Everyday Is A Miracle

Be happy and enjoy every single bite of it

Diagon Alley Comes To Life In Windsor and Beautiful Eton Riverside

Leave a comment

It was almost the end of our London trip and we would spend the last day of our holiday in Legoland, and after that we would went straight to the airport and returned to Singapore. Since Legoland was located in Windsor which would take at least 1 hour from our hotel in Hammersmith and it would be very troublesome if we left the luggage  in Hammersmith and then came back to get our luggage back and went to the airport, I decided to book a hotel in Windsor instead of staying in London. 

It would also be very difficult for us to bring our 2 big suitcases and 2 small suitcases and a backpack to Windsor and then to Legoland and then to the airport, so we did a research before we went to London and finally make a decision to use left baggage storage service in Heathrow Airport.  

Left baggage office locations were in Terminal 2 to 5 in Hatehrow Airport, and since our SQ flight would be departing from T2, it would be easier for us to store the luggage in T2. For more information about left baggage, the location, opening hour, and the price you can check in this website:  

http://www.heathrow.com/airport-guide/terminal-facilities-and-services/left-baggage

Remember that no food is allowed in the luggage for storage, so bring all the food that you have with you. No payment was needed when we store the luggage, we would only have to pay when we were getting back our luggage.

After we were done with this process, we went straight to Windsor by local bus. There were 2 ways to go to Windsor from London, one was by train (from Central London) or by local bus from Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 which was way cheaper than by train.

train-to-t5

A connecting train from from T2 to T5 Heathrow Airport (free but we had to tap our Oyster Card) which was almost empty

Since we were already in the airport, it was easier to take bus. So we went to T5 and followed the signs to local buses (and it was quite a long walk). Although going to Windsor was cheaper by bus, but it took longer time than by train. We boarded bus number 8 in bus stop number 8 in T5.

img_7812

Waiting for the bus to Windsor. The waiting area had no chair or aircon, so it was rather hot here

 

img_7823

We paid the fair directly to the bus driver

It took us an hour from the airport to the bus stop in Windsor. We enjoyed the view during the ride as we could see the riverside, pubs, village houses, and village people along the way.

bus-to-windsor

What an enjoyable ride……………..

 

img_7833

Every car had to stop at the railway crossing and waited for the signal

 

houses-and-pubs

Pubs and houses

If you are going to Windsor Castle, then the nearest stop will be the opposite Windsor Parish Church. Our hotel was also located very near to the Windsor Castle, so this was also our stop. Windsor Castle was only 5 minutes walk from this stop.

img_8101

Windsor Parish Church

Since it was already lunch time and we were all very hungry, we went to the nearest restaurant that we saw that could fit the boy’s taste, and we found Freddy’s Fish and Chips just across the street from the bus stop.

img_8093

Freddy’s fish and chips was next to the shop in blue color

Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my chili sauce, so I didn’t really enjoy the food (I put it in the other luggage that we left at the airport). Although the two boys said it was so yummy and delicious, but somehow I didn’t like it very much as it left fishy taste in my throat (probably the fish wasn’t fresh?).

20161202_133409

Definitely super huge portion. The fish was sooo…………..big and there were lots of fries that I couldn’t finish both of them, but daddy came to the rescue and cleaned my plate, hahaha……………..but somehow the boy finished everything on his plate…………

 

20161202_133729

See how big it was? Each portion cost us GBP 10. We ate in the second floor by the way

After we were full, it was time to go to our hotel, which was Travelodge Hotel. Why we chose this hotel? Despite of some bad reviews about this hotel, this was the closest to the bus stop that would take us to Legoland, very near to supermarkets, restaurants, shopping places, and also Windsor Castle (although we didn’t plan to go inside the castle, but we would like to at least see and take pictures there).

Fortunately, we all loved the hotel. Some of the bad comments about the noise from the bar, the room, the breakfast………..they all didn’t happen. I will highly recommend for you to stay in this hotel if you plan to visit Windsor, but more about the hotel later in this post.

How did we go to Travelodge Hotel in Windsor? From the bus stop (and in front of Windsor Castle), we turned left into a street that looked like a very long alley. When I turned to this alley, I was amazed because it looked a lot like The Diagon Alley from Harry Potter, and seriously………….that was the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the various shops in the left and right sides of the streets, the crowded people walk along the streets, kids were running around in the middle of the busy street, colorful Christmas decorations, and the street performer……………………it was like Diagon Alley came to life……………….and I loved it, I really liked it a lot. I enjoyed walking in the long street and seeing what was inside each shop and taking pictures here and there. From that time, I knew I would love this city so much.

img_7843

We were in front of the alley with our small luggage in tow. The crown above our head would shine bright at night and it was a very big one

 

img_8088

I took this picture early in the morning when there were less people, and as you can see, Windsor Castle was just across the street

