Eat Sleep Shoot Travels’s London Layover guide to Royal Windsor & Eton

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So you’ve got a layover at London Heathrow, you’ve already seen the major London sights , so for the perfect London Layover head for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Eton, home to Windsor Castle the largest occupied castle in the world and the Queens weekend residence.

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Getting to Windsor

From Heathrow you have 2 options:

* Buse 71 to Windsor Castle departs from outside Terminal 5.
To get there from Terminals 1 and 3 use the Heathrow Express train between the Terminals 1,2,3 station and Terminal 5. The train runs every 15 minutes and is free for journeys within the Airport.
From Terminal 4, use the frequent red bus routes 482 and 490 to transfer to Terminal 5; again these buses are free for travel between the Terminals. Allow 30 minutes to transfer from other Terminals to Terminal 5 and vice-versa. It costs approx £6 for a return ticket. It takes approx 45-60 minutes. Tickets can be bought of the driver cash only.

A quicker option is to pre book a local taxi, to pick you up direct from your terminal , this is cheaper than using the black taxi’s .The journey takes approx 20 minutes and costs approx £25 each way. Here are some local firms to try:
Windsor Cars,
http://www.windsorcars.com/

5Star Taxi,
http://www.5starwindsor.com/

Gemini Taxi,
http://www.geminicars.co.uk/

Windsor Essentials

Windsor castle opens at 9:45, and last entry is 4:00, March-October; from November-February, the last entry is 3:00. The earlier you get here the better as queues can be long especially in the summer months.
See current entry prices here ..

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If at all possible you don’t want to miss the impressive Changing of the Guards. In the summer months it happens every day at 11am but you’ll need to be in the High Street by 10:45am to see the Guards marching from their barracks to the Castle. In the autumn, winter and spring it follows an odd or even day schedule. There is never Changing of the Guard on Sundays.

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If you have time after looking round the castle, head to the river and catch a river cruise from 40 minutes to 2 along the Thames, it is possible to prebook cruises here
http://www.frenchbrothers.co.uk

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Or you can cross over Windsor bridge into the town of Eton, home of the world famous Eton College. Whilst tours around the college are currently suspended in 2014 due to building works, if your lucky you’ll catch pupils dashing to & from lessons. Eton college educated British Princes William & Harry ,If you have aspirations of your son one day making it to Eton, be warned as well as months of gruelling entry exams , fees are currently £33,000 per year.

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For your return journey back to Heathrow, try to avoid traveling between 4.30pm-6.30pm this is the dreaded London rush hour and is best avoided otherwise your 20 minute journey could easily turn into 90 minutes and a missed flight.

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