I hope visitors to my home country, England, will make the time to see outside London. There are so many amazing places to visit within an hour of London. Also, make time to explore outside the city if you live there too! Here we explore Windsor and Stowe.
Within 60 minutes you can be in Windsor and visit Windsor Castle, home to the Queen.
What to do in Windsor:
- Visit Windsor Castle, Windsor Great Park and St George’s Chapel
- Explore the town and try a few typically english pubs and buy some tourist tat.
- Take a cruise on the river. Take a lunch cruise, which costs about £45 or an afternoon tea cruise for about the same price or a dinner cruise for £75. For £9 take a little ride up and down the river.
- Horse racing at Royal Windsor Racecourse.
We set off to explore Windsor an easy drive and parked right by the Castle and strolled around the town. The Castle was closed by the time we arrived but you can be more organised than us and buy tickets ahead of time at http://www.rct.uk
Windsor is set right on The Thames and you can enjoy a riverside stroll, boat rides or just enjoy a meal in one of the Riverside restaurants. The town is full of quirky old buildings, some interesting shops alongside many shops full of British memorabilia. I was tempted by a statue of the Queen waving but managed to resist!
Interesting Fact: All the Swans in England belong to the Queen!
PHOTO: Windsor Castle, Windsor
Windsor Castle is right in the Middle of the Town, so easy to find. The town has plenty of restaurants and cafes and good shops to explore.
How to get to Windsor from Central London:
- Train – Trains run from Paddington Station in London to Windsor. Book a ticket by clicking on the tramline link. The journey takes less than an hour and Windsor station is a short walk from Windsor Castle.
- Bus. Windsor is just 12 miles away from Heathrow airport (you will notice all the planes overhead!). Buses from central London run regularly from Hammersmith Station and Victoria station and the journey time is just over an hour.
- Car – The quickest option. Consider hiring a car for a couple of days if you are exploring the area.
What to do in Windsor this Summer:
- Ascot Carriages -Carriage rides in Windsor Great Park
- Royal Windsor Steamboat Express available on the river in summer
- Monday night racing in August at Royal Windsor Racecourse
- Royal Windsor Summer Show 20 July
Buckinghamshire is perfect for a day trip if you don’t have much time to explore all of England, it is less than an hour from London. It is about an hour further North from Windsor if you wanted to visit both in one day.
The National Trust looks after many of the ancestral lands and homes in the UK, maintaining and upkeeping whilst welcoming visitors to come and explore.
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stowe One of my favourites is Stowe, Buckinghamshire.
PHOTO: Magnificent, long roadway leading up to the house
Stowe house is now a famous public school which numbers several household names amongst its old pupils. It is a special place and you can walk around the magnificent gardens, stopping off at all the follies along the way. The walk include various follies to be admired including my particular favourite, The Palladian Bridge.
PHOTO: My dogs love to take a walk here – one of Freddies’ favourite spots!
How to get to Stowe:
Getting to Stowe is a bit trickier than Windsor. Going by car is the easiest option.
- Train – Take a train from London Euston to Bicester North. This is 11 miles from Stowe so you need to take a taxi from the station.
- Bus – No direct bus from London but you can take a bus to Buckingham from Bicester station.
PHOTO: Lake at Stowe
2016 marked the 300th anniversary of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s birth. He is one of our most famous landscape gardeners and is responsible for the magical layout of parkland at Stowe. He started his career here as Head Gardener before moving on to create other famous gardens throughout the land.
PHOTO: Palladian Bridge
Stroll around on your own or take a tour with one of the National Trust guides. They will tell you all about the fascinating history of Stowe House and gardens built in the 18c by the Temple-Granville family. The family wanted to create an idyllic landscape filled with temples to complement the magnificent Stowe House . Unfortunately, the family lavished so much money on the house and gardens and extravagant lifestyle that they went bankrupt. In 1922 the house was saved from demolition by becoming a school, which it still is today.
Stowe House Preservation Trust looks after the house today. It is open to the public so check out the National Trust website if you want to visit.
Take a picnic basket with you on a warm day and enjoy a picnic by the lake
PHOTO: Ducks on the lake
If you don’t feel like a picnic, there is a cafe full of delicious things to eat. One of my favourites is a cream tea and a doggie Ice cream for the dogs! I like to take a look at the plants in the plant shop – I’m a keen organic gardener.
PHOTO: Me and Freddie
Make sure to say ‘Hello’ to me, Zarya and Freddie if you see us taking a walk!
National Trust Stowe, Stowe, Buckinghamshire, UK e.mail: firstname.lastname@example.org