Windsor Castle from London
Windsor Castle - a long long trip report
I got up early on Saturday (7.30 am on a Saturday is 3 hours earlier than I normally get up on a Saturday) so that I could make it to Waterloo to get he 9.28 am train to Windsor and Eton Riverside station. I got to Waterloo at 9.10 and there was already long queues in the ticket office and at the ticket machines (about 7 to 8 people at each machine). Got my ticket in no more than 10 minutes.
The journey time from Waterloo to Windsor ER (as it was called at each station's indicator board, rather appropriate I thought) takes 55 minutes. You get a wonderful view of Windsor castle as you approach Windsor ER station; just make sure you are sitting on the left hand side of the train.
It was a short walk from the station to the castle's entrance and luckily for me there were no queues. Once you have bought your ticket, you have to go through airport style security. An audio guide is included in the price of the ticket and these can be picked up once you have passed through security. You are given a map of the castle but there are more detailed guide books available (£4.95) if you want a permanent souvenir. The audio guide when used in conjunction with the map is very good. At the end of each section they tell you where to go next and the numbers of the next section are marked on the map.
After walking up Castle Hill, you enter the castle and you are now facing St George’s Gate, through which you can see The Quadrangle. You get a better view after leaving the State Apartments but are not allowed onto the Quadrangle itself. As I wandered down to the Middle Ward I could hear a military band in the background but thought nothing of it. You get some nice views of the moat, which are now gardens, and the Round Tower. Anyway, this military band wasn’t going away, well not until the guard had been changed anyway. People were rushing down the hill towards the Lower Ward where the 11 am Changing of the Guard was taking place. I thought I’d better take a look to see what the fuss is all about, so strolled down the hill whilst most people were running. Ah, I thought they must be tourists, unlike me who is an interested local seeing what my taxes are spent on. Anyway, it was interesting for about 5 minutes as soldiers barked orders at each other and the band played. Couldn’t really get close for good pictures so the pictures I did take have all these tourists in them.