Before you join us on our voyage, allow us to royally spark your interest in this fascinating and historical castle.
Windsor Castle: A Top Stop on River Cruises in Europe
An English Cruise
With so many river cruises in Europe available, it can be easy to overlook the ones right on your doorstep. England is absolutely packed with history you can find right in your backyard and our classic cruise will take you to see much of it. While Hotel Barge Magna Carta’s diverse itinerary takes in everything from Hampton Court Palace to Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey), one of our favourite highlights is our midweek excursion to Windsor Castle.
Windsor was built in 1066 by William the Conqueror, and was originally used as a defensive base. As the years progressed, it became a home to the royal family (the first king to live there was Henry I) and has now been used for that purpose for almost 1,000 years. Many monarchs have built on and added to the castle, such as Henry II and III, Edward III and George IV. The latter ruler’s changes contributed heavily to the residence’s current appearance.
In 1992, a fire broke out in Queen Victoria’s private chapel, burning the Grand Reception Room, St George’s Hall, the Crimson Drawing Room and the State Dining Room. It took 15 hours for it to be extinguished, and the subsequent repairs took five years to be completed.
Behind the Scenes
Today the castle still in use by Queen Elizabeth II and is the largest actively inhabited castle in the entire world. The queen is known to spend the majority of her free weekends here, as well as taking up permanent residence for a month around Easter. It is also currently open for visitation. Our excursion will give you an inside look at the State Apartment, Queen Mary’s Dollhouse, St George’s Chapel and, of course, all the gorgeous views this castle offers.
Next time you’re considering going abroad to board one of the many river cruises in Europe, why not take a different route (or should we say river?) and indulge in a ‘staycation’ of sorts? Windsor Castle and so much more are easily accessible on our classic voyage – and you don’t want to keep the queen waiting, do you?