Something for the Weekend: Windsor

All the nail-biting Murray action this week has left us at Cool Places HQ feeling even more proud to be British.  So what better place to indulge your patriotism than a weekend break in Royal Windsor?  Here are our top recommendations:

Boathouse 19

Accommodation in Windsor rarely gets more unique than this ultra sleek converted boathouse.  It boasts its own jetty and kayaks, plus it has lovely direct views of castle.

The Harte & Garter

If you fancy treating yourself or your partner, then this Jacobean hotel right opposite the castle comes highly recommended.  The 79 bedrooms all come with period features, plus it has a fantastic hotel spa.

Frances Lodge

If the purse strings have been stretched to the max lately, then the cheaper accommodation option in Windsor lies in the hands of former New Zealand rugby star Zinzan Brooke.  It has great breakfasts and the rooms and cheap, cheerful and close to the town centre.

Bel & The Dragon

There's plenty of local, great British grub on offer in Windsor, but we like former Gordon Ramsey sous-chef Ronnie Kimbugwe's mouth watering  menu, which includes dishes like Sustainable Fish Pie and Warm Gooey Triple Chocolate Brownie. Delicious.

The Palmer Arms

For a great place to lunch with the kids, then the Palmer Arms is the obvious choice. The food's decent pub grub standards, whilst the beer garden is massive, and has an enclosed child's play area – perfect for keeping the little'uns entertained.

The Two Brewers

If you're looking a for a proper British pub with bags of character, then the Two Brewers is the best Windsor has to offer by a mile.  It's very popular here, as it has low beams, real ales and great food.  So book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Gilbey's

For a real 'push the boat out' dining experience then it has to be family-owned Gilbey's.  Enjoy a decadent modern British menu in their outside courtyard. If you end up drinking too much of their fine wines, then there's a luxurious studio suite upstairs to rent.

Guildhall Island

It wouldn't be a trip to Windsor without seeing one of the main tourist dwellings, Guildhall Island.  The Guildhall itself, where Charles and Camilla were married, now houses the Windsor & Maidenhead museum, plus the shortest street in Britain is nearby.

Windsor Castle

The main tourist attraction of Windsor, the famous castle, should undoubtedly be on your to-see-list.  A self-guided tour takes 2–3 hours, and begins with a short walk up Castle Hill and through the massive outer defences into the Middle Ward. If you plan ahead, you can attend evensong or a concert here – a magical experience.

Windsor Great Park

They don't call it a 'great' park for nothing.  Covering over 5,000 acres from Windsor to Ascot, this wooded, rolling park has dozens of walks to choose from, through stirringly English countryside. Many paths are open to cycles, and horse riding can be arranged too.