Visit a Living Piece of British History: Windsor Castle

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Did you know Queen Elizabeth II will soon become Britain’s longest reigning monarch? On September 9, 2015, the Queen will surpass her great-great-grandmother Victoria’s reign of 63 years and 7 months. While the palace has no plans to celebrate this milestone, it would be an interesting time to visit Windsor Castle, said to be Queen Elizabeth’s favourite residence.

Joining us to share a bit about the historic town of Windsor is ToursByLocals guide Debbie.

My name is Debbie and I became a professional Blue Badge tourist guide for Southern England in 2001. (Blue Badge guides are the official, professional tourist guides of the United Kingdom). I have a great love of history having previously been a history teacher for many years. What better place to work than in the beautiful ancient town of Windsor?

Windsor is home to the world's oldest inhabited castle (dating from 1170 AD) and is situated on one side by the River Thames and on the other by the beautiful green space that is Windsor Great Park. On the other side of the river is the historic town of Eton with its world famous school, Eton College, founded in 1440.

The castle has wonderful State Apartments open to the public for most of the year. This year they are hosting a special exhibition commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon's beautiful red cloak is on display for all to see and enjoy.
The jewel in the crown is undoubtedly St George's Chapel with its spectacular late Gothic Perpendicular architecture. The chapel is home to the world's oldest order of chivalry, The Most Noble Order of the Knights of the Garter, founded back in 1348. The chapel is also the final resting place for 10 kings of England, including HM The Queen's parents, grandparents and great grandparents, plus the final resting place of King Henry VIII and his third wife, Jane Seymour.

I recommend a historical walking tour through the town; for special occasions, a themed walk may be of interest, where costumes help tell ghostly royal stories.

Visitors can also witness the guard change into the castle, which takes place every day between April-July (weather permitting) and on odd/even days for the rest of the year.
Windsor is also well served with wonderful restaurants, old pubs and cafés, many dating back into the mists of time. I’m happy to share with you my favourites.
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