14 Things To See In Windsor That Don't Involve The Castle Or Lego

By M@ Last edited 15 months ago

Last Updated 12 April 2023

14 Things To See In Windsor That Don't Involve The Castle Or Lego

Most visitors to Windsor make a beeline for the castle, or Legoland. But it's possible to spend a day exploring the royal town without setting foot in either. Here are 14 of the more intriguing sights to get you started.

The longest path you've ever seen

Turn your back on the castle, and take in an eyeful of the Long Walk. It's accurately named. The path leads in a straight line 4.3 km (2.7 miles) to Snow Hill, a mound topped by an equestrian statue of George III. If you're feeling ambitious, carry on for another 90 km or so to Winchester Castle, following the Three Castles Path. It's a smashing trek, but we have plenty more business in Windsor...

Look down on the Queen

Batchelor's Acre is intriguing for many reasons. The most obvious feature is this intimate statue of our erstwhile head of state. Her Majesty is seated. Most visitors will tower over her, and the attendant corgis. In a clever twist, you must get down on bended knee if you want to snap a decent photo. The sculptor was Lydia Karpinska.

A novelist's church

A little to the south on Frances Road is the church of All Saints. The church hit the news in 2016, when a lost altarpiece by Thomas Hardy was discovered behind a screen. Hardy is most famous for novels such as Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Far From The Madding Crowd, but he initially trained as an architect. His handiwork decorates All Saints in several places.

Take a Duck Tour

London's Duck Tours may have a question mark over their amphibious future, but you can still take to the Thames on the unmistakable yellow vehicles in Windsor. See the sights by both road and river with a one-hour tour.

A clock in the pavement

Where London's streets are paved with gold, Windsor's tick to time. Windsor is thought to be the only town in Britain with a clock embedded in the pavement. The horological curiosity can be found on Thames Street outside Pizza Express. This is the second timepiece to grace the pavement. The original was installed in 1950 by clockmakers Dyson and Sons. This replacement dates from 2011, and conceals a time capsule.

Monument to a giant of aviation

The Hurricane was arguably the most important British aircraft of the second world war, shooting down more enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain than the Spitfire. Its designer was local boy Sydney Camm. This model Hurricane stands just metres away from his birthplace on Alma Road. Camm went on to design many other notable aircraft, including the prototypes for the Harrier Jump Jet.

More swans than you can count

Windsor's river side is well known for its collection of swans. The chunky birds congregate in large numbers either side of the bridge.

A former Underground station

Windsor and Eton Central station was, briefly, a terminus of the District line. Between March 1883 and September 1885, it was possible to catch the Underground from Mansion House in London all the way to Windsor. The station still operates a shuttle service to Slough, but most of the buildings are now converted to chain restaurants and shops. Look out for the replica steam locomotive sticking incongruously out of the All Bar One.

Architectural fakery

Windsor's local history museum is housed within the Grade-I-listed Guildhall building, partly designed by Christopher Wren. If you look closely, you'll notice a gap between the ceiling and the capitals of the inner-most columns. According to local myth, Wren thought these inner columns were unnecessary to support the roof. The local burghers begged to differ and insisted on their inclusion. In mockery, Wren made the columns a little too short, proving his point that they weren't needed. It's a good story but, without any documented evidence, the myth is itself unsupported.

Windsor's wonky shop

Right next to the Guildhall stands (just about) the Crooked House. Now a jewellers, this remarkable building really does appear to be falling over. Despite the medieval appearance, it dates from 1687 — when work also began on the Guildhall. It was largely rebuilt in the 18th century, which makes it among the more recent structures on the ancient streets of this quarter.

Britain's shortest street

To the left of the Crooked House can be seen Queen Charlotte Street. It is supposedly the shortest street in Britain, as recorded on a plaque.

Windsor's own department store

Peascod Street is thought to be the oldest street in Windsor, predating the castle. You wouldn't know it from the architecture. Most buildings are 20th/21st century, and house a succession of chain stores and megachain cafes. One of the few independents is Daniel, founded in 1901 by WJ Daniel. This department store predates Selfridges, and holds a royal warrant for supplying gifts to the royal household.

A blue postbox

A postal rarity can be found at the southern end of the High Street. Here, a blue postbox stands beside a more conventional scarlet version. Blue postboxes were established to support air mail, but very few now remain.

Finish with a pint

Windsor has many fine pubs. The Duchess of Cambridge on Thames Street manages to combine historic premises with a modern feel. It's named after the actual, living Duchess of Cambridge and took the name around the same time as she did in 2011.