Warwick and Windsor Castle questions

Old Jan 17th, 2003, 03:29 PM
  #1  
Gwen
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Warwick and Windsor Castle questions

Hi. I'll be visiting London in March and plan to go to one of these castles. I have searched and found some information on them but I have a few questions I was hoping someone could answer.

Which one is better if I prefer to just wander around rather than taking a guided tour? Can you do that at either/both? I like to climb around towers, dungeons, etc and I love courtyards and terraces and such. So which one would be better given those interests. I'm really not into fancy furniture and I figure I'll get plenty of art in the museums in London.

Which town is more picturesque? I'm looking for scenic places, half timbered buildings, town walls or gates, etc. I certainly don't mind stopping in a few shops but I'm not that interested in big scale shopping and definitly won't be shopping for clothes or high priced art and antiques.

How about ease of getting there? I know Windsor is closer but don't you have to change trains? In either case is there a long walk from the train station until you get to the town and castle. I average at least 5 miles a day walking on trips but I'd rather do it somewhere interesting and not on a boring road getting from the train station to the destination.

Thanks for you help.
 
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 03:32 PM
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Beth2
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Windsor is a direct half hour out of Paddington - and the castle is right across the street from the train station. We thought the town and train plaza were lovely, but it was summer with window boxes and outdoor cafes! Don't know about March.
 
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 03:39 PM
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jw
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Can't tell you which is easier to get to; however with regard to towers etc., I suggest Warwick, no question about it. J.
 
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 04:22 PM
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ellie
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You do have to change trains on the way to Windsor from Paddington, but it's an easy switch to make (cant remember the name of the station where you make the change, it's near the end of the journey out from Paddington). We enjoyed a self guided tour at Windsor which allowed us to linger and poke around at our own pace. One is limited to the public spaces - we saw no dungeons or towers. Since the royal family actually hangs out to some extent here, security is understandably tight and many areas are restricted from public view. We found Windsor to be extremely interesting - chock full of "fancy furniture" and interesting collections of porcelain and artifacts. The display of art from the royal collection in the entrance level gallery is top rate - amazing Leonardo drawings!
 
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 04:28 PM
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janis
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You don't need to take a "guided" tour at either one. they are both "go at your own speed" self-guided places.

Windsor is closer and whether you change trains or not depends upon which London station you leave from. You cannot climb on anything there let alone the towers. Windsor town is nice and right on the Thames. The Windsor Great Park is a huge area you could explore for hours. There are two train stations in Windsor - Central is very close to the castle , Riverside is a little farther but still walkable.

Warwick is the ultimate complete castle experience (as opposed to ruins which are sometime even better for climbing and exploring). Climb the towers, walk on the castle walls, go down in the dungeon, walk through the grand formal rooms, and see a tradintional Edwardian country weekend in the private apartments. The grounds are a;o very nice with rose gardens, the river Avon, an island, etc. The town is very nice too - it is actually a good sized town with a university but the part a tourist will se is very compact and reight next to the castle. The train station is a little out of the way - about a 15 minute walk from the center and the castle - but if that is too far you can get a cab for next to nothing or cattch a bus.

both are wonderful - but for"half timbered buildings, town walls or gates, etc." -- Warwick definitely fills the bill better.
 
Old Jan 18th, 2003, 05:12 AM
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Gwen
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Thanks so much. Sounds like Warwick is where I'll go. I had thought so from their web sites (and others) but sometimes these are deceptive so hearing from people who have been there does help. Now I'm thinking maybe I'll do both and drop Cambridge which was going to be another day trip (I'm also planning on Bath). So hard to decide, wish I had a month.
 
Old Jan 18th, 2003, 05:23 AM
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jw
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to muddy the waters, I've sure been reading a lot of enthusiastic posts about Cambridge! I think I'd do Warwick, Bath, and Cambridge, and pass on Windsor (I really have no outstanding memories of it.) It would be a shame to omit a university town. J.
 
Old Jan 18th, 2003, 05:56 AM
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P Edant
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Sorry to correct Janis, but Warwick is NOT a university town. The eponymous university is a modern institution, located in distant Coventry.
 
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