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17 July 2014

a wander through windsor (+ a castle)

with mum only in the country for a few more days, I took all of last week off to spend some quality time with her. we had hoped to see and do all of the things while she was here, a lot of the things she did on her own or with family, because her particular bucket list was suuuuper long; she was constantly making me feel envious of her travel and tourist days, because a lot of the stuff she'd seen and done in her three months here, I'd not seen and done in my almost-four years here. terrible form.

so, to right some wrongs, we made use of our last week together; on Monday we headed just outside of London, to Royal Windsor, to enjoy the English countryside (and bipolar weather) and see if we couldn't spot some royals in the process. the train from Waterloo took around fifty minutes, which is actually not that bad when you consider that from my station at Honor Oak in the South East to Islington in North London is just over forty minutes on the London Overground. so, we had some snacks and some mediocre coffees, and we arrived just before midday.

the walk into town from the station was saaaaah pretty. the streets were already rammed with tourists there to do the exact same thing as us, and being that it was the first day of the summer holidays, there were lots of families out in force too. we totally misjudged a good time to go, that's for sure. nevertheless, the walk up to the castle was pretty quick, and within minutes we had made our way past quite a lot of Royals-themed pubs, shops, phone booths - you name it, it was Royalist. quite fun, but a bit... obvious too. we found the back of the line for those wanting to check out the castle (long), and joined it - assured it would be a maximum of a ten minute wait.

weeeeeell, it was more like a twenty-five minute wait, but it wasn't too bad. at least it was sunny and we had lots of things to take photos of and weird families and tourists to laugh at to pass the time. once we made it inside and past the very few turnstiles for the amount of people that must pass through the castle gates everyday (apparently we'd picked a *quiet* day, as the day before was 100x as bad), we picked up our free audio guides and headed for George's Gate. this is precisely where I stop remembering facts and simply start cooing about how prettttty everything was and how greeeeat all of the pictures turned out. lolz!

we were absolutely not allowed to take pictures inside any of the state apartments or exhibitions inside the main halls, but trust me - it was all gold, all pretty, super old, and lots of guns. so many guns! guns arranged as art work! guns as centre pieces! guns guns everywhere! someone has a weird fettish for guns up in that house. we did not bump into Her Mag while we wandered the busy, busy halls, but we had a Royally great time in there, and were pretty sad when we came to the end. we bid our farewells to the enormous grounds after checking out the chapel and having the obligatory photo with the guards, and then made our way into the pretty village for some foooood.

we had a wee rest up in the local Patisserie Valerie where we got a bargainous cream tea (but coffee) for two, for a measly seven pounds! what a steal! to be honest, sitting in those lovely and comfy leather chairs while my phone charged secretly on my lap (the electricity came for free with the coffee!) was the only thing we wanted to be doing after being caught in the rain at the castle, and slightly damp from walking the grounds in the misty rain for the last few hours. a scone and coffee was the one.

after sustenance we wandered through the winding back alleys and into the Royal Arcade of shops and had a wee potter in the token royalist shops, looking for treasures for family back home. satisfied after a few hours, we headed out to the Alexandra Gardens and down to the river just so I could ask the wildlife to "stop looking at me, swan!" before making the slight jog to the station to get the 4pm train back to Waterloo so we'd miss the rush back in town.

of all the museums and palaces and old-things mum made me see while she was here, this one was definitely my favourite old-thing, and definitely worth the £18 entrance fee. plus, once you've been in and paid once, you can get your ticket stamped which means you get free entry for the rest of the year. I have - of course, lost my ticket, but had I ben born with some common sense I would totally have put it somewhere safe and gone back again. I think I'd quite like to remember some of the things I learned on the audio tour, but probably needed a few gos at listening to have it sink in. or a proper Beefeater Tour. that would be amazing too.

have you been to Windsor Palace? what do you remember of the tour?

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  1. Oh god it looks amazing. I've driven past it coming into London so many times but never stopped. One day Liz, one day!

  2. Windsor and Windsor Castle is one of my favourite places EVER! I grew up in Berkshire but whenever I go to Windsor I always get a fuzzy feeling, it's just so magical. I completely fell in love (again) the last time I went to the castle, and I'm probably due a visit. Glad you had a fun day out! x

  3. When my mom was visiting we went to Windsor and Windsor castle as well. It was a great day out. Do they still have that insane doll's house room inside the castle? x

  4. Looks super gorgeous there :) xx

  5. Beautiful photos, I hate it when places don't let you take photos inside though!


    Water Painted Dreams xo

  6. what wanderful place you live :) , I loved all photos are amazing I'm in love to UK ;)

  7. Ah, Windsor is beautiful! I've been to the castle a couple of times as a kid, but not for years. I clearly need to go back!


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