From a sumptuous castle and gardens to one of the most visited theme parks in the UK, those looking for places to visit in Windsor, England are swimming in choice.
This Berkshire gem is known the world over for its famous castle, but there is far more to see and do in Windsor than just snooping around for a glimpse at royalty.
So, whether you are planning a day trip from London or are simply curious about things to do, here are some of the most unique and interesting places to visit in Windsor, England.
As the “oldest and largest occupied castle in the world”, Windsor Castle has served as the home of 39 monarchs since its foundation by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. It’s the main reason visitors flock en masse to Windsor, and by far one of the top Windsor attractions you must visit.
It’s well known that Windsor is the current Queen’s main residence, and one of her favourite places. It’s used for state events just as often as Buckingham Palace and a number of important ceremonies are held here each year.
Visitors can explore many of the opulent state apartments, art collections and even a charming display of Queen Mary’s Doll’s House inside Windsor Castle. The gardens outside are simply stunning and it’s easy to see why the Queen loves Windsor so much!
One ticket grants access to the castle grounds, the State Apartments and St George’s Chapel, with the option of converting your ticket to a pass that’s valid for a year, making it a pretty solid deal if you live nearby.
PRACTICAL INFO FOR VISITING: Entry to Windsor Castle requires a paid ticket which they recommend you book in advance. If you want to witness the changing of the Guards, be sure to check the schedule here.
Do note this only usually takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and the main ceremony takes place in the castle, so you’ll need a ticket. No photography or videography is allowed indoors, but photos are encouraged of the castle exteriors.
A few rooms of the State Apartments are only open from September to March, so come during those months if your goal is to see as much of the palace as possible.
St George’s Chapel
St George’s Chapel is the Gothic-style chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle, which is also one of the most popular Windsor tourist attractions, particularly with fans of Royal Weddings!
Many of Queen Victoria’s children were married here, while more recently this is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were wed in 2018. The chapel is also where many Royal burials have taken place, with Henry VIII, Charles I, George VI (Queen Elizabeth II’s father), Princess Margaret (her sister) and Prince Philip (her husband) all interred in different sections.
While the royal vault is inaccessible to the public, large plaques on the ground mark the spots where famous figures such as Henry VIII are buried.
PRACTICAL INFO FOR VISITING: Entry to St George’s Chapel is included with your Windsor Castle ticket… although photography inside is strictly prohibited.
The Windsor Guildhall
Windsor’s Town Hall is another one of the most impressive things to see in Windsor; as well as a prime location for weddings, dinner events and charity fundraisers.
Speaking of royal weddings, this is actually where Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall had their wedding ceremony since it was a civil service. It also happens to be where Sir Elton John and David Furnish entered into a civil partnership on December 21 2005, when it became legal for same-sex couples to form civil partnerships.
While the Guildhall’s construction was begun by Sir Thomas Fitz, Sir Christopher Wren apparently took over (and completed it) after Fitz’s death in 1689. The interior is elegant, with Royal portraits lining the walls and two chandeliers on loan from the Queen herself.
While visitors can’t just go into the Guildhall to look around unless they’re there for an event, the Windsor and Royal Borough Museum is located inside the Guildhall. Here visitors can explore local history and catch a glimpse of the Guildhall’s lovely interiors.
The Long Walk
Stretching for a straight 4.3 km (3 miles) from Windsor Castle to the large copper horse statue on Snow Hill, the Long Walk is indeed aptly named.
This beautiful tree-lined avenue was created by Charles II and later improved upon by Queen Anne. One of the most well-known and iconic images of Windsor Castle is how it is seen when looking back along the Long Walk to the castle. The pathway is only for walking on, no bicycling, although visitors can hire a horse-drawn carriage between March and December.
A walk up to the statue of George III on Snow Hill (usually called the copper horse) is very popular with Windsor locals. The statue shows King George pointing to Windsor Castle, which was apparently also his favourite home. The views from Snow Hill are stunning, and one can even see all the way back to London on a clear day.
Windsor Great Park
The Long Walk and Copper Horse are part of the wider Windsor Great Park, which is one of the prettiest places to go in Windsor. Most of the main Great Park attractions can be found in the wooded area after Snow Hill.
This is a 5,000 acre Royal Park, which was originally the private hunting ground of Windsor Castle. The enclosed deer park is a popular section for visitors, where semi-wild red deer can be seen in all their glory, particularly during rutting season.
Notable buildings within the park include The Royal Lodge (home of Prince Andrew and not open to the public), Cumberland Lodge, Cranbourne Tower and the Royal Chapel of All Saints.
