Things to do
Explore the many things to do in Windsor and Eton
There are a whole host of sights to see and things to do in Windsor, and we have included a few highlights here. The Boatman serves food from 12 noon until 10pm, so why not join us for lunch or dinner by the river whilst you’re here?
Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited Castle in the world and is an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen. A visit to Windsor Castle is one of the most popular things to do in Windsor. It is believed locally that Queen Elizabeth sees this royal residence, more than any other, as being her ‘home’. When Queen Elizabeth is in residence, you will see the large Royal Standard flag raised over the round tower – the Union flag is raised when other members of the Royal family are in residence. Check out the Royal Collection website for special exhibitions and events, but there’s a lot to see during any visit including Queen Mary’s Dolls House, the Queen’s collection of dolls from when she was a child and the State Rooms. Windsor Castle tickets can be bought on their website or at the gate.
The Changing of the Guard
The schedule for the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle differs month to month and is normally every day during the Summer months and every other day during the Winter. You are advised to check the schedule on their website first. The traffic is stopped to allow the guards to march between Windsor Castle and Victoria Barracks so please bear this in mind when you visit! Different regiments, and sometimes their mascots visit Windsor and you’re in for a treat if the Changing Guard includes a marching band which is often the case. No visit to Windsor or Windsor Castle is complete without seeing the Guard Change, and is one of the essential things to do in Windsor.
Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park incorporates The Savill Garden, Virginia Water, The Valley Gardens, and the Long Walk and Deer Park. Except for The Savill Garden for which charges apply, all are free to visit and provide stunning countryside walks, breathtaking scenery, ruins, monuments and wildlife. Some of the Great Park is accessible by foot from Windsor town centre but it is vast and be warned that the famous Copper Horse statue may look close by, but it is in fact a good few miles to get there via the Long Walk (the clue’s in the name!) It is well worth the effort though as the view of Windsor Castle from the statue is impressive. Many people miss seeing the Long Walk, but as it is part of the castle and offers amazing views it is one of the things to do in Windsor which we would recommend.
Legoland Windsor is dedicated to providing fun, interactive activities for children from 3-12 years old. But that doesn’t stop the older kids (and adults) joining in the fun with over 55 rides, live shows, lego-building workshops, driving schools and attractions. The park has a beautiful 150 acre park setting, and a day is not nearly enough to enjoy the fun.
Windsor Duck Tours
Windsor has its own 26-seat amphibious vehicle which is home to the famous Windsor Duck Tours, providing a unique tour of the town by road and river. The vehicle is bright yellow so you can’t miss it, and you can ‘catch’ the duck tour at the Duck Stop which can be found opposite Theatre Royal Windsor in Thames Street. Their Duck Stop is just round the corner from The Boatman and we can see the ‘Duck’ on the river every day from our pub.
Windsor Tour Bus
A full loop of the Windsor sightseeing bus tour is 45 minutes, but you can hop on and off along the route to enjoy the different sights along the way. The Boatman riverside pub is just across the Eton bridge so why not make a diversion for lunch or coffee? Operating months and times differ throughout the year so we’d recommend you check their website for details.
French Brothers River Trips
If you fancy a trip down the river then look no further than the French Brothers who offer passenger trips just along the river from The Boatman. Monday night is race night at Royal Windsor Racecourse, and the French Brothers run trips from central Windsor straight to the racecourse and back so you can enjoy your night without worrying about driving. Why not have a late lunch before the racing, or dinner afterwards with us? We’re just a short stroll from the French Brothers jetty.
Royal Windsor Racecourse
There are 26 flat-racing fixtures at Royal Windsor Racecourse every year, including some special Windsor races events such as family fun days, Ladies’ Day and Gentleman’s Day. Most Monday night race evenings include live music after the last race, and you can make the most of the occasion by travelling to and from the racecourse by river boat. The Boatman is just down from French Brothers who run the boats, so come by and see us before or after for a drink or dinner!
Historical Eton is the home of arguably one of the most famous schools in England – Eton College. It also boasts an Antony Gormley statue and a not-to-be-missed museum – the Eton Museum of Natural History. This is only open on a Sunday for 3 hours so you will need to plan your visit accordingly. Eton High Street is also full of charming shops and galleries, so is the perfect location to visit after lunch at The Boatman as we are just over Eton Bridge by the river!
Theatre Royal Windsor
The Theatre Royal Windsor is is the only unsubsidised producing theatre to operate all year round in Britain and provides a wide repertoire from opera and ballet to comedy, farce, drama and musicals. The Windsor theatre side-splitting Pantomime runs for 6 weeks every Christmas time and is always sold out so make sure you book early. The Boatman can offer you pre-theatre dining as food is served every day from 12 noon until 10pm and as we are just round the corner from Windsor theatre there’s no better place to start your evening.
The Old Ticket Hall
The Old Ticket Hall, Windsor’s favourite live music venue, is situated right behind The Boatman riverside pub, which – you’ve guessed it – used to be the ticket hall for Windsor & Eton Riverside Station. Open from 8pm til 2am from Wednesday though to Sunday every week, The Old Ticket Hall is home to a variety of bands, duos and solo artists from acoustic through to rock. They don’t serve food, so why not come down to The Boatman for dinner first – we serve food from 12 noon to 10pm 7 days a week – before going on to enjoy a great night out in Windsor. The Old Ticket Hall is on the local’s secret list of things to do in Windsor, and as it is also situated in a Grade II Listed Building visiting the venue is an experience in itself.