 

dsc00275

Shops……………everywhere we looked………………..restaurants, cafes, drugstore, supermarket, and not to forget the shops that sold clothes

 

I accidentally left our toothbrushes and toothpaste in our big suitcase and

I accidentally left our toothbrushes and toothpaste in our big suitcase (the one that we stored in the airport, ouch………….), so Boots (a pharmacy and beauty store) came to the rescue………………

 

I always loved to see the flower seller on the street

I always loved to see the flower seller on the street

 

Pumkin

Giant pumpkin decoration in a department store

 

The street was less crowded as we walked further

The street was less crowded as we walked further

 

I loved the window on the second floor

I loved the window on the second floor

 

The boy in front of a shop which was already full with Christmas decorations

The boy in front of a shop which was already full with Christmas decorations

Our hotel was just at the end of the street. So the hotel was actually facing the alley which was awesome because it looked like we found a hidden gem at the end of our journey. The hotel was also very close to the train station (less then 5 minutes walk). More about the hotel later……………..After we checked in, we did some explorations around the area and this time everyone wanted to see Windsor Castle closely. So we walked again, but instead of going back to the alley, we went to the castle through a different route. There was another street in front of the hotel that led to the train station and Windsor Shopping Mall

20161202_152040

Taking picture in front of the train station

 

20161202_152104

Since no one wanted to take picture with this replica of an old train, I volunteered myself to do so, hahaha………..

 

20161202_130725

The back side of Windsor Shopping Mall

 

20161202_130706

Don’t you just love the concept of this outdoor mall?

 

20161202_152221

It was getting dark………….so lights on !

 

20161202_152513

The front side of Windsor Shopping Mall

Just across from this shopping mall was the huge and majestic Windsor Castle. It was so big and probably it was 5 times bigger than Leeds Castle (the building and not the area). Too bad we didn’t have time to see the inside of the castle (we had to pay to enter the castle) because we didn’t have enough time. If you see in the internet, this castle also has beautiful gardens and I am a big fan of beautiful gardens, so I was so sad that we didn’t have time to go inside.

20161202_152549

The cars lined up in front of the castle were Windsor taxi

 

20161202_152611

The other side of the castle

 

20161202_152805

Very few people sat here because it was so cold…………….

 

20161202_153053

Finally, the boy’s picture………………he was busy taking pictures of the castle, so it was a very rare occasion that he agreed to pose for me

 

20161202_152821

The street in front of Windsor Castle. The red building was also a hotel. Can you spot “Diagon Alley” with its purple crown?

 

20161202_153029

Big Christmas tree in the middle of the street

 

20161202_153037

My “Diagon Alley” in the background

This was the view of the castle after we turned left:

20161202_153454

The main entrance

 

20161202_153602

The left side of the castle…………………

 

20161202_153932

The almost empty street in front of the castle (the left side of the castle). If we walked straight from here, there was a private entrance to the castle (probably for the Queen and her family) and it was a dead end

 

20161202_153952

The not so busy street in the afternoon

Since it was a dead end, we walked back to the front side of the castle and followed the street until we reached Eton Riverside. It was a long walk so we were very tired, but the view was amazing.

 

20161202_154659

Mommy and the boy

 

20161202_154838

From here, we crossed the street and we found an all you can eat Thai restaurant. The nice lady brought a small plate of spring rolls outside for us to try when she spotted us looking at the food from the window

 

20161202_155048

A small theater at the back. Can you see Windsor Castle across the street? Yes, the castle was that big………………..

 

img_7927

We were so close to Eaton Riverside from this point

 

dsc00313

We were waiting for the traffic light to cross the street

 

20161202_1600430

Yes, finally……………..after what it seemed like an unending walk, we arrived at Eton Riverside

 

20161202_160053

Beautiful Eton Riverside in the evening……………….so calm and peaceful…………………..

 

20161202_160500

White swans………………..we all loved to see white swans

 

20161202_160509

Windsor Bridge was designed by Charles Hollis and opened in 1824. Freed from tolls by the action of Joseph Taylor 1898. Closed to vehicles in 1970

 

20161202_160556

I would love to just stand here and admire the view for hours

 

20161202_160825

Look at the houses by the riverside! Even the boy said he would love to have a house by the riverside……………………

 

20161202_160912

This bridge was free from vehicles, so this area was very calm and peaceful

 

20161202_161551

Benches in the middle of the bridge

 

20161202_161207

If we walked straight ahead, we probably would have found Eton College (and wasn’t Prince William and Eddie Redmayne graduated from Eton?)

 

img_7979

The view from the bridge, all the cars must turn right and couldn’t pass the bridge

 

img_7977

Windsor Bridge at night and it was one of my favorite picture. This was taken by the boy with my IPhone 6 camera. He was very proud with this picture

Since were were very tired and it was dark already (although it was just around 5 pm), we decided to go back through the same road again (and it was another long walk to go back to the hotel………………….), but we made few stops in the souvenir shops and book store.

