Thinking about a visit to Windsor but not sure where you’re going? Where to go? How to get there? What if I had a self-guided walking tour that would take you to all of Windsor’s awesome attractions? Well, you’re in luck! I love to walk when I’m in Windsor and for me, it’s the only way to explore this amazing town.
So, to help you with your own Windsor adventures, I’ve created this walking tour. It will take you past most of Windsor’s main attractions along the way. I’m not great at following rules, so I’ve thrown in a couple of diversions along the way. They allow you to adapt the walk depending on your mood. You can use these to make the walk shorter which you might need to do if the weather is bad. Or you could adapt the walk to spend more time shopping.
There is also the option to visit some of Windsor’s most famous attractions along the way. You are completely free to visit the castle or see Windsor from the comfort of a boat trip. That’s the beauty of a self-guided tour.It’s entirely up to you. So get your walking boots on and get ready to explore the streets of Windsor on your very own walking tour.
Before we start on this walking tour, I wanted to let you know more about Windsor. It’s a fascinating place!
- Windsor is a small town located about 20 miles west of London. The town is best known for its links to the British Royal Family. The monarchy have lived in Windsor for almost 1,000 years and Windsor castle is still one of the Queen’s official residences today.
- The links to the royal family are hard to avoid in Windsor. You’re literally walking in the footsteps of Kings and Queens. There are plenty of statues and plaques to remind you of that, not to mention the royal family memorabilia in every shop window.
- As with most large castles, Windsor Castle is surrounded by a bustling historic town. The town has a nice mixture of architectural styles including some extremely old buildings. It’s a great place to walk around and explore, especially in the streets closest to the castle.
- Windsor is also a riverside town on the River Thames. The river is a great place for spotting some local wildlife or for taking one of Windsor’s boat trips (more on that later).
These factors combine to create a town that is quintessentially British. It’s little wonder that day trips are so popular with visitors to the UK.
Getting to Windsor (and to the start of this walking tour)!
This walk begins at the Windsor and Eton Riverside train station. Getting to Windsor from London is very easy. There are regular trains from London Paddington and this journey should take less than an hour.
If you’re driving into Windsor for your walking tour, head to the car park on King Edward VII Avenue. It’s a very short walk from here to the Windsor and Eton train station. It’s also a great car park for visitors heading to Windsor Castle.
Note: There are two trains stations in Windsor so it’s easy to get confused. This station is by the Riverside and is on King Edward VII Avenue. We’ll stop by the other Windsor station later in the walk.
A Walk In Windsor
Beginning your walk at the Windsor and Eton Riverside train station, cross the road and head uphill towards Thames street. You will know you are here when you can see the castle’s curtain wall.
This walk begins on one of Windsor’s prettiest streets, Thames Street. I love spending time here because it’s packed with restaurants and interesting little shops. There are some great antiques stores near the bottom of the hill where the antiques look more like museum exhibits. There’s also a great chocolate shop called Dr Choc’s. Grab a free sample if you can! The chocolate is to die for!
Thames Street is one of Windsor’s busiest areas, and being so busy it has a great atmosphere. There’s no escaping how pretty this part of town is. It’s like a scene from a postcard. On one side of the street you have Victorian buildings housing the shops and restuarants; on the other you have outer walls of Windsor’s splendid castle.
Fact: The main tower here is called the Curfew Tower. The tower is the castle’s clock tower and is home to the belfry. From this tower the bells would annouce the closing of the castle gates each evening, hence the name of ‘curfew’ tower.
Once you have explored the shops on Thames street, continue to walk as the street curves around the edge of Windsor castle. You will eventually reach Castle Hill where you will see a statue of Queen Victoria.
This is the main entrance into the Windsor castle and a great place for photos. The castle is very majestic! It’s no surprise that royalty still live here. Take a look at the flag tower to see if the Royal Standard is flying. This flag lets you know when the queen is in residence.
From here, you have the option of visiting the castle. If you’d like to do this, just head up Castle Hill towards the main entrance. It’s possible to spend up to 3 hours inside depending on which sections are open so make sure you have time before heading inside.
Walking Along Park Street
When you’re ready, continue your walk around Windsor by heading along Park Street. Windsor has quite a mixture of buildings. You can see this mixture most clearly on Park Street. Here, old Victorian houses mix with modern office buildings and trendy townhouses.
Make sure you check out these buildings.
- The Crooked House of Windsor. This is one of the quirkiest and most photographed buildings in Windsor because it leans drunkenly to the side. The streets at the back of here are very interesting. There are narrow avenues and cobbled streets. It’s like stepping back in time and reminded me of the Shamles in York.
