The area near Great Fosters
Get ready to explore!
Visit the largest inhabited castle in the world and one of the Queen’s three official residences (it's her favourite!). See where Prince Harry & Meghan Markle married in St George's Chapel and admire Queen Mary's Dolls' House, a masterpiece in miniature. The State Apartments and magnificent formal rooms used by the Queen for state and official occasions are truly majestic and every bit as splendid you as you might imagine. There is a free multi media tour to listen to as you walk round. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is definitely not to be missed. View the timetable for the Changing of the Guard ceremony to plan your day. A 20 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Hampton Court Palace is set in 60 acres of formal gardens & 750 acres of parkland in a loop of the River Thames. Discover the spectacular baroque palace originally built for William III and Mary II and explore the magnificent gardens. Experience the public dramas and private lives of Henry VIII, his wives and children in the world of the Tudor court and admire Henry’s Great Hall, the infamous Haunted Gallery and the extensive Tudor kitchens. The estate is home to the world's oldest puzzle maze, a record-breaking grape vine, three National Plant Collections and a huge variety of wildlife, including the descendants of Henry VIII’s deer herd. A 30 minute drive from Great Fosters.
The flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society covers 240 acres and is one of the great gardens of the world. RHS Wisley houses a huge plant collection and is a fabulous place to visit at all times of the year. The gardens delight through every season: enjoy swathes of bulbs and blossom in spring, unforgettable mixed borders and roses in summer, bountiful colours in Autumn, and frost-sparkled walks in winter. The huge glasshouse includes waterfalls and changing atmospheres to create three separate climatic zones - tropical, moist temperate and dry temperate. The vast array of plants, many endangered or difficult to grow are a sight to behold. There are so many gardens to explore but luckily you can refuel at one of Wisley's renowned cafes dotted about (their cakes are excellent!) . A 25 minute drive from the hotel.
A UNESCO world heritage site, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has a magnificent scientific collection of plants from tropical, temperate, arid and alpine climates stretched across 300 acres.. Stroll along a magnificent 18m high treetop walkway to admire the views across London & Surrey before you discover one of the most diverse collections of living plants of any botanic garden in the world. There are so many different gardens, a Conservatory and glasshouses, which house 50,000 plants and over 14,000 trees from all over the world so make sure you allow plenty of time. Download a seasonal trail before you go so you don't miss a thing during your visit. A 30 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Windsor Great Park covers over 4,500 acres and offers a variety of landscapes. Take a walk or cycle round Virginia Water lake (4½ miles) or just enjoy a gentle stroll through the queen's back garden. Or for a longer 7 mile walk, park by the Fox & Hounds pub and walk into Windsor past the Copper Horse and down 'The Long Walk'. The views of the castle are unparalleled and you should spot a few deer on your way. There are stables where you can book a horse ride or why not hire a horse & carriage and enjoy a traditional horse drawn carriage ride through the park? Horticulturists will enjoy The Savill Garden and adjacent plant centre & gift shop. Savill garden has 35 acres of interconnected gardens including the Hidden Gardens, Spring Wood, the Summer Gardens, the New Zealand Garden, Summer Wood, The Glades, Autumn Wood and the Winter Beds. Depending on where you park and which area you want to explore a 10 or 15 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Painshill's 18th century landscaped garden was created between 1738 & 1773 by the Hon. Charles Hamilton. His vision was to create ‘living paintings’ in a new style of magical garden. Inspired by Renaissance art and his Grand Tours, he created a sequence of breathtaking vistas in his 158 acre garden; stroll around the serpentine lake, wander through woodland and admire his follies including a Ruined Abbey and Turkish Tent. Or if you're feeling fit climb the 99 steps of the Gothic Tower to see what you can spot across four counties! For horticulture lovers there are historic plantings including the John Bartram Heritage Collection of North American trees and shrubs as well as veteran English Oak and the Great Cedar. A kitchen garden grows a huge variety