Windsor is best known for being one of the official residences of the Queen! Therefore, you can expect lots of heritage and special things to do in Windsor that you wouldn’t find elsewhere in the UK. In this post, I’ll be telling you all of the best things to do in Windsor, as well as some of the very interesting history of tourism in Windsor.
- Tourism in Windsor
- Is Windsor worth visiting?
- The best places to stay in Windsor
- The best things to do in Windsor
- Windsor essentials- what to pack
- Things to do in Windsor further reading
Tourism in Windsor
Tourism in Windsor is very popular, mainly due to the Royal Family and the fact that the Windsor Castle is one of the official residences of the Queen, so she often stays here.
In the UK, the Royal Family bring in over £500 million in profit every year as they are famous all over the world! In Windsor during 2016, around 90% of people who came visited Windsor Castle. In addition to this, Windsor Castle was the top response for enjoyment, where a whopping 75% of people said it was what they enjoyed the most! This was then followed by towns attractiveness of 15%, so this is a big reason why tourism in Windsor is so popular.
In 2019, domestic tourists made up 62% of tourists and inbound tourists made up 38% of overall visitors. When this is compared to 2018, both domestic tourists and inbound tourists increased by 2%, meaning that tourism in Windsor is rising due to how popular of a destination it is.
Is Windsor worth visiting?
Is Windsor worth visiting? If you’re a lover of history and want a beautifully British trip, then Windsor is the perfect place for you to visit! There are so many things to do in Windsor for all types of tourists and a whole range of budgets. Windsor is very easy to get to wherever you are in the country, especially if you’re travelling from London.
Windsor is only about 21 miles on the outskirts of London, and the average train journey takes around 40-50 minutes. There is also a frequent bus service from Heathrow Airport, so it makes Windsor even more convenient for you to visit if you’re an inbound tourist! What’s more is that there are so many things to do in Windsor for everyone, but first, I’ll tell you about the best times to visit Windsor.
The hottest time to visit Windsor is in July, as the average temperature is around 18°C. The coldest time to visit Windsor is in January, as the temperature during that time is about 4.5°C – so remember to wrap up warm! Therefore, the best time to visit Windsor is around May time as this is when there will be fewer tourists, but the weather will be warmer. Due to the steady weather, this makes Windsor a good place to visit as just as long as you prepare and have a backup raincoat, then you should be fine! A lot of the attractions are also suitable for rainy days, so you won’t miss out on anything!
The best places to stay in Windsor
Windsor has so many good types of places to stay, whether that’s if you’re travelling as a family, a couple, want a short stay or a long stay – if you want it, Windsor has it! Here are some of the best places to stay in Windsor that I recommend:
The George Inn – Even on a budget, you can still enjoy accommodation with views of the castle! This 300-year-old inn has a view of the scenic River Thames, and there is also a restaurant and bar with gastro-pub dining, with even a traditional Sunday roast menu. Legoland Windsor is just a 10-minutes drive from the inn, making it perfect if you want to visit.
Bluebell House – Every room in this quaint little house is traditionally furnished and has a private bathroom with free toiletries. There are also drink making facilities, and each room has a fridge to keep your food fresh. The Bluebell House is great for easy access to plenty of great things to do in Windsor.
The Manor Hotel – This hotel dates back all the way to the 1800s, so you need to stay here if you want a more authentic feel of Windsor! There is a great selection of rooms, and they are all en-suite with features such as power showers and drink making facilities. There is also free Wi-Fi as well as free parking available.
Gilbey’s Bar, Restaurant & Townhouse – This fantastic townhouse provides accommodation, a restaurant, a bar, and a shared lounge. Some rooms also come with a kitchen equipped with a fridge, a minibar, and other facilities to make great food. If you don’t feel like cooking, however, there is the option of a traditional hearty English breakfast to fill you up!
Marriott Hotel – This modern hotel comes with an onsite restaurant, pizzeria, bar, and health club to help you get everything you need during your stay. Modern, elegant rooms all come with air conditioning, a TV, drink making facilities and a seating area. Each room also has a private bathroom, and some even have lounge access.
Park Farm – Only a 5-minute drive from Windsor Castle and Legoland, each room features bright decor, a flat-screen Freeview TV, and a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries to help make your stay comfortable. There are also ironing facilities and a kitchen for you to dine in. Every morning, a big breakfast is also offered to all guests to fill them up for a big day of things to do in Windsor.
Macdonald Windsor – Situated just across from the famous Windsor Castle, the gorgeous hotel offers bedrooms with free WiFi access, a restaurant and a bar with plenty of options to suit your tastes. Each room is individually styled and has air conditioning, heating and modern bathrooms accompanied with free toiletries. It is the perfect place to stay if you want to experience Windsor like a royal!
De Vere Beaumont Estate – This historic estate is comprised of an 18th-century mansion, a chapel, and an event space, all in a Georgian House, which provides it with an atmosphere like no other. Although the house is Georgian, there are plenty of wonderful 21st-century facilities such as Wi-Fi, flatscreen TVs in every room and cosy decor, which still keeps with the theme. Each bedroom has a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries and tea/coffee facilities.
Castle Hotel Windsor – Based in the heart of Windsor and conveniently located opposite Windsor Castle, this hotel is the best place to stay if you want unrivalled views of the ‘Changing of the Guards’ procession, which literally marches right outside the doorstep along Windsor’s picturesque main street. There is parking available and other facilities and amenities such as bathrobes, Nespresso machines and their own restaurant.
