Since we can’t time travel yet (unless humankind does in the future and you are reading this on a journey back in time) we think a trip to Europe is the next best thing. Travelling Europe not only transports you in the present day, but its beautifully-preserved and historically-significant structures take you back millennia.
In the first of our Traditional Europe Travel Guide Series, we touch down in England, home to some of Europe’s oldest and most famous architectural marvels. (Be sure to check out our Modern Europe Travel Guide series and keep your eye out for upcoming instalments!)
What does England make one immediately think of? Chances are, the British monarchy and majestic structures, like Buckingham Palace, come to mind. If you’re a history buff, royal watcher or pop culture vulture, Windsor Castle may also top your list. Wait– how do those three types intersect? Look no further than Windsor Castle’s ancient history and current events to find out more.
Windsor Castle Tours
The Queen’s official residence, the grounds of Windsor Castle date to the 11th century, making it the world’s oldest inhabited castle. While it functions for royal business as well, much of the palace is open to tours and is a favourite London highlight for history lovers and culture buffs. Even if you’re just seeking some fresh air outside the City of London, Windsor is a picturesque stop. (Hey, if the air is good enough for the Queen to relocate from the city…)
Located about an hour due west of central London, Windsor Castle makes a perfect day trip for visitors to London.
It may seem surprising to see this ancient property and its sleepy, scenic surrounding area plastered on tabloid magazine covers, but most recently, the spotlight was on Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel, where Prince Harry married Meghan Markle. Even if you’re not a monarchy follower, the distinctive castle turrets and rolling hills of greenery and cobblestone may look familiar. Same goes for the village of Windsor itself, where post-nuptials, the royal couple rode an open carriage through the town, greeted by much fanfare and international press.
Tours of Windsor
It is recommended that tourists leave two and a half hours for a full visit of Windsor Castle, where the public can enjoy the fascinating rooms and stories of centuries gone by. Some Windsor Castle must-sees include:
- The State Apartments, spearheaded by Charles II set to rival the splendour of Versailles in France, set out by his cousin, Louis XIV.
- St. George’s Chapel where not only Meghan and Harry wed, but many others before and after them, including the impending nuptials of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank.
- Changing of the Guard, which usually takes place at 11:00 am sharp on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (may be subject to change.)
- Queen Mary’s Dollhouse, a remarkably detailed and lifelike dollhouse that took four years to complete.
- Windsor Castle grounds, pristinely-manicured gardens perfect for picnics, and a castle moat where you can rent a romantic paddle boat.
There are many Windsor tours available, which a Flight Centre Expert Traveller can arrange for you. If you wish to travel independently, Windsor Castle hours are daily from 10 am to 6:15 pm; November to February they are open 10 am to 5:15 pm.
We also recommend you tour the charming town of Windsor itself, perhaps for a pub pint or a leisurely stroll to purchase some Royal souvenirs.
How to Get to Windsor Castle
It’s easy to get to Windsor Castle, by car or train through the bustling city to the English countryside.
- Car: Drive west along the M4, which will take about 45 minutes to an hour depending on traffic.
- Train: Ride the London Underground from Paddington or Waterloo stations to Windsor Castle station.
Talk to an Expert Traveller
Ready to see Europe’s traditional architecture for yourself? We are ready to tailor-make you a Europe holiday package that’s fit for royalty. Contact us online, Live Chat, at 1 877 967 5302, or best of all, an Expert Traveller at a store near you.