My 94 year old great aunt Lorna resides in Windsor so we took a trip there to see her before we head off. While in Windsor we decided to visited the Castle, which despite having grown up just a few miles away I only have vague memories of and only visited once or twice before. So we headed to the Queens house for a nosey about…
Well we were impressed, what a fantastic day out and an amazing history lesson for the kids! The bad first… It’s expensive (unless you live local, then it’s free). It cost us £48 pounds as a family ticket, at that price Rob was hoping for roller coasters. You have to go through security like at the airport so don’t accidentally leave your pen knife in your pocket or nail scissors in your purse.
Once you are through the payment and security barriers though it’s pretty much all good. The weather was great but if it wasn’t then you would need waterproofs as there is a lot of outdoors before the indoors. We whizzed around the dolls house as that wasn’t so up our street but the State Apartments are “Epic” as Alf said repeatedly.
Mega swords, daggers, guns, cannons, bayonets, suits of amour and every sort of historic war weapons adorn the rooms. Huge banquet tables and the queens throne impress the children and in every room you really must look up… Kids love cool ceilings! The history of the 1,000 year old castle is just wonderful, images of knights and dragons abound and capture your imagination. Wars fought, lives lost, dramas and mysteries involving kings, conquerors, princesses, politicians, peasants and all the other people who have lived and died within these impenetrable walls. In some places they are 4 metres thick and there is a secret passage too.
The staff around the Castle were really nice and helpful and there is a free cloak room for your pushchair and coats. You have to check in your pushchair but they lend you a sling or hip seat for free… A much appreciated service.
Warning: the banisters are very polished so if sliding down them you can really pick up some speed… Fun as that may be watch for metal poles at the bottom which can result in tears, bruising and a cool story.
We headed out into the sunshine to nurse the banister sliding injuries and watched the guards changing posts (not the full changing of the guards sadly as that’s alternate days in winter). They are a little scary, the guards, with their clicky shoes and guns with daggers on. But they are appealing to watch marching around and surprisingly young (or perhaps I’m getting kind of old?).
St George’s Chapel is a beautiful church within the grounds which houses the various remains of historical figures. One in particular captures my imagination – King Henry VIII. The whole Tudor period really does it for me and I love learning about it to enrich my imagination of the time and lives of the medieval people. So when the chap there offers to show us the seat the Queen sits in and let’s us have a sit on it… Then announces that they all sat there, even Henry VIII, well oh my giddy aunt (not aunty Lorna, she’s not very giddy)… I was pretty chuffed to be sitting on a seat which had been sat on by Henry VIII with my very own rump – I’d say that was worth the £48 alone!
A visit in the winter months is well worth the effort as it was relatively quiet. I should imagine in Summer and school holidays it must be heaving. We bought the children’s book which is well written and interesting and I’m feeling like I can put a nice big tick next to history for Alfie’s homeschooling this week.
I’m sorry to say that after my fantastic photography lesson yesterday I actually forgot to take my camera out today so the pictures are all from my phone. It is very photogenic though and I’d be keen to return just to photograph it more, the angles and shapes are just fantastic. I also can’t seem to disperse pictures throughout the post from my iPad so they are all below.
Tomorrow we lose the hire care and head to London. On Monday we will visit the science museum to learn about the moon.