A Right Royal Invitation
Emma Parkes joins the New Meridian educational FAM Trip .The trip included an overnight stay at the Harte and Garter Hotel which is situated in the heart of Windsor with a stunning location directly in front of the castle walls.
Arriving early gave me time to explore the delights of Windsor which is steeped in rich heritage, stunning architecture and beautiful nature scenery. There is ample parking for cars and a huge coach car park off site and can be arranged free through the hotel for groups. The hotel was a short 10minute walk through Windsor park where you can grab a coffee or an icecream. Shopping ranges from quait one–of–a kind shops to high street retailers such as Next And H&M or take a stroll along the Thames with an icecream and watch the swans.
We all gathered at 7pm in the hotel bar to a Presco and proceeded onto a delious three course meal in a relaxed friendly atmosphere. Sylvia explaining the itinary for the following day. The day started with a hearty breakfast and meeting the tour guide Julia White, we slpit into two groups firstly we toured Windsor Castle the largest inhabitated castle in the world and is oldest royal residence to have remained in continuous use by the Monarchs of Britain. With audio sets for each of us we split to wonder. Within the castle is of course St Georges Chapel built in the fifteenth century by Edward IV. A chance to see the foot guards and even got to chat with a guard thanks to Christine for Christine Tours added to the royal experience.
Lunch is served as we climb on board a River Cruise on the Thames for some fine dining courtesy of Bateaux Windsor. The experience combined excellent service from the on board crew with serene views of the river bank. The cruise was an hour and half and was a superior restaurant experience with a personal touch as the boat holds around 30 people a coach a load. The capitain was also very friendly and gave Sylvia the chance to sit at helm.
So to walk off dinner we disembarked and split into two groups and started the walk over the bridge to Eton College with the Blue Badge Guide Amanda Bryett and the other group headed for the Windsor Duck Tour experience. Eaton College an exclusive boarding school for boys only and where Prince William and Harry were educated alongside Borris Johnson, Bear Grylls and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall amongst many others. We learnt some of the structure to gaining an education there and although there are no longer group tours you are still seethe beautiful architecture of the buildings such as the library and see the boys whom are 13-18 walking between their classes. In early days all teaching was in Latin and if they spoke English they were flogged! Today, the school is a very modern institution whilst retaining its distinctive ‘School dress’, pin striped trousers and suit with tails.
The next boat we climbed aboard for a completey different but fun feel. The amphibious Windsor Duck Tour. The circular tour takes in some historical sights of the town and surrounding parkland with more views of the castle. Then along the outside of Windsor Great Park before Splashdown, when it enters the Thames fro a short tri downstream. A slightly strange form of transport but fun all the same.
The last furlong was a trip to the World famous Royal Windsor race course and in keeping of the day we travel by River Taxis. The sun came out just in time for a BBQ. A hospitality event at Royal Windsor racecourse is a perfect distination for groups of any size as you can choose from there varied packages which includes things such as Champagne reception, three course buffet to two course BBQ.
There is free CAR PARKING AND EXCELLENT TRANSPORT LINKS FROM TAXIS TO BOAT.
Also with 27 fixtures and themed race evenings from April to October.
A glamous and exciting atmosphere makes for a memorable and thrilling experience.