Travel Throwback #2: Windsor Castle

Thursday, 29 May 2014
Two weeks ago I shared a travel throwback from my first trip to London, England in 2004 to celebrate my sixteenth birthday. Located on the outskirts of London is Windsor Castle which you can travel to easily by rail from both Waterloo and Paddington station. The train ride takes anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour (depending on the train you get), making it the perfect day trip from London, which is precisely what my mom and I did.


Windsor Castle is Queen Elizabeth II's preferred weekend home and is often used for hosting state visits, as well as being a popular tourist attraction (when the Queen isn't in residence of course). However the original castle dates back to the 11th century after William the Conqueror (whom I've currently been reading about in Stephen Clarke's 1000 Years of Annoying the French).

The Round Tower of Windsor Castle
Round Tower of Windsor Castle, England
Round Tower of Windsor Castle, England
The Round Tower of Windsor Castle

The current reigning monarch isn't the only one to use Windsor Castle as one of her official royal residences. It has been occupied since the time of Henry I (1068-1135) making it the longest occupied castle in Europe! Famous residents include Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, the mad King George III, and Victoria.

During World War II, Windsor Castle served as the refuge of the royal family, perhaps explaining the Queen's attachment to the place.

Archway of Windsor Castle, England
Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park
Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park

The Guards Polo Club located in Windsor Great Park has been associated with the royal family since it's formation in 1955. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is president of the club and Queen Elizabeth II its patron.

Princes William and Harry have often played here. In fact the day before we visited, both princes had been in Windsor for a polo match. I was livid when I discovered we missed it by a day!

St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle
St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle
St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle

As well as being Queen Elizabeth II's place of worship while in residence at Windsor Castle, St. George's Chapel has been the site of many royal weddings. It was particularly popular during Queen Victoria's era, hosting the weddings of her children Prince Albert Edward (Edward VII), Princess Helena, Princess Louise, Prince Arthur and Prince Leopold. In more recent years, Prince Charles and  Camilla Parker Bowles received a blessing from the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2005.

Besides royal weddings, St. George's Chapel has been the site of many royal burials including Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville of The White Queen fame. Other famous royals who call St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle their final resting place include:
  • Jane Seymour (one of Henry VIII's six wives)
  • Henry VIII
  • George III
  • George VI
  • Princess Margaret
  • Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (The Queen Mother)

Windsor High Street
Windsor High Street

Besides the castle, the town of Windsor boasts a wide selection of shops ranging from gift shops around the castle to high street favourites like Marks & Spencer and Boots.

Windsor is worth a visit whether you're a tourist in London looking for a day out or living in England and looking for a weekend break!

Q: Have you ever been to Windsor Castle? What did you think?

Erin x

9 comments:

  1. Sammy Dorn said...:

    I have been to Windsor Castle and really enjoyed it. I went inside, but by the time I was out didn't have enough time to wander around Windsor itself. Will have to go back

  1. I went when I was really little...I think I am overdue another visit!

  1. Camila said...:

    Wow, I'll definitely put this on my to do list when I head back to the UK! For some reason I always thought it was in London and I was like 'how am i missing it??' haha until I realised it was outside London

  1. Posts like this are why you're one of my favorite bloggers. I've been bitten by the UK bug, and I'd give my right hand to be there right now. Not ever visited Windsor but it's on my list!

    P.S. You've been nominated for a Liebster! Find out more here: http://justathriftygypsy.blogspot.com/2014/06/dang-it-feels-good-to-be-liebster_11.html

  1. Van Berry said...:

    Have never been there but would love to! And isn't it true that Windsor Castle is near an airport? I've heard that planes fly frequently over the castle....how cool it must be to see it from above ;)

  1. I only went to Windsor Castle the one time and as I was writing this post I realised how much I want to go back. I's worth adding to the to do list for sure!

    Thanks Katrina for your lovely comment and the Liebster nomination! I think I know what my next post will be!

    And Van, apparently it's on the flight path to London Heathrow! I'm going to have to keep a look out next time I go through Heathrow! I never knew!

    Love to you all!

    Erin x

  1. I loved Windsor! It looks like you went in the fall, too? It's a beautiful castle and a cute little town. I would love to go back to spend time in the town as the castle is pretty time-consuming! Thanks for sharing :)

  1. Yes, I went in the beginning of November 2004. I'd love to go back perhaps in the springtime. :)

    Erin x

  1. Rachel Morris said...:

    I too would get attached to this beautiful castle if I ever live here even just for a few months. It's such a beautiful castle.. beautiful shots too. :)

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