Windsor Castle, England

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
I have been craving to drive since I have been in London. Missing my car, the feeling of sitting on driver's seat and revving up the engine while holding the steering. This was the time to fulfill my desire and me along with my four friends decided to rent a car and go for a road trip to Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge.

Renting a car was a piece of cake and we booked our car a day in advance to be picked up from the car rental agency at 9am on the Saturday morning. I promised myself to be on time and pick the car at sharp 9am as committed, but I was late again as usual. I smartly blamed my other friends for this though deep down I knew it was my fault. After all the blaming game and paper formalities with the car rental company, we finally left for our road trip at 10:30am with sun shining.

We also signed up for the GPS as none of us had any idea about the directions. But destiny had something else in mind for us. As we left, the GPS refused to turn on. We struggled our way on London roads assuming and following sign boards while our GPS was still showing 'Locating Route'. After struggling for half an hour, it turned on and with a sigh of relief we Thanked God and continued our journey.

The Courtyard
Our first stop was Windsor Castle which is located around 45 kms from Central London. Windsor Castle is a royal residence at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. This castle is known for its long association with the British royal family and for its amazing architecture. The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I, it has been used by succeeding monarchs and it is the longest-occupied palace in Europe.

The Entrance
Windsor Castle is a popular tourist attraction, a venue for hosting state visits, and Elizabeth II's preferred weekend home. On arrival, after struggling to locate the parking spot for nearly an hour, we purchased our tickets after waiting almost one hour in the queue (we also got to know the tickets booked online are cheaper and you don't have to wait in queue for an hour). As we entered the castle, we were provided with an Audio Guide and Headphones which helped us understand the Castle and it's 900 years old history. The prime sights inside the castle includes:

  • Queen Mary's Doll's House - It was designed for Queen's Mary by the leading British Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. This is most magical residences is a perfect replica in miniature of an aristocratic home.
  • The Drawings Gallery - The Gallery hosts the various exhibitions from The Royal Collection.
  • The State Apartments - These apartments at the Castle are regularly used by The Queen and the members of The Royal Family to receive and entertain their guests on ceremonial and official occasions. They are furnished with some of the greatest treasures from The Royal Collection.
The State Apartments
The State Apartments
  • St George's Chapel - It is one of the finest examples of Gothic Architecture in England.
St George Chapel
St George's Chapel
On 20 November 1992, a major fire occurred at Windsor Castle, lasting for fifteen hours and causing widespread damage to the Upper Ward of the Castle, The Private Chapel in the north-east corner of the State Apartments was being renovated as part of a long term programme of work within the castle, and it is believed that one of the spotlights being used in the work set fire to a curtain by the altar during the morning. Along with the fire and smoke damage, one of the unintended effects of the fire-fighting was the considerable water damage to the castle, which in many ways caused more complex restoration problems than the fire itself. Many artworks were rescued and the rooms which got damaged were later restored.

Experiencing the 900 years old history was like traveling back in the time and as we stepped out of the castle, I soon realized that we are still in 21st century. The whole castle tour took three hours and it was already 2:30pm. We rushed ran towards our car to reach our next destination, Bath, England.

6 comments:

  1. Pictures are nice! I'm sure road tripping must have been fun. :) Exploring cities like Bath and Stonehenge on whim is an experience to cherish. I would like to do the same some day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Renuka, it was fun. I am sure you will some day :)

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