Four years ago I had the opportunity to travel to London and spend three weeks in the capital city of England. During that summer of 2011 I was granted a scholarship that allowed me to study English at a language school in the mornings and dedicating the rest of my time to discover and explore London.
As you probably already know, London is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world due to the great amount of nationalities and cultures living together in this wonderful metropolis. In other words, this city is so rich and varied thanks to its people, food, languages and the busy and cheerful atmospthere you will perceive when visiting it. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, whether it is sunny or rainy or if The Queen is at home (Buckingham Palace) or not. London has lots of things and experiences to offer you!
So, if you are visiting Buckingham Palace on a summer day and Her Majesty is not at home, probably she’ll find herself in her summer residence in Windsor, which is a town situated 37 kilometres west of London. If you want to escape from the crowded London, you should know that getting there is pretty easy as you only have to catch a train from Waterloo Station. A return ticket costs around 16£ and the duration of the journey is only one hour.
Once I was in Windsor I was quite surprised when I found out that this city is connected to Eton by a bridge over the Thames. Eton is quite smaller so don’t miss out the chance of walking around this town too and visiting its main landmarks.
I must say I was completely delighted by this one-day trip to Windsor & Eton as I had arrived to London a week before and I already needed a break and to chill somewhere far away from the London chaos and mess. Wandering around this 27.000 inhabitants city was like finding an oasis in the middle of the desert. I must also say that both towns are quite interesting and there are more things to do than you may imagine in a first moment. So here is what I did and what I recommend you:
Strolling around the streets of Windsor & Eton. It’s a good opportunity to breathe a fresher air than the one there is in the polluted and noisy London.
Exploring the Windsor Castle: This huge architectural complex is The Queen’s summer royal residence. The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror and since the time of Henry I, it has been used by succeeding monarchs. It’s also the longest-occupied palace in Europe. I must admit that the price for entering the castle is expensive (around 20£) but it really worth it paying that amount of money.
The visit goes across the different rooms of the castle open to the public. Among them you”ll find the royal halls, the private lodging of George IV and Saint George’s chapel. Windsor Castle is also home to a great number of artistic treasures as there are plenty of works of arts by famous painters like Rembrandt, Van Dyck and Rubens among other. Moreover, for those of you who love history and architecture, you must know that this place meets the image of the traditional fortress full of fortified towers with its Round Tower standing out in the middle of the complex. As information facts it is interesting to know that the whole castle was burnt down due to a fire in November 1992 and that six millions litres of water and fifteen hours were needed to extinguish the fire. Also it is said that around 500 people live in the castle among workers and other personnel.
Going for a walk in Windsor Great Park. This park was, for many centuries, the private hunting ground of Windsor Castle and it dates from the 13th century. Nowadays it is open to the public and you will find it a perfect place for relaxing.
Did you know that the British Queen is the only person allowed to drive down the 2.6 mile park apart form park rangers? In fact, she was caught some days ago veering onto a grass verge to avoid a family strolling through Windsor Great park when she was on her way to church.
Visiting the Eton College in Eton. Once you’ve crossed the bridge towards Eton and after a short walk you’ll find this famous building. This is one of the most famous, renowned and important educational centres in the United Kingdom and the world. Besides a huge number of boys and girls belonging to wealthy and influential families, there are plenty of famous people (for example, 19 Prime Ministers including David Cameron) who were trained and educated in this college. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI and nowadays it educates over 1,300 pupils aged 13 to 18.
Remember! If you are travelling to London it is a good idea to visit other smaller towns in order to get away from the big and crowded capital city.
Visit here my Windsor & Eton gallery.
Useful information when travelling to Windsor & Eton:
- Windsor and Eton Official Tourist Information.
- Train tickets to Windsor & Eton.
- Windsor Castle site.
- Eton College website.
- Windsor Great Park Information.