We opt'd to go to Windsor Castle for changing of the guard. You head west about twenty miles from London. Taking the circle line to Paddington Station, and then to Slough. (you have to buy an additional ticket to Windor. You will make the change at the Slough station. We pre-bought online, and then just picked up at Paddington) Note that the castle opens at 9:45 (and there is usually a line, we arrived at 9:30, and were 20thish in line) Be sure to side on the left side of the train, as you can see the castle as you enter the town, and also views of the Thames.
Things to do at Windsor:
- There are decent shops, both in town & around the train station
- Visit the Windsor Guildhall where Charles and Camilla got parried
- Great statue of Queen Victoria (in the center of town) Doll House- Queen Mary's doll house is crazy amazing (see below) It is several stories, and has working plumbing, lights, etc. CRAZY!!! and truly shows how the royal family might of lived in the 1920's. Be sure to check out the garden which is only shown when the drawer is pulled out.
- St. George Chapel -(Please note St. George Chapel is closed to tour on Sunday (but you can go to service)
- Changing of the Guard - Changing the Guard at Windsor Castle encompasses colorful spectacle and British pageantry. The ceremony usually takes place at 11:00 within the Castle grounds daily from April until the end of July and on alternate days for the rest of the year, weather permitting.
Changing the Guard, also known as ‘Guard Mounting’, begins with the Windsor Castle Guard forming up outside the Guard Room. In due course, the new Guard will arrive, led by a Regimental Band, Corps of Drums or occasionally by a Pipe Band. During the 45-minute ceremony, the handover of duties will take place, including the changeover of sentries. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the old Guard will return to Victoria Barracks in Windsor town. When The Queen is in official residence, the parade takes place on the Castle Forecourt. We were able to get front row seats for changing of the guard! It was great. and the adorable dog stole the show!
Additional things to do in Windsor:
You will see a tiny pub between the Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Cyril Howe’s gift shop on the corner. This is a small, but great place to eat. It is still locally owned and the food is terrific. (recommend by my friend and totally on point)
Christopher Wren Hotel -terrace is a great place to have a drink and watch the boats and swans on the Thames.
Walk to Eton and walk all of the way down the High Street to the College (high school in England).