Wednesday, April 8, 2009


We've been staying in Slough which is just 2 miles from Windsor. Today we hopped a train to Windsor Castle. It was great! A little steep on the price (15 GBP), but I think it might have been worth it. I really enjoyed it at least. Oh - and I would just like to note that the queen was in residence while we were there. We knew this because the royal standard was flying above the "round tower" instead of the British flag. How cool is that?? But we didn't see her. Oh well.

In the price was included a free audioguide which consisted of a little keypad with a speaker attached that you held up to your ear. It was nice to hear the various facts and histories of the castle and learn what was significant about various paintings or pieces of furniture.

The castle felt and looked very much how one would expect a castle to feel and look. Large grey rocks cemented together to make big, thick walls; archer's narrow window slits; humongous gates; small wooden doors with big key holes; etc. The round tower sits on a little hill from which flows a lovely garden. It has a little waterfall, and a little pond, and a number of flowers. And the view from the castle across the town and countryside is pretty wide. I can see why they decided to stick a castle in that particular location - I'm sure it made for a good lookout and defense position.

We weren't allowed to take pictures inside unfortunately, so I have none to show you. I can only tell you that inside the State Apartments there were some pretty impressive sights. I'll start with Queen Mary's Dolls' House. It is incredibly intricate and detailed. It actually has fully functioning plumbing and lighting, the text in the books is supposedly an exact copy of the full-sized originals, and the wine bottle actually have wine in them. Here's a few links to pictures if anyone is interested: link 1, link 2.

The State Aparetments were incredible too. Just to think of how many people throughout time have walked through those rooms, and the different people who have shaped history that have slept in those walls and eaten in those rooms is amazing. And here I am, wandering through, hoping to get a sense of all that. There was a room where Napoleon and his wife had slept when they visited England. It was the actual bed they slept in I believe - it had their initials embroidered into the footboard and it looked quite old.

Rooms were hung with paintings all over every wall. One room had an intricately fashioned silver desk and mirror. The ceilings were exquisite. Some of the treasures on display were amazing - golden chalices and tankards encrusted with jewels. Did people ever actually drink out of those?? And weapons from all over the world - half nonfunctional I think. Swords, guns, daggers, some glittering with gems and crystals, but some looking very serious. There were numerous busts, one of the composer Handel and one of Winston Churchill. St. George's Hall was covered in hundreds of Coats of Arms of the Knights. And right now they have a display of art work that includes pages from a sketchbook of Leonardo DaVinci. There was a lot too see!

St. George's Chapel was beautiful too. It's constructed with tall stone pillars that spread into intricate fan-like designs on the stone ceilings. And the woodwork in the back of the church was just breathtaking. It hardly seems possible that someone could carve that much wood so delicately. King Henry VIII is buried here under a marble slab in the floor. Would be neat to see a service here.

It was a good visit. They have a nice tour system there and I appreciated that I didn't have to pay even more for the audioguide. It definitely satisfies ones desire to see an old castle. Would be nice to experience it without the roped-off rooms and crowds of people, but we can't have it all! It was still a very satisfying experience.


  1. I really like the rose. Is that a tudor rose? It is lovely to see the signs of spring.

  2. I have no idea what kind of flower it is. I thought it was fake at first - that it was a very well-made tissue paper flower. But it's real! Would like to know what it is myself.

  3. You look really good with that red suit on.
    How long are you going too be in England?
    Go see a soccer match ( Spurs Vs ? )
    Send pictures.
    If you run out of money and want to stay longer, Call MOM.
    Have a great trip and keep usupdated.
    Sean & Ann