The Windsor Great Park also contains the beautiful Virginia Water Lake, small woods, ancient oak trees and sweeping lawns. The Savill Garden is the only section where visitors need to pay to enter, but the small cost is worth it!
This simple, unassuming park makes our list of top places to visit in Windsor for its whimsical statue of the Queen, installed as part of the celebrations for her Diamond Jubilee.
Known as ‘The Windsor Lady’, this statue depicts Queen Elizabeth II in a rare and candid pose, surrounded by six of her beloved corgis. There’s also an interactive water feature and some play equipment for children to enjoy within the park.
The Acre was where locals held markets and fairs since the Middle Ages, including the famous Annual Revel for the King or Queen’s birthday. Bachelor’s Acre can be found just off Victoria Street in Windsor, near the library.
On the uphill walk to Windsor Castle from the river/train station, you’ll most likely be walking up the curved Thames Street, which is lined with restaurants, pubs, and shops on one side, and the impressive stone walls of Windsor Castle on the other.
The most interesting curiosity on this street is the clock embedded on the pavement outside Pizza Express, thought to be the only one of its kind in the country.
Since 2011 (when the clock was replaced), it has also concealed a time capsule.
The Crooked House
One of the most unusual places to visit in Windsor is the Crooked House, a building that is literally leaning over as if a bit tired!
There was originally a ‘Market Cross House’ on this location, but in 1687 the council ordered it torn down to make room for the Guildhall. However, the council was then rebuked for tearing down the house and ordered to rebuild it, which they did, but they didn’t do the best job.
Ever since it was rebuilt, the house has had a marked lean but that has only added to its charm. Over the years the Crooked House of Windsor has been the location of a butcher’s shop, a tea house, a brewery, an antique shop and a jewellery store.
While nothing occupied this space during our visit, the wonky building facade of the infamous Windsor crooked house is well worth a stop.
Queen Charlotte Street
According to a highly official plaque, the shortest street in all of Britain can be found in Windsor! Queen Charlotte Street is located just to the side of The Crooked House, so make sure you don’t miss it.
As a bonus, The Carpenter’s Arms pub at the end of the tiny street is the perfect place for a rest and a pint after your lengthy journey down Queen Charlotte Street!
Windsor Royal Station
Another one of the most beautiful Windsor destinations you need to add to your list is Windsor Royal Station.
Converted from part of the old railway station built in the 1850s, this Grade II listed Victorian railway station now houses one of the most popular shopping destinations in Windsor.
Today visitors can shop at modern retailers or dine in classy restaurants under many of the original features of the train station.
In particular, the stylish All Bar One is located inside what was once Queen Victoria’s waiting room.
The Jubilee Arch (pictured below) is a defining image of Windsor Royal Station and there’s even a cute steam train on display to entertain kids.
Sydney Camm Memorial
Looking for one of Windsor’s lesser known hidden gems?
Windsor local Sydney Camm was responsible for the design of the Hurricane, one of the most important aircraft used during WWII. The Hurricane was 100 mph faster than any other plane at the time and formed a major part of the Battle of Britain.
Sydney Camm was called ‘the man who saved Britain’ following the Battle of Britain and was awarded with a CBE (a British order of Chivalry) in 1941, along with a knighthood in 1952. He also went on to design the Typhoon fighter-bomber which was used during the 1944 Normandy invasion.
Today, his accomplishments are immortalized through a model replica of a Hurricane which serves as a beautiful memorial to the Battle of Britain, and Sydney Camm himself. It’s located next to the River Thames at the western tip of Alexandra Park.
The Ancient Well
On the corner of St Alban’s Street where it curves around to meet High Street, there is an Ancient Well, a red telephone box and a soldier’s statue honouring fallen Irish guardsmen.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any plaques or anything to say just how ancient this ancient well is, but it makes for a pretty photo opportunity. In fact, we can’t even find any information about this well online, so if you know anything about it, let us know in the comments!
LEGOLAND Windsor is definitely one of the best places to visit in Windsor if you have children, or even just a Lego fan/someone who is young at heart!
The full name is actually LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, as it’s both a theme park and resort completely themed around Lego. The attractions within the park are aimed at children between three and twelve, but anyone who’s ever played with Lego will enjoy it.
There are Lego-themed rides, models and building workshops. One of the coolest parts is Miniland, with miniature towns and cities from around the world depicted using Lego.
LEGOLAND Windsor is one of the most-visited theme parks in the United Kingdom and often receives more visitors than the original Legoland Billund Resort in Denmark. It houses the largest Lego store in the UK, as well as two hotels for visitors to stay in.
Did we miss any of your favourite places to visit in Windsor?
Let us know in the comments so we can add more Windsor must-sees to our list!