Thursday, 21 April 2016

Mug #17 - Windsor, England

I often feel as though I'm cheating when I buy a mug in the UK. Like when I bought a mug at the British seaside in Broadstairs last summer or when I started my travel writing by not travelling and instead having a staycation in London.

But the thing is that I've set myself quite the challenge! I am attempting to collect 80 mugs from different places around the world before my current passport runs out in August 2020. And although I hope my collection will increase significantly when I Travel outside of Europe for the first time this summer, I'm still only on mug 17 and so maybe you can forgive me the odd cheat? Plus I think it's just as important to see as much of the wonderful Isle I'm from, as much as all the other wondrous places around the world that I'm just dying to see before I die (in 80 years time... slightly ambitious, but hopefully not by too much haha.)

So last weekend, on a rare occasion when both my girlfriend and myself had a free Sunday to use as we pleased, we jumped on a train at Paddington and within 35mins and at the cost of just £10.50 return each, we found ourselves in the lovely little town of Windsor. Which - don't tell my girlfriend - but if I was mad enough to want to leave London - I am not haha - might just be the perfect commuter town.

Now I'm guessing that Windsor is probably too nice to be cheap to live in, but compared to London living, surely it's like shopping at Asda, compared to Waitress? But then you normally get what you pay for. Yes London housing prices as INSANE! and obviously London is not for everyone, however it is just one of the best places in the world to live (in my opinion). There is always something going on, everyday of the week you can go and see a play, gig, poetry performance, go to a writing workshop or an immersive event like Secret Cinema. It's just a brilliant and exciting place to be.

I'm pretty sure you can't say the same about Windsor? But then that's not why people live there and that's not why we visited. So maybe there isn't enough to keep me entertained for a lifetime but there was definitely more than enough to keep me and my girlfriend busy for an afternoon.

Now the big draw in Windsor is Windsor Castle: "the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world."

And the castle is pretty impressive. I definitely wanted to go inside and have a nosey around, however, the only sticking point was the £20 entrance fee. I'm sure it's amazing inside and part of me thinks that we should have just bitten the bullet and gone in, but £40 for the two of us?  It seemed too much. Especially when we're not exactly rich and supposedly saving up for our big trip this summer?

But castle or no castle, we still had a really lovely time!

Upon arriving at Windsor, we had our pictures taken with Queen Victoria obviously!:

And then we had a little look in the Windsor and Royal Borough Museum, which is free for the yocals and a whole £2 for invaders like me and Liliana. But even at just £2 was frankly quite disappointing. Well at least the actual museum was but luckily while we were there, we joined the free tour of the Windsor Guildhall, a Grade 1 listed building which makes up the majority of the building the museum is housed in.

The tour was fun, I'd definitely recommend it. We were guided by an elderly gentleman - and gentleman is definitely the appropriate term, apart form his ill fitting clothes, he was the absolute epitome of the quintessential English gentleman - who was very knowledgable about the history of the building and the general history of Windsor.

It was a really nice building - mostly used for wedding services these days, including the wedding of Charles and Camila, which was a nice little bonus:

Next we went for something to eat. Liliana fancied a roast dinner, which was more than ok with me. So we found a nice looking pub called the Carpenters Arms and ordered the roast chicken:

The food was good, it took a little too long to arrive but once it did, it really hit the spot.

All fuelled up, it was time to grab a mug, before I forgot:

and then we headed off for a country walk down the Long Walk:

and boy was it a long walk! That picture above is close to the end of a very long path. In total we must have walked for an hour and a half - in a straight line - before we reached it's end. The plan was to head into the Great Park. I was hoping to see some deer - something we failed to do again, as we did in Dublin - and Liliana wanted to see the Savill Garden - 35 acres of interconnecting gardens - it did look amazing in pictures.

But after walking all that way to find that we were still miles from the gardens, we decided to turn back around and walk back up into the town centre, after all we had another long, long walk ahead of us. That's the castle in the distance.

And it was a long walk, one our legs weren't quite used to, but it was really lovely to get out into the great outdoors, get some exercise and breath in the fresh air (which unsurprisingly smelt of cow sh#t! haha).

By the time we finally got back into town, there was only really time for a quick sit down - we really needed a sit down by that time haha - a quick hot chocolate:

and then grab the train home:

Not this one unfortunately but we had a lovely little day out in Windsor. If you're visiting England or just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of London life for a few hours, I would definitely recommend a visit. I think we'll be back again soon and maybe we'll check out the castle and take in the beauty of the Savill Gardens this time.

1 comment:

  1. A shame about the castle, but it sounds like great fun!