An ideal day trip from London – Windsor is a small town packed full of history, culture and plenty of things to see. Windsor is located just 25-minutes from central London it’s the perfect day trip if you’re needing an escape from the city.
Whether you’re a history buff, Royal fanatic or just a fan of quaint pretty towns Windsor is the spot for you.
The historic town has more to offer than just it’s iconic castle, read on to discover our insider guide on what to do in Windsor for a day. From the best places to eat in Windsor to the town's hidden gems and what sights you simply can’t miss.
You have a few travel options getting from London to Windsor – the easiest being the train. You have a couple of route options depending on where you’re coming from.
From Paddington or locations connected via the Elizabeth line get the train to Slough (It takes about 15/25 mins) and then get a direct train to Windsor & Eton Central – located smack bang in the middle of Windsor Station (One of the main shopping & dining areas in Windsor).
From Waterloo you can get a train to Windsor & Eton Riverside (Right next to the River Thames as the name suggests) this train takes a bit longer (just under an hour) but stops at key stations like Vauxhall & Richmond along the way.
You can’t make the trip to Windsor without visiting the castle. Being the largest occupied castle in the world it’s pretty hard to miss. You might even spot a Royal wandering around so keep your eyes peeled
Windsor Castle is set right in the middle of Windsor, so you should find it pretty easily, it’s around a 5-minute walk from both of Windsor’s train stations. It’s been around for over 900 years, so it’s safe to say it’s jam packed full of history.
You can take in the sites of the castle from the Long Walk or walk around the walls and take in the stunning architecture.
If you can’t get enough of castles, you can also get entry to the inside when you buy Windsor Castle tickets so you can take a tour and soak up all the history for yourself. You can explore the State Apartments, which are lavishly decorated and filled with priceless works of art and antiques. You can also visit the magnificent St George’s Chapel, which is the final resting place of many monarchs including Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth II. You can't miss Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House which is one of the most famous and beautiful dolls’ houses in the world.
If you time your trip right you might catch a glimpse of The Changing of the Guard ceremony. This ceremony dates backed to the 17th century and is steeped in tradition and history.
On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 11am you will see the iconic Guards in their red tunics and bearskin hats marching in formation from Windsor Castle to Victoria Barracks. Led by a Regimental Band, Corps of Drums or occasionally by a Pipe Band. This 45-minute ceremony is a site to see.
There’s no one place to see The Changing of the Guards as it runs from Windsor Castle down the Victoria Barracks (around 0.3 miles apart).
To see the Guards inside the Castle you will need to purchase a ticket to visit Windsor Castle. Or you can see the rest of the ceremony anywhere along the route. Stood outside of the castle tends to be the most popular spot, although if you want a quieter spot closer to Victoria Barracks is a good idea.
If you’re after a bit of greenery the Long Walk is the place to go. This aptly named long walk features a tree-lined avenue that stretches for 3-miles and leads from Windsor Castle to the Copper Horse statue at the top of Snow Hill.
If you’re after an even longer walk The Long Walk takes you to the entrance of Windsor Great Park which is a Royal Park set over 2,020 hectare featuring forests, grasslands, lakes and gardens.
If you’re lucky you might spot a heard of deer on The Long Walk or in Windsor Great Park, although make sure you just admire from a distance and don’t approach them!
Windsor is situated right on the River Thames so if the weather allows take a trip down the river on a boat tour or hire a row boat and take in the stunning sites from the river.
If you’re feeling more adventurous why not try your hand at some water sports? You can hire paddleboards, kayaks and canoes along the Thames.
Right, so this isn’t technically in Windsor but if you’re making the trip over you may as well walk across the bridge to Eton.
Home to the iconic (or infamous?) Eton College, a trip to Windsor isn’t complete without a stroll up Eton high street. It’s only a small town so it’ll take you under an hour to explore Eton.
We'd recommend popping into one of Eton College’s free museums - the Museum of Eton Life, Natural History Museum & the Museum of Antiquities to get a taste of history (and out of the rain if it’s a less than sunny day!)
After all that exploring, you’ll be ready for some retail therapy. Find a range of shops in Windsor’s main shopping areas: Windsor High Street, Windsor Yards and Windsor Royal Station. These are all in the same area so you won’t have to walk far to get empty your purse.
Don’t miss Daniel department store, established in 1901, this independent department store sits in the heart of Windsor and connects the high street to Windsor Yards. Packed full of fashion, homeware, and toys as well as 3 restaurants & Cafes.
If you’re visiting for longer why not head to Legoland? Ideal for families - you can ride rollercoasters, meet your favourite Lego characters and even stay in one of the Lego-themed hotels. Legoland is only a 10/15 minute drive from Windsor town centre with frequent buses running to the park. Get your Legoland Windsor tickets here.
This warmly decorated family-run Moroccan restaurant has been a Windsor staple since 1996. Located on St Leonards Road just a short walk from the high street this is not a restaurant to miss. Think traditional tagines, pastries, couscous and delicious desserts. You can’t go wrong with Al Fassia it’s the ideal spot for dinner and delicious food in a cosy welcoming environment.
Another amazing independent Moroccan restaurant in the heart of Windsor. Meimo takes a more contemporary take on Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine. This another local favourite (don’t get sucked into the tourist-trap restaurants near the castle!) with dishes to suit all tastes and a friendly atmosphere.
This contemporary Japanese restaurant is located on St Leonards Road and serves up a selection of fresh sushi and a traditional selection of cooked Japanese dishes. This family-run business has been open for over 15 years and delivers on great authentic food and a welcoming dining experience.
Another independent Japanese restaurant located right next to Misugo! So, take your pick. Ichiban serves up a variety of Japanese dishes like sushi and bento boxes. This is a great spot for dinner for delicious food in an ideal location from Windsor city centre.
This easy-going Italian restaurant features homemade Italian specialties tucked in a cobblestone alley located in between the high street and Royal Windsor Station. This cosy spot is ideal for dinner.
A new addition to the Windsor restaurant scene, Patch on the Plaza is a family-owned restaurant in the heart of Windsor (in a very odd location next to the road – but trust us you’ll feel a million miles away sat in this aptly named patch on the plaza).
Technically in Eton, but with stunning view of Windsor from just across the Thames. Cote is an ideal spot for a sunny day. Request a table outside (or at least with a window view!) to soak up the incredible views of Windsor.
This local Brewery has been running for 12 years located in the heart of Windsor with a popular tap room serving their award-winning beer (as well as plenty of other drinks in their well-stocked bar). They also cater for brunch, lunch, dinner & light bites. Also frequently running events like sports, live music & quizzes. This spot is a local’s favourite and a real staple in the local community.
Located on the corner of Sheet Street the Corner House is a homely, recently renovated pub that specialises in ale and cider. Just a short walk down from the Long Walk this is an ideal spot for a drink if you’ve spent the day exploring Windsor.
Okay so yes this is just an All Bar One, nothing revolutionary. But it’s the location that makes this one. Set in the Windsor Royal Station, on a sunny day if you get a booth table outside, you’ll feel as if you’re holidaying somewhere far more exotic than Windsor.
Located just across the river at the start of Eton high street The George Inn is a traditional, friendly pub with a spacious garden. It’s the ideal spot for a relaxed drink after a day of exploring. It’s also the flagship pub for the iconic Windsor & Eton Brewery.