By Cheryl Chapman
Whether it’s a weekend break or a mid-week treat, 48 hours in Berkshire is a guaranteed feast for all the senses. Try our suggested itinerary for the perfect whirlwind adventure!
Start the day off bright and early with a hearty breakfast from the extensive menu in Monty’s Cafe in Windsor – look to the castle, if the flag is up, the Queen is in! For a history hit, take a self-guided tour of Windsor Castle – give yourself around three hours to fully appreciate the sumptuous surroundings and wonderful artworks inside. Make sure to take in St George’s Chapel – it’s one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in England and the burial pace of ten monarchs, including Henry VIII.
Alternatively, enjoy a browse around the town centre and the pedestrianised areas of Windsor Yards and Windsor Royal Shopping, and if you’ve time watch The Changing of the Guard outside the castle. Have lunch at in one of the many restaurants or pubs in Windsor – The Two Brewers is a real town favourite; or hop over the bridge into Eton where you’ll find the excellent Gilbeys.
Explore the rest of Windsor and Eton with the Original Tour open top bus tour (operates March to October). The tour takes around 45 minutes but is hop on, hop off. You could also take a 40-minute boat ride on the River Thames with French Brothers.
If you’re feeling fit, walk through Windsor’s Great Park, starting at the iconic Long Walk, past the The Copper Horse statue on towards the beautiful Savill Garden. With over 35 acres of trees and shrubbery, ponds and flowers, the garden is an incredible visit at any time of year. Grab afternoon tea in Benugo’s in the garden’s visitor centre (the Savill Building) before heading back to Windsor.
Relax at the end of a busy day with a spot of souvenir shopping. Extend your trip into the evening with dinner at one of the many town centre restaurants, book to see a production at the Theatre Royal or, if you’ve got an ounce of energy left, throw some shapes at one of the town’s many nightclubs.
Enjoy a browse around the town centre and the pedestrianised areas of Windsor Yards and Windsor Royal Shopping, and if you’ve time watch The Changing of the Guard outside the castle
A non-negotiable stop-off if you’ve got the kids in tow is Legoland. This will take all day! As an alternative, after breakfast, why not see how far you can get following The Thames Path Trail – it’s 184 miles of countryside loveliness.
A big lunch will definitely be calling after that – try the Roux family’s Waterside Inn in Bray, or their new venture Skindles on the Thames in Maidenhead, or further along the Thames, the French Horn in Sonning. Museum lovers should head to Reading for the charming Museum of English Rural Life; stately home lovers must see Basildon Park; and sports lovers can catch a game at the Madjeski Stadium.
For dinner dine on Michelin stars at L’Ortolan in Shinfield, or even the eye-wateringly expensive Fat Duck in Bray, or catch a movie, show or music act at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead.
If you prefer to visit West Berkshire, simply swap your walk for the Ridgeway Trail; your lunch for the Dew Pond in Old Burghclere; your stately home for Highclere (Downton) Castle; your sport for Newbury Racecourse and your Michelin star dinner for The Blackbird in Bagnor.
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