The Queen’s Walkway is a 6.3km (approximately 4 miles) self guided walking trail connecting 63 of Windsor’s most significant attractions. It was designed by The Outdoor Trust, in partnership with local people, to recognise the moment on 9 September 2015 when Queen Elizabeth II had reigned for 63 years and more than 7 months to become Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
The Queen’s Walkway will help you explore this historic town with its theatre, its churches, its parks and gardens, its elegant residential streets, its many historic monuments, its railway stations, and the River Thames.
Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh enjoyed a long association with Windsor.
Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Princess Margaret, spent most of the Second World War in the Castle.
After King George VI died in February 1952, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke opened some rooms in the Castle, and it became their weekend retreat from London. They were there for the Easter Court, for the Garter Ceremony and Royal Ascot in June, and since 1969 there have been occasional State Visits to Windsor, with the procession passing along the High Street. In their later years, the Castle became their permanent home and main official residence.
Since 1917 Windsor has also been the name of the Royal House.
In ancient times the Anglo-Saxon Kings held court in a palace at Old Windsor, but William the Conqueror saw the advantage of building a tower on high land above the Thames to help guard London. His son, Henry I, built a residence within the Castle walls and first held court there in 1110.
Most sovereigns have lived in the Castle since then, and many Kings and Queens of England are buried in St George’s Chapel.
The Queen’s Walkway celebrates the town of Windsor. The original town was largely laid out by 1170. “New Windsor” had rights as a free borough and was made into a royal borough under a charter of Edward I in 1277.
William Shakespeare knew Windsor well and it inspired his play, The Merry Wives of Windsor.
The present Guildhall was built between 1687 and 1691, and since 1778 when George III moved to Windsor, the town has profited from its royal associations. Since the English Civil War Windsor has been a garrison town with a military presence that continues to this day.
Windsor Bridge formed a permanent link to Eton in 1822 and the arrival of the Great Western Railway in 1849 made Windsor more accessible to London.
This official guide introduces each of the 63 points of interest and provides a map to show how they are connected. It has been designed to be as accessible as possible and takes approximately 2 hours to complete. We hope that you enjoy The Queen’s Walkway.