England

Things to Do in Windsor and Slough, England

It seems to me that Slough is not very well advertised in terms of tourism. In fact, lots of people have never heard of Slough, despite it being only 22 miles from London. For those that live in the UK, it is known as a place to do business, with connections to London and the Slough Conference Centre. Or, it is known as a place to pass through, being so close to Heathrow, the largest airport in the UK and the only British air hub, where international passengers get onto connecting flights.

But there really is so much to see and do here.

In case you’ve never been, here are some of the top things to do in Slough, England.

1. Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

You may not realize, but one of the oldest castles (and one which is still inhabited by Elizabeth II) is just ten minutes from the centre of Slough. Windsor Castle is the much better cultured and famous neighbor of Slough, but most people don’t realize how close they are.  Large areas of the castle are open to the public, including the fabulous grounds and towers.

You can even enjoy a horse and carriage ride in summer, to really pretend that you are Lord or Lady of the manor.

2. Eton College

Eton College

Eton College is a piece of particularly British history. It was set up in 1440 by King Henry VIII to educate talented boys from the age of 13 in prayer and Latin, which was the language of Law and Business. These days the school is still open and teachers and boarding school pupils still reside on the premises, but all are welcome to come on a guided tour.

If you aren’t familiar with Eton College, here are some fun facts. Both Prince William and Prince Harry attended school at Eton, and one of the Eton chapels is where Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in 2018. Eton College is actually for boys aged 13-18; it’s not a university. Students do live on campus full-time during the term, though, and must wear a uniform. Other famous attendees include Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, and Eddie Redmayne.

3. Legoland

Legoland Windor Resort is a fabulous attraction especially for families with young children. The park is divided up into several different areas, with unique themes such as Pirates, Ancient Egypt, Arthurian Britain and Gold Rush American, among others. Children can even earn their “driving license” on the LEGO City Driving School.

Legoland features Lego-themed rides, as well as shows featuring your favorite LEGO characters, movies, and playsets. The Miniland has scenes from around Europe, the US, and elsewhere (such as the Taj Mahal), all constructed from LEGO bricks! And there are plenty of dining and shopping opportunities as well.

4. Thorpe Park

If Legoland is a little tame for you, or if you’re party doesn’t include younger children, you may be more interested in Thorpe Park.

Just like its cousin, Alton Towers, further into the north of the country, this theme park provides thrills and spills in bucket loads. The roller coasters range from those that are not for the faint-hearted, to ones suitable for toddlers (although these are a little more sedate!). Classics such as Nemesis and Inferno can be found alongside the new take on a haunted house – Saw. Saw is a horror movie-themed roller coaster with a beyond-vertical drop…Ride if you dare!

You’ll also find delicious eats, such as the new-for-2020 Infinity Bar & Kitchen gastropub. Or pick up some unique ice cream treats at Nitrogenie. And there are lots of shops where you can find a special souvenir to take home.

5. Ascot Racecourse

For something a little bit more glamorous you could try the Ascot Racecource, and take in a horse race. The famous Royal Ascot is traditionally attended by Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family. There is a strict dress code to plan accordingly. Be sure to stay for Ladies Day, where there is a prize for the best-dressed lady and watching the races is accompanied by champagne.

Ascot Racecourse hosts 18 flat meeting races throughout the year, as well as numerous jumping events. So even if you don’t make it for the Royal Ascot, there are plenty of other opportunities to enjoy this special venue.

6. Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens

The Kew Gardens are just 25 minutes away but they feel as though they are somewhere much more exotic. Besides being world renowned for the collection of plants, and relied on by botanical students from far and wide, this is a wonderful day out for the whole family. The highlight has to be the Rainforest tree top walk, where you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the collections.

Where to Stay

If you’re looking for a place to stay, you have a choice between a number of towns. For budget travelers, you can’t beat Slough for the price. And it’s close to the trains. But Slough on the whole is rather uninspiring. So if your budget allows and you want something a bit more charming, pick a hotel in Windsor, which is more picturesque and interesting of a town.

Hopefully this mini-guide has helped to spread the word about Slough – and that it really does have more to it than offices and roundabouts!

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