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11 Free Things to Do in Windsor

An Insider’s Guide

Windsor Castle with the statue of Queen Victoria, Windsor, UK

Image Credit: © eParenting.co.uk

I love going to Windsor – I was brought up in there so I basically lived there for 20 years - and I still live near enough to visit Windsor for the day. It is a beautiful, bustling vibrant town with amazing shopping, a brilliant theatre and arts centre and lots of fabulous places to visit.

Fan of the royal family? You can see official royal residence Windsor Castle. The castle was the focus for the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, and one more for the state funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Then of course, just outside the centre of Windsor is the world famous Legoland Windsor, which is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Europe and is a fantastic day out with the kids. If you want some tips on how to make the most of a day at Legoland, you can find them here.

You can take a boat trip down the river Thames, visit one of the nearby racecourses at Windsor and Ascot or even take a sightseeing bus around Windsor and Eton.

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The only thing is, it can be a really expensive place; but the good news is you can have a fantastic day out in Windsor, without spending any money!

Here are the 11 top things to do with the kids in Windsor, from a Windsor insider - and they are all FREE. (Updated from 10 as Windsor Museum is now free to enter)

10 Free Things to Do in Windsor, Berkshire UK
  1. Windsor Guildhall and Museum
  2. Windsor Guildhall is a Grade 1 listed building and it was where King Charles and Queen Camilla were married in 2005 - and where Elton John and David Furnish married in 2014.

    The building also houses Windsor's small but fascinating museum which is now free to enter. You can take a guided tour of the whole Guildhall building, however these are only available when it is not being used for events.

  3. The Alexandra Gardens
  4. The bandstand in the Alexandra Gardens, Windsor, UK

    Image Credit: © eParenting.co.uk

    The first place you have to visit in Windsor is the Alexandra Gardens. Sitting in the shadow of the castle this delightful garden is a lovely space to walk in or for the kids to just run around in. There is seasonal planting and lots of sculptures too. The newly opened bandstand is worth a look, as it is decorated with plaques about the role of the armed forces and you may be lucky enough to hear a band playing there if you go at the weekend as well.

    Alexandra Gardens is also the place to go for all sorts of events during the year, generally at the weekends. These include anything from music festivals and temporary Ferris wheels in the summer to a Christmas ice rink, some of which are free to enter so you never know what might be going on!

  5. The Replica Hawker Hurricane
  6. Replica of a Hawker Hurricane arcraft in the Alexandra Gardens, Windsor UK

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    Walk to the far end of the Alexandra Gardens and you will see funfair rides and Extreme Motion - these are not free, but while you are there walk just a little bit further and you will see a replica of a WW2 Hawker Hurricane.

    Little fans of aircraft or history will love this! It is a full sized model of a Hawker Hurricane aircraft, one of the many iconic aircraft designed by local hero Sir Sydney Camm, who was born and brought up in Windsor, and this is a fitting tribute to his engineering genius.

  7. The Jubilee Fountain
  8. The Jubilee Fountain, Windsor UK

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    Next to the Alexandra Gardens you will find The Jubilee Fountain.

    You might guess from the name that this fountain was built to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. It is a lovely fountain, not really intended for paddling in, but on a hot day people have been known to go in there!

    At night it is lit up. Also it occasionally gets a visit from the washing-up-liquid monster and can be filled with foam. I love to sit and relax there while I let the younger ones run around it like mad things.

  9. The Royal Windsor Maze
  10. The Royal Windsor Maze, Windsor UK

    Image Credit: © eParenting.co.uk

    Right next door to the Jubilee Fountain is The Royal Windsor Maze. Don’t worry; you won’t lose the kids in this one, as the maze pattern is simply laid out in bricks. It has a chess theme and there is a board with lots of suggestions for games that you can play using the maze as a basis.

  11. Thames Riverside
  12. Thames Riverside, Windsor UK

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    The River Thames runs through Windsor, right next to the Alexandra Gardens, Royal Windsor Maze and Jubilee Fountain. It is a lovely place to walk along with some nice shade on a hot day, with lots of ducks and swans to see.

    You might want to feed the swans and ducks. Here is the current advice from the Canal and River Trust about what to feed ducks.

    Also, if it is a nice day, so many people go and feed the ducks they can be full up quite early in the day and will not be interested in your food!

  13. The Changing of the Guard – Windsor Castle
  14. The Changing of the Guard Ceremony itself takes place inside the castle, which you have to pay to get into. However on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays you can watch the Guards march up the High Street and into the Castle, accompanied by one of the many amazing military bands of the British Army.

    Be ready and waiting by the side of the road leading to the castle by 10.45 and enjoy a bit of classic British pomp and circumstance.

    The ceremony is subject to change due to weather so check here for up to date details on this.

  15. Steam Train in Windsor Central Station
  16. Replica Steam Train, Windsor royal Shopping, Windsor UK

    Image Credit: © eParenting.co.uk

    Train fans will love to see this full sized replica GWR Achilles Class 4-2-2 Locomotive which is on display in Windsor Royal Shopping. This open air shopping arcade is part of Windsor Central Station and is directly opposite Windsor Castle.

    As I have two boys, this train and the Hawker Hurricane have been huge successes with them, and will keep them occupied for ages. Yes, the train doesn't move but it is still pretty spectacular.

  17. Windsor Great Park and The Long Walk
  18. Windsor Great Park and The Long Walk, Windsor UK

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    Close to Windsor Castle is Windsor Great Park and The Long Walk. The park is a lovely place to go and sit, but if you fancy something a bit more energetic you can walk the just over 2.5 miles along the Long Walk to see The Copper Horse – a statue of King of George III on horseback representing him as a Roman emperor. The statue sits on Snow Hill, from where you can see a magnificent view of the castle and all the way across London – several taller buildings in London can be seen from there.

    The Great Park is also home to deer, and depending on the time of year you may get to see the deer walking around the park, although mostly they will not come too close.

    If you want to do this walk you will probably need to put aside half a day for it, and remember to take some water with you if it is a hot day.

  19. Bachelor’s Acre
  20. Bacheor's Acre, Windsor UK

    Image Credit: © eParenting.co.uk

    Bachelor’s Acre is another small and lovely park in Windsor. When I was a child this was a tarmac covered school playground during the week and a car park at the weekend.

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    It has now been completely transformed into a public open space with grass and a water feature – this one is intended for paddling – as well as a children’s play area and a cafe.

    Statue of Queen Elizabeth II with Corgis, Bachelor's Acre, Windsor UK

    Image Credit: © eParenting.co.uk

    Bachelor's Acre also has this lovely statue of a nice old lady who used to live in Windsor, with her dogs.

  21. Eton College Natural History Museum
  22. The final free thing is actually just outside Windsor, just a short walk across the bridge over the Thames into Eton. There are three free museums in Eton which are owned by Eton College.

    The catch is that they are only open to the public for 2.5 hours on a Sunday afternoon. The Museum of Eton Life, Museum of Antiquities and the Natural History Museum can all be visited free of charge between 2.30 and 5 on a Sunday.

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