Hey. Let’s Go To… Windsor Castle.
Kind of a DUH no brainer. We HAVE to see where most of the English monarchy has and still does live. Also, Harry and Megan will be getting married there in May!
Logistically we made the journey by tour bus. We could have rented a car but dealing with car seats and sat nav (for satellite navigation, we say GPS) for a quick day trip didn’t seem worth the effort. Bus was the way to go! We almost cancelled because it was set to rain all day. Luckily that meant no long queues of tourists! We were the first to get there actually.
It took roughly 1 hour to head West to Windsor. I had little expectations and in all honesty knew very little about the castle’s history. Windsor isn’t just a castle, it’s a beautiful quaint town as well.
Windsor castle sits up on a hillside and IT IS HUGE. Seeing it off in the distance was remarkable. I had no idea how expansive it would be. Snow was coming down hard. Big beautiful chunks. It was so majestic (pun intended?) and the perfect setting for seeing a castle still in use.
The tour guide was wonderful and one of my favourite bits of knowledge was as the medieval ages slowed, castles were needed less for the purpose of defense. Monarchs started building palaces as homes instead, hence Buckingham and Kensington. Most castles don’t have large windows for security purposes and then you look at palaces with big beautiful windows. Interesting transition of time!
Because the palace is still used as a home to Queen Elizabeth (not there that day), the security is intense. Same protocol really as an airport. We had to remove jackets, keys, phones, etc and some shoes. So expect LONG lines in the tourist months of summer. The guide said most days in tourist season you’ll wait 1.5 hours just to get in. We waited maybe 10 minutes as our group got through the security check. So glad we went in bad weather! I had Norah strapped to me in the Ergo sound asleep. I prayed they wouldn't make me remove her and they didn't. Whew, dodged that impending moment of full blown baby rage.
We’ll share video of the grounds but we weren’t able to take photos inside nor were we allowed to use the push chair. There is a coat check so if you take a buggy, pram or pushchair you can check it with no cost.
The inside state rooms were incredible. ELABORATELY INCREDIBLE. Abel didn’t walk much of it but chose to crawl around on the floors of Windor Castle. He was half tantrumming, half laughing. Thankfully the people stepping over him we’re kind about it. Norah of course was happy as could be strapped to me taking it all in, silently laughing at her brother. Oddly Andy and I didn’t fuss too much about Abel’s behaviour. Afterall, he’s a child in a real life fairytale castle! He’d only ever seen castles on TV. He went nuts over all the suits of armour, after all his middle name is “Knight!”
We finished up inside the ground at St George’s Church where Henry VIII is buried with Jane Seymour. It was closed for Sunday services which was a disappointment to Andy but the outside was something to see. As we headed back towards the bus, we popped in and got Norah a Royal Guard bear which are all over London but this one was from Windsor and she giggled so hard holding it.
With two toddlers, we didn’t get to read many plaques or listen to the information box and that’s okay. We are so blessed to be there and see it and experience it. As with most places we go to, we then research at home. We don’t need all the pieces of information right in the moment when we’re looking at it. This system works well and appeases our inner geek!
A wonderful experience! I am debating trying to be in the crowd for the Royal Wedding. We’ll see!