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London – Day 2: Windsor Castle

October 20, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Upon arriving at Paddington, I had to find the right train. Unlike the subway, this was an actual train and it doesn’t run as frequently. I discovered it was about to leave and headed for the gate. Or what I thought was the gate. The signage at Paddington is awful. When you see a sign for what you want, go to it and stop. Look around for more signs. Don’t assume the signs above the door are actually what you want. Good grief. Having totally missed that one, I went back and stared at the departure schedule for a long time. I finally deciphered it enough to realize another train was about to leave. This time I knew where to go, but missed it by just a minute, along with a few other people. Watching a train depart without you is very disheartening :P

London Paddington

London Paddington

With no more trains for awhile, I got a meat pie (it wasn’t too bad actually) and waited. Train showed up, I hopped on, and off we went. There was one stopover at Slough, where we changed trains to one that runs the rest of the way to Windsor. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to wander around the town. The immediate area by the castle looked to be full of tourist traps.

Windsor Castle and Town

Windsor Castle and Town

With the exception of the photos directly above and below, the rest are all from the castle courtyards. Photos were not allowed anywhere inside at the time I was there, nor in St. George’s Chapel.

Windsor Castle

The day I left for London, I did one of the smartest things of the trip. I pre-purchased a ticket for the castle. This allowed me to bypass a very long line and go directly in. Of course I also did a stupid thing which was to pre-purchase a ticket for Stonehenge, which I didn’t have time for. I’ll re-iterate this another time, but London is one city where you need to have your trip planned out. Pre-purchase tickets when you can to avoid long lines.

Windsor Castle

As I did at the Royal Mews, I picked up a self-guided audio tour and walked around. The castle is truly fantastic. When I think of a castle, this is what I think of. Since I have no inside photos, I suggest you head to the official site. But I can say that the interior is staggering. The amount of money that must have gone into furnishing and maintaining this boggles the mind.

Windsor Castle

Because of my earlier trip to Kensington, I missed the changing of the guard in the morning. But the Queen’s Guards are always out and a handful were patrolling every now and then. I found these as I was about to leave. They move fast, so have your camera ready. I had expected them to still be carrying old-fashioned rifles, but they’ve moved on to modern times. And yes, the guns are loaded.

 

Windsor Castle

St George’s Chapel was also open. But again, no photos allowed inside. You are also only allowed to walk around a set path along the walls. There is plenty to see. The list of royal persons interned here is quite impressive. It does take awhile to walk through and the church is not open all day, nor at all on Sunday. I barely squeaked in before visiting time was closed. Again, plan ahead! Photo is tilted because I had to aim the camera up. It may be a “chapel”, but it’s not small.

St George's Chapel

St George’s Chapel

You can really only see half the castle at a time. The following photo shows the half near St George’s Chapel, which helps to give a sense of the size.

Windsor CastleThe sun did come out just a bit as I was about to leave.

Windsor Castle

I wish I had some interior photos to show, but it is what it is. There are plenty of outside photos in the gallery. On a personal note, it was also neat that I probably walked in the same places one of my grandmother’s did, when she visited long ago. Although she brought back better souvenirs than I did!

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