I think it is important for children to learn about history and the best way to do that is to take them to a place that is rich in it. A book can be read and yes you can gain knowledge from it; but the best learning is done through sight, through touch and through experience.
Taking the children to Windsor Castle, I knew would be something that they would enjoy – I just didn’t know how much. Windsor is about half an hour away from us so we didn’t have far to drive. The day dawned sunny and glorious and I knew we were going to have a fantastic day.
You are not allowed to picnic on the grounds so you need to make arrangements for food. There are several restaurants just outside the grounds of the castle and if you need to come out for lunch you can get a wristband that allows you to enter again.
We arrived in Windsor in time to see the changing of the guards and we did manage to get quite a clear view even though we were not right in front. The children enjoyed the event.
From there on we headed into the area nearest which was St George’s Chapel. Impressive as here lie the tombs of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour among other monarchs. The chapel closes earlier than the rest of the castle so if you arrive for a visit in the afternoon it is best to visit this area first.
We then walked around the courtyard to the State Apartments and St.Mary’s Dolls house.
The dolls house was stunning its detail. Each aspect created to leave a lasting impression. I can only imagine how thrilled the little girls must have been to play with it. Although it looked too good to play with – like one wouldn’t want to spoil it or break some thing.
The State Apartments were dominated by different rooms and the banquet halls were quite gorgeous. The children were quite enthralled by everything. They had their headphones on with the audio description and I was quite happy to see that Ethan also listened intently and took everything in – a fact he demonstrated when he corrected me on which flag flies when the queen is in!!
The Semi-State rooms are open from March to October and are described as being spectacular. We hope to visit again during this period so we can take in the glory.
We went out for lunch to Pizza Express just outside the castle and we took the wristbands so we could enter again. On entering, we headed to the gardens and then visited an activity centre for children where they could design a plate or create a royal invitation. This was a really great thing for children and they created their plates with craft items that were on hand. It’s to lovely concept to get children involved and also helps them to rest their tired feet but not get bored.
If you are taking a buggy with you, you will need to leave it at the concierge as there are no provisions for buggies inside the castle.
A great thing is if you hand in your ticket at the concierge you can have it stamped for an annual pass to visit again for no extra charge. I thought this was rather nice as Windsor is such a great castle and it would be lovely to visit again.
Windsor is the only working royal castle and it is the venue for quite a few events hosted by the Queen so it was quite something to be inside a castle that is still lived in. Obviously the Queen’s apartments are in a different area but the banquet halls are used to this day. It is also an official residence of the Queen and she spends most of her weekends there.
Windsor as a town is lovely made even lovelier by this charming castle. It is a lovely day out for the entire family. We had a lovely time and I was happy that the children enjoyed learning about the heritage of this stunning castle.
It is well connected by rail and is only a 40 minute drive from London.
For more information about the castle and entry prices, visit the website here
Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary tickets to visit Windsor Castle. All ideas and opinions are my own.