It’s funny what we discovered our American friend had never experienced:
- Wispa and Aero Chocolate Bars
- A country pub
- A Kinder Egg – Actually Illegal in USA
- Yorkshire Puddings
- Fried Bread
- Take away wine (in plastic glass)
- A Chinese and Fish & Chip Restaurant in the same location
- Donor Kebab’s
- Fried Bread
- Red Leicester Cheese (among others)
- A British Hen night (dress up)
And that’s just what I can remember off the top of my head! Granted none of these examples are unmissable or even good for you, but hey it’s the experience that counts right?
So the final day of our American friends visit to England was upon us, (previous posts here and here) I had a brain wave and we braved the M25 once again, as we did in part 1 and headed down to the historic beautiful town of Windsor. Why had I not thought of Windsor before? Its 20 minutes from Heathrow and offers a stunning river based location that is crowned by the historic Windsor Castle, one of the Queens residents.
I am not sure that Windsor meets the criteria of ‘out of the box’ England, as is probably one of the touristy locations on the outskirts of London. We will forget that particular insight for this final segment.
Windsor town is buzzing with shops and markets, offering the usual tourist experience coupled with the eclectic street entertainers and buskers. It’s not as grand as the West End of London, but has more of an oldie world feel to the streets. At its centre piece the magnificent 13 acre, 1,000 year old Castle, complete with turrets, churches, galleries and dominating walls. It’s an amazing sight alone, and can even be visited by those who are willing to brave the queues. Set on top of a small hill, the castle is, by far Windsor’s centre piece attraction and you can’t help but marvel at its sheer dominating size.
Windsor also has the benefit of being set on the River Thames, which splits the regions of Windsor town and Eton. Eton College as some of you know is a very posh, all boys, boarding school that has housed the elite of the country for many years, such as David Cameron, the current UK Prime Minister. If you walk far enough you can even view the college itself, it’s not as dramatic as Oxford but still offers some beautiful historic and architectural buildings. The walk itself into Eton also is very picturesque, with quaint independent shops littering either side of the street (granted there is also a lot of Porsche’s and Audi’s).
We had a lovely sunny day ahead of us; therefore a walk down on the shores of the Thames to feed the swans, followed by a pub lunch overlooking the river was essential. It’s a great way to lose a few hours or even a day, Megan and I have previously visited the town and spent most of the day lounging in the park soaking up the atmosphere and beauty of the town.
A gamble on a river side pub location could have been costly, but actually proved to be somewhat of a marvel. With fantastic service that was only beaten by the quality of food itself, and a reasonable price.
This was exactly the experience I wanted M to have, and I hope she enjoyed it as much as we did.
So 5 days visiting England M had:
- Visited London’s South Bank, including the Tate Modern, Globe, Borough Market, London Eye and Tower Bridge
- Visited the Seaside location of Brighton, enjoying Fish and Chips on the beach while being attacked by seagulls! Then spent countless hours on the M25 and then a vast sum of money in the Outlets of Bicester
- Been woken up with ‘Champagne for Breakfast’, along with a full English Fry up (including Fried Bread). Then been taken on a night out in London, experiencing her first British Hen Night and of course her first Donor Kebab
- Been taken to a country pub and eaten a full roast dinner, then been introduced to my parents while drinking Pimms in the garden. Nothing like ‘hair of the dog’ to get over a night out!
- Fell off a concrete cow, experienced the traditional ‘English’ Nandos meal – HA!, drunk wine out of a take away plastic glass, been driven around the beautiful Windsor Abbey Estate, whilst deer viewing.
- Taken to the wonderful town of Windsor on the banks of the Thames.
Although not our traditional route for visitors, but I think we covered some real ‘Out of the box’ wandering memory experiences. Next time we will definitely look at Bath and Stonehenge and maybe a trip to the beautiful Lake District
I think that’s enough for anyone on a 5 day visit… I think we all now need a rest and some sleep…