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To Windsor or Not

Parker, Colorado
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To Windsor or Not

First time in London, will have 4 days plus a little, only. Trying to decide on taking part of a day to see Windsor, or to skip it and see more of the sights of central London. Is it not to be missed, or catch it the next trip?

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Ottawa, ON
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1. Re: To Windsor or Not

What sight(s) would you add to your London list if you didn't go to Windsor?

San Francisco...
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2. Re: To Windsor or Not

I say go for it. the trip by train doesn't take that long. even if you don't go into the castle,you can see the changing of the guard.

you could also walk across the bridge to Eton,where the college is. if you take one of the boat trips on the river,you would have a wonderful view of the castle. there are some nice places to shop and some good pubs to check out.

Hampshire, United...
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for Amesbury, London
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3. Re: To Windsor or Not

Things are only a 'must-see' if you want them to be;-)

Having said that, I'm all for encouraging visitors to explore a little wider than just London, and Windsor has a different feel to it than central London. I'd say if you can spare the time, I think you'd enjoy it.

I agree it's easier to see their Changing of the Guard, but check you go on a day it's taking place.

Feeding the swans is just one of those little pleasures in life that doesn't take long, but is weirdly enjoyable. The little kiosk by the river where the swans congregate sells bags of swan/duck food.

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4. Re: To Windsor or Not

Whats dates will you be planning to go to Windsor?

If it covers Sunday 25th July then I'd recommend you go check out the Cartier Polo event at Guards Polo Club which is located in Great Windsor Park. .. you'll have fun.

Parker, Colorado
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5. Re: To Windsor or Not

I will be there July 23-28. We want to see many museums in London (8 or so); I've read that Buckingham Palace opens the 27th so going to try to get into that, do walking tours, etc. I would love to see something else - so if it doesn't take that much time then maybe we will consider it. Thanks for the opinions!

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: To Windsor or Not

Since you have a relatively short time in London, I'd skip Windsor on this trip. If you want to see eight museums four days, you'll need at that time in London. There is so much to do in London, and you will easily fill your time with sights and experiences in London. I've been to Windsor Castle twice (the two visits separated by a number of years), and would not put it on my "top list of things to do". While he castle is majestic, it was very crowded (and my most recent visit was in October, not the height of tourist season), and it left me a little flat. Others do love Windsor Castle, so I'm sure you'll hear other opinions.

If you do decide to go to Windsor, you can do it as a half day trip. Another alternative (which can also be done as a half day trip) is a trip by train out to Hampton Court Palace. I personally find Hampton Court more interesting, although that's just my opinion. In addition to the very interesting and historic palace, the gardens are extensive and wonderful.

Be sure to allow enough time in London to just soak up the city, perhaps with a walk through one of the parks (St. James is my personal favorite) or a walk along the South Bank (another of my favorite things to do).

Whatever you choose, enjoy your trip!

Edited: 05 July 2010, 00:20
Jasper National...
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7. Re: To Windsor or Not

I would recommend going to Windsor. The town is easy to walk around in, the castle is fabulous. I really enjoyed 'evensong' at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. It is not an advertised tourist event, it is simply posted on the entry of the castle for the local parishioners. It's on about 7:00 p.m. and it is the real deal. The choirboys are amazing & the acoustics in that ancient chapel are outstanding. And it is free to anyone who wants to go. Walking over to Eton College, if you are already in Windsor, is a must. This is where Prince William attended & it is quite interesting to see all the students walking from college to college in their school uniforms of 'tails & tophats'. You can also book a tour at the little gift shop & you then are taken inside parts of the college. Otherwise, you can simply just walk about. There is also 'The Long Walk' outside/behind Windsor Castle which is nice

& relaxing and photogenic. Some nice little shops in Windsor if you are into that . Enjoy your days in England! L.A.

Detroit, Michigan
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8. Re: To Windsor or Not

Since you plan on seeing Buckingham Palace on this trip, you might give Windsor a pass this trip if you have other "must-sees" you'd have to give up. But Windsor Castle is very nice and there's lots of fun shopping in Windsor, as well.

On Buckingham Palace... since your timeframe to see that is so limited, I would purchase tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

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9. Re: To Windsor or Not

A minor detail but the pupils of Eton College have gone home so you won't see them if you go to Windsor. The term (or 'half') finished last Friday.

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10. Re: To Windsor or Not

I'm a big fan of castles, and I still think you should skip Windsor. In the first place, there's the logistics: it's just under an hour from Waterloo by train (or you can go from various other stations, but Waterloo is direct and on other routes you'll have to change trains). Now add on the time that you have to wait on the platform for your train, and the time it takes you from wherever you're staying to get to Waterloo--by Tube, bus, or taxi. If it's Tube or bus, you may have to change, too. And once you get to Windsor, you'll still got to get to the castle.

That's a lot of time and hassle unless you really *really* yearn to see Windsor -- which feels more like a royal residence than a castle. Which might be exactly what you want! (I, on the other hand, prefer castles that feel like somebody might clank past me in armour any minute.) St George's chapel at Windsor is supposed to be really good, but I've been to Windsor twice (I live not to far away) and the opening times for the chapel have never been such that we managed to get there.

If going on the train is an adventure in itself, then that'd be a great day out. But if you have 4 days and 8 museums in London to see...I would think it would be better to leave Windsor until next time.

Now, I'm *extremely* curious about which of the London museums are in your 8!! Do you mind sharing your list? Maybe we should make a new thread (or maybe there already is one for London museums).