The first trip was to Windsor, which is near enough to my hometown that I can see Windsor Castle from my bedroom window on a clear day. I think I last visited the castle over 20 years ago, back when I was a kid and we had friends visiting who wanted to see all the local sights.
Unsurprisingly, the castle looms over the town quite a bit! Here's the view from the station:
There's a lovely complex of smart shops and cafes near the station (selling some very tasty cakes, nom nom) ...
... then the streets around the castle are old and quite charming (though full of tourist-y shops selling postcards and souvenirs).
I started with a walk to Eton, which is just over the river from Windsor...
I'd never been to Eton before - it's quite lovely! Very peaceful and the high street is seriously charming, with a whole bunch of of traditional tailors shops:
The buildings of Eton College are just as fancy as you'd expect them to be. Lots of lovely old buildings and interesting architectural details.
Then I walked back to Windsor and took a stroll along the river which was delightful and very relaxing.
I'm not sure I've ever seen so many swans all in one place before!
Where I live we have a card for local residents that gets you discounts on things like car parking and DVD rentals from the library... and it also (rather marvellously) gets us free entry into Windsor Castle! Such a great idea and excellent news for my bank balance :)
The castle is pretty awesome! I found myself involuntarily saying "wow!" under my breath every time I entered a new room in the State Apartments and I am still just as much in love with Queen Mary's Dolls House (which is apparently the largest dolls house in the world!) as I was when I was a kid.
I'd hoped to also squeeze in a visit to the town museum, but it had already closed for the day. I'll definitely be going back to Windsor another time though - I especially want to see the dolls house again (it really is gorgeous) and to take an audio tour to hear a bit about the history of the castle instead of just wandering round gawping at how lovely everything is like I did on this occasion!