wednesdays) in a service which lasts approx. 45 minutes. Founded in 1348, the choir sings regularly in the presence of the Queen and other members of the Royal family and has a large repertoire of music drawn from all ages and traditions. www.stgeorges-windsor.org.

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