There are plenty of fabulous day trips from Windsor, whether it be historic buildings, theme parks or walks in the great outdoors.
If you are staying in royal Windsor, there are plenty of things to do, with your number one priority being the Queen’s weekend residence, Windsor Castle. However, if you are staying for more than a day you must spend some time visiting the local area. In this post, I am sharing some of the best day trips you can make from Windsor, England.
This article will tell you all the things to do near Windsor and how to get there. It will help you plan your visit so that you can make the best of your time near Windsor.
Explore Great Windsor Park
One of the best days trips from Windsor is a visit to Windsor Great Park. This royal park is just south of the town and covers over 4,800 acres of grounds.
Windsor Great Park dates back to the 13th Century and was the private hunting ground of the royals for many centuries.
You can actually take a 3-mile stroll down the Long Walk to access this park. This iconic tree-lined avenue has been seen most recently for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The walk will take you past several royal monuments and will lead you to the Deer Park, where you can spot Red Deer roaming freely in their enclosure.
Take a walk round Virginia Water Lake
About 7 miles from Windsor you can find Virginia Water Lake. This is a popular outdoors destination for families, as there are a lot of distractions on the way. Unexpected sights along the way include a cascade, ancient Roman ruins and a Totem Pole.
The walk around Virginia Water Lake is about 4.5 miles, but you could do a shorter walk to the Totem Pole or extend your walk through the Valley Gardens to Savill Garden if needed.
There is plenty of wildlife and nature along the way and the gardens are stunning throughout the year.
Admission to Virginia Water Lake is free (apart from parking).
Visit historic Runnymede
Runnymede is best known as the site where the Magna Carta was signed by King John of England in 1215. This is now one of the most influential documents in British history and is a powerful symbol of liberty.
The Runnymede site has 2 famous memorials, the Magna Carta and the JFK memorial. More recently there has been some commemorative art added to the area, “Writ in Water” and “The Jurors”.
There is a National Trust car park within walking distance from the memorials or you could combine your visit with a longer circular walk, taking in the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial too. This makes a great day trip from Windsor if you want to step on the small piece of England owned by the US!
Take a tour on the River Thames
Windsor lies on the River Thames. You could take a walk from Windsor or Runnymede on The Thames Path and admire the nature and wildlife. Remember your bread as there are plenty of hungry swans along the route.
Cross the bridge to Eton
Just walking distance from Windsor town centre is the small, historic village of Eton. This is most famed for its public school, Eton College. King Henry VI originally founded Eton College as a charity school for poor boys.
However, Eton College is now the chief educator for the British Royal Family and aristocracy. It is the most famous public school in the world. Both Princes William and Harry attended.
As well as the college, Eton has a selection of shops, galleries and restaurants.
Have fun at Legoland Windsor
Legoland is a theme park, with more than 55 rides and attractions. There are roller coasters, water rides and interactive adventures. Legoland has plenty to do to amuse children all day and is a particularly good day trip for younger visitors.
Whilst you are there, you can take a stroll round “miniland”. This is a model of the most iconic landmarks from Europe and the USA made out of 42 million Lego bricks.
Top tip: You can often buy cheaper 2 for 1 tickets for Legoland in advance, or buy your tickets using Tesco Clubcard points.
Seek some thrills at Thorpe Park
For thrill lovers, Thorpe Park Resort makes a great day trip from Windsor. Thorpe Park is a short distance from Windsor in Chertsey. This theme park has over 30 thrill rides, including the UK’s fastest rollercoaster, Stealth.
Theme parks are not my cup of tea, but this is a great day trip from Windsor for anyone who loves an adrenaline rush!
Enjoy the forest at The Look Out, Swinley Forest
If you want to spend some time away for the city in the great outdoors, The Look Out makes a great day trip from Windsor.
It is about 12 miles from Windsor and is set in 1000 hectares of Swinley Forest. There are many trails you can follow through the woods and lots of places to stop and play, climb a tree or build a den.
As well as a walk in the lovely Swinley Forest, there are many other things to do at the Look Out:-
Get on your bike
Swinley Forest has a great cycle network, which is suitable for all ages. You can hire bikes for anyone over 6 years from the Swinley Bike Hub.
The Look Out also has 2 great adventure playgrounds for children and a den building area. It is divided into an infant play area and a more challenging junior play area, with its own wooden fortress.
The Look Out Discovery Centre
If it’s a wet day, you could book your children in to the Look Discovery Centre, which is an interactive science exhibition for younger children.
Have a splash at Coral Reef
Across from the entrance to the Look Out is Coral Reef Waterworld. This is one of the largest interactive water worlds in England. It has 4 waterslides, a pirate ship and an erupting volcano.
There is also an adults-only spa area for adults who want to escape from the children.
Coral Reef is a very popular local attraction, which has been recently modernised, so it is advisable to avoid key times such as weekends.
Step back in time Hampton Court Palace
Another of the historic days trips from Windsor, is a visit to Hampton Court Palace. This magnificent Tudor building was the former home of King Henry VIII. You can go in the palace and visit the royal residence and state rooms or take yourself round the gardens.
You can lose yourself for ages in the fabulous Hampton Court maze.
Across the road from the Palace is Bushy Park, another of the great royal parks. There is much to see at Bushy Park, including memorials, a playground, woodland gardens and wildlife. Watch out for the deer who will be roaming freely around.
Travel further afield
If you want to travel a little further, you could visit the iconic landmark of Stonehenge in Wiltshire. This World Heritage Site has one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments.
Another of the more distant days trips from Windsor is a trip to the historic city of Bath. There are plenty of things to do in Bath, including the famous Roman Baths.
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