The best things to do in Windsor
Windsor has so many fantastic things to do for everyone’s wants and needs; here are some of the best things to do in Windsor:
Free things to do in Windsor
Windsor has a reputation for being posh, but there are lots of things to do for free too! Here are the best free things to do in Windsor:
Watch Changing the Guard – Changing the Guard is one of the most unique things to do on your visit to Windsor! The days that the Guards march are scheduled by the British Army and can change every month, so you should check beforehand if you want to be extra sure. There is also even a band that usually marches with the guard – so you can be sure that this is an unforgettable experience!
Windsor Great Park – Windsor Great Park has been a witness to major historical events over thousands of years, even dating back to pre-Saxon times. William the Conqueror used the landscape as a hunting ground, Queen Victoria entertained multitudes of guests on the grounds, and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was a Ranger of the Great Park for almost 70 years, so as you can see, Royals throughout the years have loved it – and so will you!
Eton College Museums – Every year, these free museums and exhibitions attract thousands of tourists visiting for different reasons, such as students, people with a passion for history and art and researchers. Everything on display is also used for teaching at Eton College in order to give them one of the best educational experiences in the country. It’s a must-do for free things to do in Windsor.
St George’s Chapel – This beautiful Chapel was the location of Harry and Meghan’s famous wedding in 2018. The Chapel services are open to everyone and are often accompanied by marvellous music. They promise that if you do pay them a visit, you will receive a warm welcome, and there will always be people available to answer any questions you have.
Family things to do in Windsor
There are so many things to do in Windsor for families to enjoy! Here are some of the most unmissable ones:
1 Day Admission to LEGOLAND Windsor Resort – Save time waiting in line when you arrive at LEGOLAND’s Windsor resort and make the most out of this unforgettable experience! Legoland Windsor has more than 55 shows, rides, and attractions to experience, everyone will be sure to have the time of their lives, and by buying the tickets in advance, you will avoid any disappointment from the hugely popular attraction. It’s one of the best things to do in Windsor for all the family!
Windsor and Thames Valley Bike Tour – Get up close and personal with some of England’s loveliest scenery as you enjoy a scenic bike ride around the beautiful Windsor. You can choose a tour that departs in the morning or the afternoon to suit your tastes. During the tour, you will come across highlights such as Windsor Castle, Eton College, Dorney Court, and many more. Your guides will be sure to tell you all about the fascinating history surrounding these places.
Mini Chocolatier workshop – This is your chance to get stuck in and try your hand at chocolate making. During the workshop, you will get to sample and work with all different types of high-quality chocolate sourced around the globe. It’s an all-weather attraction and is suitable for all the family! You’re guaranteed to go home with plenty of delicious chocolate to indulge in.
Windsor and Eton Hidden Gems (Self-guided Tour & Treasure Hunt) – A self-guided tour is an ideal way to help you discover the great outdoors and fully connect with the world surrounding you. This tour will take you off the beaten track to show you places you will have never discovered before! You will be able to earn points, making it competitive and educational in a fun way for everyone to enjoy!
Things to do in Windsor for couples
If you’re a couple, then there are many things to do in Windsor together – here are my top ones:
Fudge Kitchen Fudge Making Experience – If you both love fudge, then this experience is for you! You’ll be guided by a fudge expert who will explain how Fudge Kitchen produces their fantastic fudge, and then you’ll get to have your own go at it. Both of you will also get the opportunity to taste all of the flavours made, and at the end of your experience, you’re able to select two 4 slice boxes!
Private Guided Tour of Windsor Castle – During this once in a lifetime tour, your private guide will show you all around the castle, where you will visit the State Apartments and St. George’s Hall, where larger than life banquets are held. You’ll be able to view stunning suits of armour, weaponry as well as flawless gardens. After your private tour of the Castle, the experience doesn’t stop there, as your guide will then take you on a guided walk of Windsor town. It’s great if you’re looking for more personal things to do in Windsor.
Windsor Private Luxury Full-Day Boat Tour – If you’re looking for more relaxing things to do in Windsor, then why not swap crowded tour buses for a much more luxurious alternative? Soak up the views of Windsor Castle as you glide up the Thames, passing magnificent architecture and countryside scenery. There is also a wide drink selection available, and snacks are included. Due to it being a private tour, this means that you can decide on the itinerary and where you want to stop! It’s one of the most scenic things to do in Windsor, and you won’t regret it!
London Hop-On Hop-Off Bus – This hop-on hop-off offers a flexible and hassle-free way to explore London at your own pace and also includes an entrance to one of the city’s most popular attractions. It’s great if you want to not worry about driving yourself to each attraction and is a great way to learn about all the history and stories, as there is a guide informing you every step of the way.
Windsor essentials- what to pack
When doing all these exciting things to do in Windsor, you’re going to have to make sure you’ve got these Windsor essentials:
- Busy Royal Family Book. If you have children, this is the perfect way to get them excited about visiting Windsor and help them learn about the Royal Family in a fun way – the drawings are absolutely adorable too!
- England – Horrible Histories Special. This book is great for older children to learn about England’s history in an entertaining way, as it has funny drawings and is a well-known series throughout the UK!
- Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family: A Glorious Illustrated History. Perfect for adults who want to brush up on their knowledge before or during the trip! This book will make you understand the Royal Family in a way you never did before.
- Bekina Hiking Wellies. These unisex hiking wellies are perfect for you if you’re planning to do some walking in Windsor’s beautiful countryside as they’re strong, sturdy and look very fashionable on all!
- Eono Double Layer Inverted Umbrella. When in England, you have to be prepared for rain at a moment’s notice; that’s where these handy umbrellas come in! They are great for keeping the floor dry, thanks to them being inverted and there is even have a wide range of gorgeous patterns to match your style!
Things to do in Windsor further reading
I hope that this post has informed you of all the fun things to do in Windsor, and you’ve learnt something about tourism here! If you’ve been to Windsor before, what things to do in Windsor would you recommend? If you enjoyed this post, here is some additional reading I recommend: