The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in south east England offers a good base to stay. It has a scenic riverside setting and is packed with history and heritage. Highlights include Windsor Castle, Eton College, one of the most beautiful parks in England, good shopping, accommodation and a wide choice of places to eat.
Windsor is 15 minutes from Heathrow.
See also Quirky Facts
Windsor Castle · Changing of the Guard · Windsor Estate · Guildhall · Royal Windsor Horse Show · Legoland Windsor · Ascot Racecourse · Eton · Dorney Lake · Bray · Virginia Water Lake · Cookham
The oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and official residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Highlights include State Apartments, St George's Chapel (burial place of 10 monarchs), Queen Mary's Dolls House and The Drawings Gallery. Henry VIII and his favourite third Queen Jane Seymour are buried under Windsor Castle.
Guards march along the High Street from the barracks to the castle 10.45am for the 30-minute ceremony, and return by 11.30am. Monday – Saturday from April until the end of July and on alternate days for the rest of the year. Changing of the guard does not take place on Sundays.
The Windsor Estate covers 15,000 acres (6,070 hectares) and includes Ascot Racecourse and three golf courses. Windsor Great Park is 4,500 acres (1,821 hectares). By tradition Windsor Grey horses always pull the Queen’s carriage.
Designed in 1687 by Sir Thomas Fitch who died before the building was complete. Sir Christopher Wren, architect of London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, oversaw the building’s completion.
The biggest outdoor horse show in the country with 3,000 competing horses and over 70,000 people attending. Every May.
Opened in 1996 on the former site of Windsor Safari Park. Dedicated to children aged 3-12 years old. Over 55 interactive rides, live shows, building workshops, driving schools and attractions.
Visited by over 500,000 racegoers a year, accounting for 10% of all UK racegoers. Five-day Royal Ascot is Britain’s most popular race meeting with over 285,000 visitors. It takes place the third week in June and is steeped in tradition and pageantry. Queen Anne established the first racing at Ascot in 1711.
Across the river from Windsor and known for its antiques shops, art galleries, curiosity shops and, of course Eton College. The current Prime Minister David Cameron and 19 former prime ministers were educated at Eton. Other Etonians include Princes William and Harry, four times Olympic Gold Medal rower Sir Matthew Pinsent and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
Bray is the only village in the world to have two three-starred Michelin restaurants: Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, and Michael Roux’s Waterside Inn.
Flooded in 1753 to be a place of pageantry and spectacle. An 18th century ornamental cascade and a temple from the ancient city of Leptis Magna still survive. A 100-foot high Totem Pole by the lake is a gift from the government of British Columbia.
Cookham village on the banks of the Thames is closely associated with the painter Sir Stanley Spencer who lived in the village until his death in 1959. The Stanley Spencer Gallery exhibits 100 of his paintings and drawings. Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows, also lived in Cookham.
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is 30 miles west of London and one mile from junction 6 of the M4. The Royal Borough is accessible via the major motorway networks of the M4, M3, M25 and M40.
Windsor has two train stations: Windsor and Eton Central, and Windsor and Eton Riverside.
There is a regular Green Line bus service from London to Windsor and to LEGOLAND Windsor. Local services are provided by BoroughBus and First Bus. First Buses offer Explorer First day tickets for unlimited travel on First buses and coaches within the Royal Borough. They can be used as far as Heathrow, Staines, Bracknell, Slough, Uxbridge and High Wycombe. A special group ticket is available for one adult and up to three children, or two adults and up to two children.
· Tourism is worth over £380 million to the Windsor & Maidenhead economy. Tourism supports 5,900 FTE jobs and 11% of the total workforce.
· Overseas and domestic visitors made 630,000 ‘staying’ trips of one night or more in 2006.
· Domestic visitors staying in the Borough account for 75% of all ‘staying’ trips and spend more than £98 million.
· Overseas visitors staying in the Borough account for 25% of all trips and spend £65 million.
· Over 1.9 million bed nights are spent in the Borough.
· Approximately seven million tourism day trips are made generating £217 million.
· Around one third of all trips of one night or more are spent in the homes of friends and relatives.
· 61% of ‘staying’ trips are spent in commercial accommodation - 57% in serviced accommodation, 0.4% in self-catering accommodation and 3.6% in caravan/camping/campus related accommodation.
2007 figures, from Our Vision for 2012 and Beyond
· Overnight visitors stay for an average of 3.95 nights in Windsor.
· Day visitors spend an average £32 per person, per day. Staying visitors spend £95 per person per 24 hours.
· The most popular countries of origin for overseas visitors are the USA, Australia, Canada and Germany.
· Windsor Castle is the most popular visitor attraction. Over 55% of visitors to Windsor go to the Castle.
Windsor Visitor Survey 2009