Windsor is a quintessentially British location, not least because it gives its name to the current Royal Family. The most celebrated of its many attractions is Windsor Castle, a magnificent 12th Century royal residence first occupied by Henry I. Windsor Castle is the largest castle in the world that is still inhabited – the Queen stays there regularly, and may be home when you visit. If she is, the Royal Standard flag will be flying. The castle is a vast, almost overwhelming edifice, but Prince Charles is on hand – through the guided audio tour rather than in person – to help you out and fill you in on the history. Points of interest not to miss include:
· The Baroque-style State Apartments
· Art by Rubens, Rembrandt, and Canaletto
· George IV’s theatrical Semi-State Rooms
Plus of course St George’s Chapel, 14th Century gothic architectural masterpiece, scene of numerous royal weddings and funerals, and final resting place of, among others, Henry VIII, Edward IV, George III, Charles I, and the Queen Mother.
Windsor Great Park surrounds the castle, a vast 5,000-acre estate that was originally a private hunting ground, and is still home to semi-wild deer. The Long Walk is a dead straight, tree lined path almost three miles long, making it a fine place for a stroll. At the end is Snow Hill, where there’s a statue of King George III, and a stunning view of the castle from where you came.
After the excitement and exertion of exploring the castle and your walk in the park, you’ll be feeling peckish, and in need of a rest, and in a very convenient location adjacent to the Long Walk you’ll find the Corner House Pub. Situated right at the point where the Queen’s guard commence their changing of the guard parade, the Corner House is less than a mile from Windsor Castle gates, and you can even see the wall from the front door of the pub. You may see the Queen when she goes by on her way to the races at Ascot.
The Corner House Pub is a family friendly gastro pub that offers a wide range of food and is amongst the best places to eat in Windsor. They’re one of the only pubs in the area to have an outside patio for patrons, and they also have screens showing live rugby, including the Six Nations, Rugby World Cup, and autumn internationals. You can choose to eat lunch or dinner in the bar or restaurant, and the Corner House Menu features a selection of home-cooked British food including burgers, Sunday roast, barbecue, beef ribs, vegan options, and of course, there’s Steak Night.
As well as delicious food, the Corner House also has its own wine bar, and an extensive selection of quality gin, whiskey, craft beer, and ales. You can often be entertained by live music, and there are several festivals on during the year. With a late licence that enables the pub to stay open until midnight on Thursday and 1am on Friday and Saturday, there’s no hurry to leave.
Windsor Castle is one of the most interesting and enjoyable places to have a day out in the south east of England, and if you top it off with a relaxing evening at the Corner House Pub, that’s the recipe for a pretty perfect day.