Windsor Castle and Eton

Trip Start Dec 01, 2008
Trip End May 21, 2009

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Windsor Castle is a really easy day trip from London especially if you are already in Richmond.  Richmond is on the southwest edge of the city and closest to Windsor.  The train to Windsor stops at the local tube and rail station.  And it only costs about 8 pounds round trip with trains leaving about every 20 minutes.

Windsor Castle is one of the many residences of the royal family, located conveniently away from the inner city of London.  The castle itself is huge and you can see it from any point in the town.  I didn't tour the castle as me and my parents will be doing that soon.  There's plenty of other things to do in Windsor.

The town is built mainly on tourism with every chain imaginable and tons of souvenir shopping.  It's cheesy but nice at the same time since even trashy tourism has to be up to royal standards.  Take, for instance, the mall-ish outdoor area.

It's not just a shopping center, it's a royal one!  It's also an old train station that they converted into shops.  The town runs along the river Thames which you can take boat rides down.  If you cross the bridge, it takes you to Eton.  Eton is basically the most prestigious boys boarding school in the world.  It was originally started to educate lower class boys who showed promise.  It still does that to a certain extent today but it also educates the royals. Unless you are a woman of course...cause they don't need that good of an education.

Unfortunately, you can't tour any of the college when school is in session.  I was lucky enough to wander down during a class change however.  It seems that all kids here have to wear uniforms to school.  Seriously, they all look like Harry Potter.  However, Eton outdoes them all.  They have to wear suits with those jackets that have really long tails.  What dorks.  These poor, poor kids will never get a girl.  Although, most of them will grow up to be the most powerful people around

After that, I headed back into Windsor, which by this point in the day is absolutely swamped with tourists and school groups.  This time I headed out into Windsor park and took the long walk.  It's a path.  It's long.  And straight.  So, obviously it's called "The long walk."  It connects Windsor castle to a statue of a king.  I don't remember what king.  I don't really know the importance of the statue.

As it's an old royal park, there's lots of deer that roam around in giant herds.  The area is roped off because you didn't want hunting for the king to be too strenuous.  There were also some army guys in training running up and down the trail and doing different drills that did not look fun at all.

The walk was worth it because when you get up to the statue, you get a view of Windsor castle all the way back to Heathrow airport back on the southwest side of London.  You can actually see planes taking off.  And you get to see the statue of course. 

The worst part is that the path is completely straight and flat leaving the walk back a bit daunting.

After that, I grabbed some food at the local Wetherspoon's before heading back to Richmond.
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