5 Romantic things to do in Windsor

5 Romantic things to do in Windsor

Windsor is perfect for a minimoon or romantic break: think park-walking, river-roaming and castle-gazing to your heart’s content

Home to the winding River Thames, the age-old towers of Windsor Castle and - on occasion - The Queen herself, Windsor oozes pageantry, pomp and ceremony like few other places in Britain. Its town is a confection of couture and designer shops, regal buildings and British history, fringed by a green mass of deer-grazed parkland. When it comes to sophistication and romance, it is a truly princely place, as Alexandra Gregg discovers with these activities for couples and newlyweds…

1. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride down the Long Walk

Gliding through the royal streets of Windsor, lulled by the clip-clop of horses' hooves and snuggled up to your beloved… there are few things more romantic than a horse-drawn carriage ride. Sedentary and tranquil, you'll avoid the throngs of tourists as you cruise past the shops and castle in an elegant cart, setting off down the famous Long Walk.

Orchard Poyle has been running tours from outside the Castle, down the Long Walk and into Home Park, for decades. Climb aboard with your belle or beau for £40 for 30 minutes, or £80 for an hour. Or, if you're getting hitched nearby, why not add a horse-drawn carriage ride to your festivities? Prices start from £450 for a day's hire.

Alternatively, try Ascot Carriages. The company offers scenic drives in a beautiful Victorian carriage through Windsor Great Park from the visitor centre at The Savill Garden.

2. Picnic under the most romantic tree in Berkshire…

Beneath the intertwining branches of a 2,500-year-old Yew tree in the grounds of Ankerwycke Priory, Wraysbury, is the perfect place for a picnic. Not only does it look romantic, but tradition says Henry VIII used to travel from Windsor Castle to meet Anne Boleyn here when they were courting. If you forget the whole treason/beheading saga, it's quite sweet really.

3. Be at one with nature in Windsor Great Park

Stretching for over 4,800 acres, right up to Windsor Castle, The Great Park is as huge as it is beautiful. Scattered with ancient oak trees, there's no better way to explore this vibrant, green space than on foot. There are lots of vehicle-free roads and tracks, giving you and your spouse the freedom to walk along secluded pathways hand-in hand, without being interrupted.

The park is officially open from 7am-dusk daily, although some parts are open later - great if you want to turn your attentions to a bit of stargazing on a clear night.

4. Feel like royalty at Windsor Castle

As the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, Windsor Castle has been home to British kings and queens for nearly 1,000 years. It is famed for being The Queen's favourite summer home, her stop-off point for the Royal Ascot Races, and a popular meeting place for state visits by international diplomats and leaders. So far it doesn't sound very romantic, does it? But its mighty towers, decadent décor and labyrinth corridors make for a truly immersive historic experience.

Couples can wander through state rooms and elegant galleries, treading in the footsteps of royals - past and present. If ever there were a way of making your loved one feel like royalty, a visit to this ancient stronghold is it.

Windsor Castle is open from 9.45am-5.15pm March-October, and from 9.45am-4.15pm November-February. The semi-state rooms are only open between September and March. Entry is £18.50 per adult.

5. Dine out, celebrity chef style

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is all about top-notch dining - from Heston Blumenthal's trio of restaurants in Bray to triple Michelin-starred The Waterside Inn, run by Michel Roux.

A stone's throw from The Long Walk is a true world-class delight: Antony Worrall Thompson's Windsor Grill. Boasting a vast range of 35-day dry aged Aberdeenshire beef steaks, as well as handmade burgers and exquisite seafood dishes, the Grill is quirky, unpretentious and reasonably priced.

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Where to stay? For an opulent stay with views of the castle from your bedroom window, try the Macdonald Windsor Hotel - doubles from £130p/n. For a more boutique option, try Frances Lodge B&B. It's central, with ten contemporary rooms from £85p/n.

Image: Shutterstock

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