The Royal Wedding in Windsor certainly increased the exposure for the Royal Borough. It’s put Windsor and its many attractions at the very top of a ‘must see’ list. Val Baynton took a trip to the town to find out the latest ideas for group visits.Windsor is a superb destination for all types of groups as within a four mile radius of the Castle there is so much to see and do. Combine the town and Castle itself with visits to gardens, Windsor Great Park, river cruises, historic houses or a theme park. Attractions are already working together to offer joint packages and with specialist teams on hand to give advice and help co-ordinate a visit, GTOs will find it’s very easy to organise a day trip or a longer break tailored to the needs of their group.
There’s no better place to start a visit than at Windsor Castle – it will enable your members to learn about how and why the castle was built and how it’s become so important to the Royal Family over the last 900 years.
It is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world and is the favourite home of Queen Elizabeth II – she spends many of her private weekends there. And although the castle has been around a long time, there is always something new to spot, and special exhibitions and events take place regularly.
Groups can choose many ways of visiting including selfguided tours using the excellent multimedia tour, available as part of the admission fee, which will allow your group to explore at their own pace taking in the State Apartments, St George’s Chapel and Queen Mary’s Dolls House. Wardens are on hand along the way to answer questions and give insights.
Groups do not need to pre-book for standard admission but GTOs can prebook a special private tour which will allow your group to get even more from their visit to Windsor Castle. These tours include a behind-the-ropes Private Tour of the State Apartments with a glass of champagne; Restoring Windsor: The Castle after the Fire and The Military Knights Tale where, led by a serving Military Knight you will gain a unique insight into this ancient institution including details about the Knight’s duties and costume.
Developments currently taking place at Windsor Castle aimed at improving the visiting experience such as the reinstatement of George VI’s Inner Hall as an Entrance Hall, and a refreshed Visitor Route to include the State Entrance with its spectacular view of the Long Walk will open by 2020.
Special group tours and discounted rates are available for parties of 15 or more, coaches are not able to drop off or pick up outside the castle, but there is a lift from the coach park to Windsor & Eton Central Station leading to the covered Windsor Royal Shopping centre and to the Castle entrance.
Did you know?
Windsor is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world and Queen Elizabeth II spends many of her private weekends here.
Town Centre Heritage
Windsor is an attractive town to visit and historic Eton is easily reached by a stroll over the Thames via Windsor Bridge.
The town’s Blue Badge Guides are experts in guiding groups around highlighting its heritage and adding anecdotes about former residents such as William Shakespeare and Nell Gwynn. Tours can be arranged to suit the interests and schedule of your group and can take place in the evening too.
Alternatively, your group will get a great oversight of Windsor and Eton on The Original Tour Windsor. The hour long hop-on hop-off tour means you can jump on and off at any of the stops en route and your group can listen to a commentary explaining the royal life of the town. A large variety of restaurants, bars and cafes can be found throughout the town too.
windsor.gov.uk +44 (0)1753 743900