We spent the entire day at Windsor today – and it rivals Buckingham Palace! It is the oldest AND largest occupied castle in the world – you need a whole day to tour it, trust me! There are three parts to the Castle – Upper, Middle and Lower Ward.
I took a photo of a photo! This is the bird’s eye view of the castle. You can see the Cathedral on the bottom left/middle area, the Royal Tower in the center, the Upper Ward is the whole area above the Tower.
The Upper Ward is where the State Apartments and Semi-State Rooms (yes, everything is supposed to be captialized, we’re talking about Royalty here people!). This is where we started the tour. You aren’t supposed to take pictures inside, but I was too busy looking at all the fancy rooms to see the tiiiny little sign with a camera and giant X over it. Here are my sneak peak photos!
Sorry for the blurriness, I was afraid someone was going to yell at me for taking a photo! This is the Great Hall, which is probably the most famous room. It was partially burned down in the 1992 fire, but restored to look just as it was before. It is lined with knights and this is where the “Long Table” is set for important dinner (it fits over 150 people at one table!)
After touring the State Apartments and Rooms, we went on the Great Kitchen Tour. This is not included with the admission ticket, but only costs 2-3 pounds more and is 100% worth it! They start the tour by bringing you inside the Castle in a section that is not normally seen to the public. You walk by the entrance that visitors (Royal visitors, of course) would come through. It is here that the famous Long Road can be seen. The entrance is a dome shaped room that opens up to a covered section of a circle road. If you look straight out of the windows of the doors, you see the Long Road straight on (hint, hint – this was the original entrance, and thus the road was built to be perfectly seen from it). I couldn’t take a photo of it from inside the building, because security were swarming around us, but trust me, it was beautiful. The outside view is below!
Then we walked through a section of the building that wasn’t found until the 1992 fire (that cost them 37 MILLION pounds – that’s about 60 million dollars depending on the exchange rate!). It was a cathedral shaped hallway, and the wood beaming dated back to the 1400s. Then we entered the kitchen WING. Yes, wing. There is a pastry and cold foods “room,” bigger than most industrial kitchens today. But. Then. There. Was. THE KITCHEN. With original “spits” from the early days of the castle, the kitchen was probably 50 yards long (no lies!) and with at least 50 foot ceilings. It was insaneeeeee. I wish I sneaked more photos, but this was the only one I got in…
This is the Royalty version of a KitchenAid mixer…. Please note the whisk attachment on the left hand side. It was longer than my arm – and can whisk 150 eggs at a time. Now I know I only have to cook for one, but how cool would it be to have one of those in your kitchen!?! I was in heaven.