- Park Street is home to the Two Brewers which is one of the oldest and prettiest pubs in Windsor. There used to be many coaching inns on this road. They were very popular with visitors to the castle. Today there’s only one. The pub is usually very popular and on a sunny day you can see customers drinking outside. It’s a great spot for grabbing refreshments before heading towards the Long Walk.
The Long Walk
At the end of Park Street, pass through the gates and head onto the Long Walk. No Windsor walking tour would be complete without spending some time here. It’s a great place to spend time outdoors.
Note: It’s up to you how far you walk here. The Long Walk stretches for 3 miles from Windsor Castle to the Copper Horse so the full return journey would be 6 miles. It’s not a difficult walk but it certainly lives up to its name.
The Long Walk is part of Windsor Great Park. This is a much larger park owned by the Royal Family. They used to be private hunting grounds for the male monarchs. But today the parks are beautifully landscaped. It’s a perfect place to relax whilst looking for nature.
The Long Walk is a beautiful avenue lined by trees and has great views of Windsor castle. You might recognise the Long Walk from Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding. They drove up this road together to rapturous public applaunce, before heading into Windsor Castle for their wedding reception.
The far end of the Long Walk enters the Windsor Deer Park so there’s a chance you could see some of the 500 wild deer that live in this part of the park. I’ve been told that they are visitor friendly and have been known to post for photographers, but unfortunately the odds weren’t in my favour on this day.
Snow Hill & The Copper Horse
You know when you’ve reached the end of the Long Walk at the Copper Horse, which is a statue of George III on horseback. It sits at the top of Snow Hill.
It’s claimed that Henry VIII sat here while waiting for news of Anne Boleyn’s execution.
The views from Snow Hill are phenomenal so it’s worth climbing the extra steps up to the statue. With the vantage point you can see most of Windsor and for miles beyond. It’s probably the best loved view in Windsor so I’d recommend walking the full length of the Long Walk just for this.
From the Long Walk, it’s time to head back to Windsor town centre. Retrace your steps back to the Queen Victoria statue.
Tip: Remember that the Two Brewers is on this route. You may be in need of refreshment after this journey.
Windsor Town Centre
You now have time to explore Windsor’s town centre and to browse through the main shopping areas.
- We have already explored Thames Street but there’s another opportunity to see Thames street now. Remember there are a lot of restaurants here so it might be a suitable stop if you’re feeling hungry.
- The main shopping street in Windsor is Peascod Street. The entrance to this street is in front of the Queen Victoria statue so it’s hard to miss. Just head downhill.
- Make sure you browse around Windsor Royal Station which is part railway station, part shopping arcade. The shops in here are a little more high brow. There’s a great shop by the station selling old fashioned sweets.
I’d recommend walking in a loop. First head down Peascod Street. Turn right at Ryman’s and loop back towards the castle through Windsor Royal Station.
If you’re looking for food head down to Fresh on William Street, which is at the bottom of Peascod Street. It’s a great independently owned cafe serving wraps, salads and sandwiches. They also have a Royal Family themed juice menu which I love.
Alexandra Gardens and the Riverside
Once you have finished walking around Windsor town centre, head down the Alexandra Gardens by the riverside.
Alexandra Gardens is one of the main public parks in Windsor, and like most things in this town, there are plenty of Royal connections. The bandstand here commemorates the long relationship between the Queen and the armed forces as well as the Queen being the longest reigning monarch in British history.
It’s a great place to rest… you’ve walked a long way! I grabbed my food from Fresh and brought it down here to eat.
Windsor Boat Trips
Alexandra Gardens are next to the river and a short walk from the docks where boat trips are available. This is another chance to have a break from the walking tour.
The boat trips in Windsor are great and are something that I’d highly recommend. The riverside here is beautiful and it’s a great opportunity to see some of the local wildlife including kingfishers which I haven’t seen anywhere else (blink and you’ll miss them though).
It’s also a great way to find out more about the Windsor and Eton (the town on the opposite side of the river to Windsor) plus great place for views of the castle, which really feels like it’s towering over you when you’re down by the riverside.
Back to Windsor Train Station
From the Riverside, it’s a gentle walk back towards the Windsor and Eton Riverside train station, where this walking tour began.
Before you go there though, have a browse around the cafes and restaurants around the waterside. It’s a great place to grab a drink or some more food.
A Walk In Windsor – Thanks For Reading
Now you have everything for your walk around Windsor. I finished my Windsor walking tour and wanted to come back as soon as possible. (In fact I’m planning another visit already – I’m really keen to have a look aroun Eton!)
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