With so much history to the city, it’s often easy to forget what lies outside of London. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the engrossing past of St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, but one royal site which can be overlooked, in part because of its distance from the city centre, is the magnificent Windsor Castle. If you’re staying at the Park Grand London Hyde Park, you’d be far more tempted to walk through the beautiful park and explore Buckingham Palace, or use your rainforest cafe London voucher than take a train out of the city.
Being less than hour train journey from Waterloo and Paddington stations, Windsor Castle is the perfect London getaway. Windsor Castle is undoubtedly a breath of fresh air from the central London tourist traps and a must for Park Grand London guests.
The history of Windsor Castle
Built in the 11th century after the invasion of England by William the Conqueror, Windsor Castle has become the longest occupied castle in Europe. Originally created as a fortress to protect London after the invasion by the Normans, Windsor Castle has been developed to suit the needs of a wide range of monarchs, including Henry VII and Henry VIII, the latter of whom used the castle to lavishly entertain diplomatic guests and hunt on the expansive grounds. After the death of Henry VIII, the castle was used by many monarchs as a safe house in times of crisis. For instance, Edward VI used it in 1549 as a safe house during the Northern rebellion. The same went for Elisabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, during times of conflict. You can tell from the fortress like exterior yet village-like interior of Windsor Castle, that it is made for luxury living and protection in equal measure. Having been built on for many centuries, the design we see today has Victorian and Georgian features, all inspired by Medieval Gothic designs.
Prince Charles Audio tour
Introduced by the Prince of Wales himself, the audio tour of Windsor Castle takes you through the State Apartments and St George’s Chapel giving you an in-depth view of the near millennia old castle. Along the way, this audio tour gives you a glimpse into the life of its staff with interviews showing you the daily running of the castle. On top of this, you can find multimedia tours to keep the kids happy, alongside tours for blind and partially sighted customers.
Royal Wedding Exhibition
The exhibition inside Windsor Castle gives you an in depth expose into the world-famous royal wedding between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. With the recent buzz of of Megan and Harry’s spectacular wedding, you can now get a glimpse into the preparation and clothes which made it such a magnificent occasion. With a wedding dress created by fashion brand Givenchy and a diamond tiara lent to the bride by the Queen, there is plenty to keep you stunned in this beautiful exhibit.
Windsor Castle’s art collection
Windsor Castle is famous for the fine art from throughout the centuries which adorns its walls. If you’re looking to learn a little more about the Rembrandt’s, Rubens and Canaletto paintings which were gifted to or bought by the Royal family, then head on down to Windsor Castle’s Drawings Gallery to learn a little more about the extensive collections.