This is a continuation of my previous posts about our London adventure back in 2012 when Ken and I had our Europe honeymoon. Growing up, I’ve always wanted to be a Windsor hahaha! :p And I know that many other girls like me who are in William’s age had that silly daydream too when they were teens! 🙂 Prince William used to be one of my biggest childhood crush and my mom was an avid fan of the late Princess Diana. So I’ve been used to following bits and pieces about the British Royal family. I also love seeing old castles. So a visit to the Windsor Castle or the Windsor family home in Berkshire was definitely included in our itinerary. It was probably the closest thing to seeing them. It, being the Queen’s weekend home. Plus, you can also explore Windsor Castle inside unlike the Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace. Here are some of my panoramic shots of Windsor Castle.
One morning, we started our day early and headed out to riding the train going outside of London to Berkshire. But first we had breakfast at Pret-a-Manger, our favorite breakfast place during our stay in London. It was our first time to try it and since we pass by it every morning going to the tube station, that’s where we always eat in the morning. We love Pret and it’s philosophy of making everything fresh and from the most natural ingredients.
We took the tube from Bayswater station (where our hotel was) to Slough where we had to change platforms and get on the Windsor train. It takes about 30 mins then Windsor Castle is at the last stop . This was the view from the train. Eton school is also here which is one of the most famous boarding schools in England. You can see the school grounds from the Castle grounds.
But before you get to the Castle, you’ll pass by a shopping center called the Royal Windsor Shopping. Here you’ll get to enjoy UK shops and brands such as Jo Malone and others that you’ll only get to see there.
At the end of Windsor Royal Shopping is the Castle. There’s an entrance fee to get inside the grounds and inside the castle but since we have the London Pass, it’s already free. I highly recommend getting the London Pass especially if you’re staying in London for at least 5 days and more. Most of the museums and sights we went to were covered by the London Pass.
Entering the grounds of Windsor Castle was very surreal for a first-timer like me. It was my first ever castle to visit and it truly felt so royal and aristocratic. High stone walls and sprawling grounds greet you and as you walk around and take in the sights, you’ll really feel like a princess in your own castle. What I like about Windsor Castle is it’s not very ‘touristy’ and it’s quite private. There are not a lot of people visiting and touring it unlike our previous experience with the Buckingham. There are areas we had to ourselves. And touring inside and seeing the doll collections of the Queen felt like you’re intruding into their private home as it’s really quiet and private and so it will sort of make you feel like you’re a royal too since you were allowed inside. But just like a real guest at the Queen’s home, pictures are not allowed inside so all our shots are outdoors in the Castle grounds.
There’s also Changing of the Guards ceremony everyday at 3pm but this is a more intimate version and less crowded unlike the one in Buckingham Palace which is of course grander. Here, you can come closer to the guards and even take photos with them as long as you won’t disturb them.
After our tour of the castle, we then went around Windsor Royal Shopping to grab a late lunch. We were so happy to see Nando’s which was so yummy!! This is one resto we wish we could eat at again. We love their Portuguese chicken and all their food and Ken loves their different sauces so much. Someone bring Nando’s to the Philippines please! 🙂
After Windsor Castle, we decided to go to another iconic place famous for royal weddings — the Westminster Abbey where Prince William & Kate Middleton wed and a lot of other monarchs. It was too bad that when we arrived, the Church was already closed. It closes at 4pm so we were only able to take photos outside. It was beautiful and the structure was very elaborate and regal.
From across the Westminster Abbey, you can see the Big Ben so we took a walk and took photos of it too. For every time we would see the Big Ben, I just can’t help but take photos of it in again and again. It’s one of the most beautiful structures for me day or night and one of my favorite symbol of London.
From Will & Kate’s wedding church, the next day we went to another iconic Windsor wedding church — the fairytale royal wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Of course I had to see the famous long steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral where Princess Diana walked with her 25ft bridal train. No wonder she had such a long train since the Cathedral had numerous steps and it was so grand inside and outside, you need a dress and a train fitting for its beauty. I read somewhere before that the royal family usually choose the Westminster Abbey to wed since it’s more private and that the Queen had an issue then when the late Princess Diana chose to get married in St. Paul’s Cathedral. The Cathedral’s location is more public, it’s right there on the street. And some say Princess Diana chose this church as she wanted to be closer to the people that’s why some called her “The People’s Princess”.
This experience of touring Windsor castle and iconic churches that I usually just hear about in royal news and see on TV was just so amazing and exciting for me. Another reason why I just couldn’t get enough of London. I really really miss this city and I really hope I get to visit it again soon. But for now, this ends my tales of Windsor 🙂
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Categories: Architecture, Europe, London, Travels