While on vacation in London a few months ago, my sister and I decided to get out of the city for a day to visit Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford with Evan Evans Tours. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to discover more of England besides London, as it takes you through the vast countryside and far away from the chaos of the city. I wish I’d had time to do another tour, the company has a variety of options and I was very happy with the service. All up, the tour cost 84 pounds per person but because I was a student I paid 79 pounds.
First stop: Windsor Castle
I’ve always been fascinated with the British Royal Monarchy. Monarchies in general greatly interest me and it was nice to see the British monarchy still thriving till this day, given that many monarchies around the world have dissolved or are slowly dissolving.
While the Queen resides in Buckingham Palace on weekdays, she likes to spend her weekends at Windsor Castle and I can understand why. It is truly magnificent. The architecture is breathtaking and just being on the grounds takes you back in time.
We were given some time to roam around and were pleased to see that much of the Castle’s interior is open to visitors although photography is banned in most rooms. After watching the changing of the guard ceremony, we made our way to St. George’s Chapel where many monarchs are buried. We then visited the State Apartments and got a quick glimpse of Queen Mary’s Doll House (easily my favourite piece in the Castle) before making our way back to the coach.
Second stop: Stonehenge
What’s intriguing about the Stonehenge is the mystery behind its formation. The impeccably large stones were placed in the middle of nowhere with nothing but endless green fields surrounding them. The only way to get to the site is by shuttle bus, and we were given about an hour to spend there. We were provided with audio guides to use as we walked around the site, but after about 20 minutes my sister and I were ready to leave. Although it’s unlikely I’ll return, I’m glad I got to see this landmark up close and was able to take plenty of nice photos. It’s certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, however, I don’t believe it’s worth an entire day trip on its own.
Third stop: Oxford
This charming town was definitely the highlight of my day. After a 30 minute walking tour we were given about two hours of free time. It wasn’t nearly enough to see all that Oxford has to offer, I wish we’d had more time there. Nonetheless, we made the most of it.
Oxford is known for its high academic standard and there’s a university at just about every corner. It’s not unusual to see students walking around in their formal dress robes. For the Harry Potter fans, the town looks a little like Hogwarts and I was delighted to learn that many scenes from the Harry Potter films were shot in Oxford, as per the request of J.K. Rowling.
Have you been to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, or Oxford? What were your thoughts?