of fruit & vegetables. Other features include a restored Waterwheel, a Hermitage hidden in the woods and a vineyard. Cake is a Painshill speciality so be sure to treat yourself in Mr Hamilton's Tea Room after your walk. A 25 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Thorpe Park is the perfect destination if you're looking to get your adrenaline pumping during your stay. Home to over 30 thrilling rides, attractions & live events Thorpe Park is the ultimate destination for thrill seekers featuring some of the UK's most exhilarating roller coasters. Reach new heights with Stealth the UK's fastest roller coaster launching riders to 205ft at 80mph in just 2.5 seconds. Take flight on The Swarm the UK's only winged coaster, or face one of Jigsaw's most twisted traps with SAW - The Ride the world's first horror themed roller coaster featuring a 100ft "beyond-vertical" drop. Pre booking is recommended to avoid queuing on arrival. A 10 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Runnymede is famous as the site of the sealing of Magna Carta, but today it's home to a collection of memorials to the struggle for liberty. As well as the monument to Magna Carta, you can also visit memorials to JFK and the Allied Air Forces of WWII. The very moving Air Forces Memorial commemorates by name over 20,000 men and women of the air forces, who were lost WWII during operations from bases in the UK, North & Western Europe, and who have no known graves. Park by the National Trust Tea Room next to the River Thames and see the meadow where the Magna Carta was signed before following the steep footpath through the woodland up to the Air Forces Memorial. Remember to go up the tower at the memorial to see magnificent views of London, Surrey and Berkshire. A 10 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Brooklands Museum is on the site of the world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit and displays a wide range of Brooklands-related motoring and aviation exhibits ranging from giant racing cars, motorcycles and bicycles to a vast collection of civilian and military aircraft, including the WWII Wellington Bomber and Concorde. Step back in time to the days of innovation, determination and record-breaking on the site of the world’s first racing circuit and listen to the stories of the pioneering men and women that shaped the world of motoring and aviation. Discover supersonic flight at the home of Concorde and get up close to the aircraft designed, built and flown here. Imagine the excitement of the races as you explore the interactive collections of cars and motorbikes and learn about the real-life experiences from the Brooklands volunteers.
Take a tour of the historic Eton College, where generations of aristocracy, politicians and many distinguished Britons have been educated including the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The guided tour focuses on the historic heart of Eton College, featuring many of the earliest buildings and objects from the College Collections. The 90 minute tours run from April - August and take place on a Friday afternoon at 2pm and 4pm. The tour covers School Yard, College Chapel, Upper School, Lower School, and the Museum of Eton Life. Tours must be booked in advance.
At the heart of shopping in Windsor and Eton is Windsor Royal Station, a mostly covered area that occupies the site of an 1850s railway station: you can still see Queen Victoria’s royal waiting room. Here you can browse brands such as Hobbs, Mint Velvet, Le Creuset and Whistles in a continental café setting; you might also be intrigued by Artique, an art gallery with a consultancy service. From Windsor Royal Station, steps lead down to Windsor Yards and Peascod Street, which have a range of high-street brands. Pop into vintage store Really Me at no 44 which sells clothing, accessories, furniture, books and vinyl & helps fund Thames Hospice. Lower Peascod Street & St Leonard’s Road are where Windsorians love to shop. These roads champion the independent retailer and you'll discover cosy cafes, homeware shops and great food and wine, with a bit of fashion thrown in for good measure.
Windsor has a fascinating history and a wonderfully interesting heritage. Why not learn a little more with a fun but informative tour either by foot with a Blue Badge Guide or on a hop-on-hop-off open top bus tour? Or take a self guided tour of Windsor with this heritage trail.
The historic Theatre Royal is nestled in the heart of Windsor. With an ever-evolving calendar of fantastic productions, the Theatre Royal is the best destination locally to enjoy a diverse range of live entertainment, including musical performances, plays comedy and dramas. A 20 minute drive from Great Fosters.