There’s nothing quite like a royal wedding—here’s what to do, where to eat and where to stay if you are planning a trip to Windsor Castle for any time of year.
Set on the River Thames just west of London, Windsor village is home to one of the British Monarch’s favourite residences—Windsor Castle. Within a few days, the town will be thrown into the spotlight as the idyllic site of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day.
Royal wedding aside, Windsor isn’t without its British charm and history. Here’s how to spend one day in the charming English borough—whether you’re in town to celebrate with the happy couple in May, or feel inspired to pay a visit after the ceremony.
8:00 AM: Coffee and breakfast at Cinnamon Cafe
According to locals, Cinnamon Cafe is the only place for a decent coffee outside of Central London. On the menu are English classics like scones with clotted Cornish cream and strawberry jam. The cafe also bakes its own croissants and Danish pastries. Find it, here.
9:30 AM: Queen Mary's doll house and Windsor Castle
Naturally, you'll want to take a tour of Windsor Castle. The residence is open to the public across certain dates of the year—and among its stately rooms and many treasures is a very special doll house.
Created especially for Queen Mary in the years of 1921 and 1924, The Dolls’ House is a recreation of every facet of modern-day life from the 1920s. During a visit, you can walk around the house which is filled with thousands of objects made by leading designers, artists and craftsmen of the time, see inside each room and admire all the tiny details. Check the opening times of Windsor Castle, here.
11:00 AM: Place your bets at the Royal Windsor Racecourse
Located by the River Thames in 165 acres of stunning countryside, the Royal Windsor Racecourse is just a stone’s throw from Windsor Castle. This unique venue is the only racecourse in the country where you can arrive in style by catching a boat from Windsor Town centre, enjoy a drink on the River Thames before stepping off right onto the racecourse’s private jetty. Check out what's on, here.
1:00 PM: Lunch and cake at Bel & the Dragon
Set between the Riverside train station and Eton Bridge, this 11th-century inn underwent a bright and airy renovation in 2011 and has a new menu from former Gordon Ramsay sous-chef Ronnie Kimbugwe. The emphasis is on local cuisine, with a modern twist—think green pea and mint soup, Cornish crab & crayfish linguini, and turmeric roasted chicken with crunchy sage.
And for all visiting royal enthusiasts, Bel & the Dragon has a special royal wedding afternoon tea menu to celebrate the occasion in May of 2018. You can sample the restaurant's version of Harry and Meghan's wedding cake, as well as House of Windsor scones, gluten-free chocolate brownies, and a splash or two of English sparkling wine. Find Bel & the Dragon here.
3:30 PM Get your adrenaline pumping at the Motor Stimulation Room
UK’s best and most realistic full motion racing experience can be found here, just a 12-minute drive out of the Windsor Town Centre. The room offers six professional full motion TL3 simulators, each generating hyper-realistic acceleration and lifelike movement across 3 axes of heave, pitch and roll, coupled with the world’s first 200-degree wraparound spherical screen. More information, here.
4:30 PM The Long Walk and Deer Park
A visit to Windsor wouldn't be complete without a stroll down the iconic Long Walk, with the castle pitched at the far end. The tree-lined avenue is three miles long, beginning at the George IV Gateway at Windsor Castle and finishing up at the magnificent Copper Horse statue.
You'll locally spot a red deer or two—there is a population of around 500 that dart freely around the Deer Park enclosure. More information is here.
6:00 PM Pre-dinner drink at The Two Brewers
Reward your walking efforts with a well-earned beverage at Windsor's most charming bar. You'll find The Two Brewers on Park Street, on the oldest and most architecturally distinguished streets in Windsor. The 17th-century pub features weathered oak walls and a menu of local beers.
The Two Brewers is one of Windsors smallest pubs with only nine tables inside, so be sure to book your table here. Quiet dogs on leads are welcome; but no children.
8:00 PM Dinner at The Fox & Hounds
Set just near the Bishop's Gate entrance to Windsor Great Park, The Fox & Hounds is a cosy gastropub with a roaring fire, real ale, and classic British pub meals. As the weather warms up, patrons pour out into the expansive beer garden. Children are welcome.
If your one day in Windsor happens to be a Sunday, treat yourself to The Fox & Hounds proper English Sunday roast with all the trimmings. And if it's a Monday evening, you can expect live jazz by the fire. Find your table at The Fox & Hounds, here.
Stay: Macdonald Windsor Hotel
Near the Windsor Parish Church, Windsor Guildhall and of course, Windsor Castle, the Macdonald Windsor Hotel is usually a winner for couples and families, located just a 15-minute walk from all the popular tourist hotspots. Nightly rates from $185.