Britain’s known for its afternoon tea, cricket matches, and people’s ability to strike up a conversation based solely on the (typically soggy) weather – ah, quintessential Britishness! Homely British towns like Windsor, in the southeast of England, are perfect places to soak up British heritage like jam on an evenly baked Victoria sponge cake.
The royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, which will take place at Windsor Castle on 19th May 2018, just adds to Windsor’s picnic basketful of British charm. The town’s cobbled streets are set to fill up with well-wishers from around the world.
Of course, you’ll need an invite to attend the royal wedding ceremony (we’re still waiting on ours too). But, there’s nothing to stop you from taking the train to Windsor to catch a glimpse of the royal couple as they leave Windsor Castle in a horse and carriage – we doubt there’ll be any tin cans tied to the back though!
Getting to Windsor by train is easy, trains to Windsor and Eton Riverside run regularly from London Paddington and Waterloo and journeys less than an hour from the capital. There’s also the nearby Windsor and Eton Central train station, which is just a 10-minute walk from Windsor Castle.
Use our Ticket Alert tool to find an Advance train ticket today, to save yourself some money, and you could splash out on a cream tea in a nice café to commemorate your trip to Windsor. If you’ve got a soft spot for the royal family, Eton College is well worth a visit, as both Prince Harry and his older brother, Prince William, studied there. Other famous Eton graduates include the British actors Hugh Grant and Eddie Redmayne, and politician David Cameron. The red-brick main building is open for public visits on Friday afternoons between 14:00 and 16:00 and it only costs around £10 entry.
If you can only manage a whistle-stop tour of Windsor, pop into the Alexandra Gardens and take a spin on the Royal Windsor Wheel. For £6 you can see the grounds of Windsor Castle and Eton College, as well as the River Thames and the pretty English countryside. Much like its larger cousin, the London Eye, the Royal Windsor Wheel gives you 360˚ views over the town. And, on a good day, you can see as far as London.
Wind down your afternoon with some traditional grub, like fish and chips, in one of Windsor’s pubs, like the Two Brewers or the Duchess of Cambridge. If you walk back on High Street, don’t let the Crooked House fool you into thinking you need an eye test – this small building dating back to the 17th century leans to one side comically.
Sweet-toothed visitors can get their fill of handmade fudge at the Windsor . It’s a couple of minutes’ walk from Windsor and Eton Central, and close to Windsor Gifts and Souvenirs, so it’s a good pit stop to get some sugary snacks for your train journey home, or a souvenir fit for a queen to take back with you.
About Windsor Castle
Originally built by William the Conqueror in the 11th Century, Windsor Castle now houses around 500 people and will be the venue for the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Miss Meghan Markle on May 19th 2018.
Royal Weddings at Windsor Castle
The marriage of Prince Harry and Miss Meghan Markle will be the latest in a long line of Royal nuptials and unions to take place at Windsor Castle. Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones got married here in 1999 and in 2008, the union of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles was also held at the Castle.
For obvious reasons, anyone wishing to visit the Castle in and around the wedding date should check the Royal Collection official website to confirm when it will close and reopen around the wedding.
Getting to the Royal wedding by train
There will be two major train services to Windsor on the day:
- Slough to Windsor & Eton Central services provided by Great Western Railway
- London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside run by South Western Railway
If you are travelling from the direction of Reading or London Paddington we recommend you change at Slough for the shuttle service to Windsor & Eton Central. The service will be running every 20 minutes and will have extra carriages.
If you are travelling from the London area you should use South Western Railway services from London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside. There will be four services per hour leaving at 20, 28, 50 and 58 minutes past the hour.
A queuing system will be in operation at Slough. Queuing systems may also be put in place at Paddington, Waterloo, Reading and at Staines. If you're planning on travelling before the 19th, have a look at our journey planner as the train timetable for that day could vary somewhat.
On the big day
For those not invited to the Castle for the nuptials, all is not lost. The newlyweds will be taking a horse and carriage ride through Windsor town centre after the ceremony to say thank you to the thousands of expected well-wishers. The procession will start at 1pm and will start from St George's Chapel through to the centre of Windsor before finally returning to the Castle via the picturesque Long Walk. Expect bunting, street parties and festive joy to spread across Windsor in the days before and after Harry and Meghan tie the knot. If you are in Windsor for the day and can't secure one of those precious spots on Long Walk, then why not cosy up at a nearby pub or have a picnic at one of Windsor's or nearby Eton's public parks.
Windsor and Maidenhead,
Tel: +44 (0)303 123 7334
Opening times depend on the season. The castle is sometimes closed - more information at the Royal Collection website.
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