20161202_162844

Windsor Castle became like this when night came

 

dsc00321

We stopped at the souvenir store to find fridge magnets for our friends, but the quality wasn’t good enough for us. The best place to buy fridge magnets were in the airport, tourist attraction places such as inside the castles or football stadium souvenir stores. They were more expensive but the quality was much better

 

img_8004

Look at his happy face when he found lots of good books and when mommy said those books were way cheaper than in Singapore (and they were all new books). We also found a book that had not been released yet in Singapore (and of course we bought it). Even though he was tired, but he spent a lot of time inside this bookshop. We were only got out from here when the shopkeepers turned out the lights as they were closing down the shop. We were the last one to pay and leave this shop

 

 Since we were so tired, we just had a takeaway dinner from Wagamama (yakisoba, ramen, gyoza, and rice)


Since we were so tired, we just had a takeaway dinner from Wagamama (yakisoba, ramen, gyoza, and rice)

 

From the book shop, we walked back to the hotel which was Travelodge Hotel. This was one of the cheapest hotel compared to other hotels near Windsor Castle. By the way, you can not store your luggage in the reception area as they do not have luggage storage room.

Travelodge Hotel

Travelodge Hotel. For security reason, we had to tap our room key to open the door to the elevator that would take us to our room

Our hotel in Windsor was bigger than the one in Hammersmith which was Holiday Inn Hotel. Even the room was so much bigger than Holiday Inn Express Hammersmith London. That was why my husband loved it so much and said that it was too bad we could only stay there for one night. The bathroom came with a tub, and even then, there was still much space left for us.

dsc00306

We felt that this room was so spacious after staying for 6 days in a budget hotel in London (this was also a budget hotel). There was even enough room for our luggage next to the main bed. I will write about the comparison later in my next post about our hotel in London

 

dsc00299

Tea and coffee for free, but no drinking water

 

dsc00293

Clean bathroom with a tub

When we booked our hotels (either in London or Windsor), we always stated that we would bring a child with us, and in both hotels they surprised us by giving extra bed (without us even asking and without extra charge). In both of the hotels that we booked, there was no extra charge for kids (free stay and free breakfast for the boy).

dsc00292

We all could sleep in peace at night thanks to the extra bed

On the not so good side, even though it was winter and very cold outside, we felt hot and stuffy in the middle of the night even though we didn’t turn on the heater. The windows were locked and couldn’t be opened, so imagine how it would be at summer. The hotel didn’t provide aircon, only a fan during summer time. This was the opposite of what happened when we stayed in Holiday Inn London, the room was very cold at night even though the windows were closed and heater on.

Street view from the room

Street view from the room

 

We also loved the morning breakfast, a simple English breakfast with butter croissant (the staff would always offer to warm the croissant every time she saw us near the plate, white bread with selection of jams, sausages, scrambled eggs, baked beans, fresh tomatoes and mushrooms, pork bacon, and the boy’s favorite food: hashbrowns…………………..The hotel even served 2 kinds of sausages: pork and vegetarian. The boy and I of of course chose pork sausages while daddy tried the healthier ones: vegetarian sausages (and he said it was good). There were also fruit salad, yoghurts, cereals, and Quaker Oat Granola. For the drinks, there were selection of tea and coffee, milk, chocolate milk, and fruit juice.

Breakfast

Choice of food for our breakfast

 

He was happy because he could drink as much milk

He was happy because he could drink as much milk as he wanted (at least 2 glasses, but sometimes could be 3 to 4 glasses, plus sausages, at least 2 croissant, bread  and cheese……………….he was really a big eater, hahaha……………)

 

The view from the window at breakfast time...............I think they were going to Windsor Castle

The view from the window at breakfast time……………I think they were going to Windsor Castle

 

And............he wasn't going to finish yet...............choices of cereals and bars

And…………he wasn’t going to finish yet……………choices of cereals and bars

 

Next to the breakfast table was already the reception table (the one with Travelodge sign on the wall)

Next to the breakfast table was already the reception table (the one with Travelodge sign on the wall)

When our tummies were full, we were ready for our next adventure in Legoland. Our Legoland Windsor trip can be read in this post.

A quiet street in the morning

A quiet street in the morning

 

A walk to the bus stop

A walk to the bus stop

 

The view from the bus stop.............and empty street in the morning

The view from the bus stop………….and empty street in the morning. We were waiting for the bus to Legoland.

From Legoland, we went straight to the airport to catch the last flight back to Singapore.

Nativity set in the building near the bus stop

Nativity set in the building near the bus stop

 

img_8269

While waiting for the bus, the boy and I walked around the area near the bus stop and took pictures. We found a bar full with people in a small alley

 

img_8270

Parish Church bus stop

 

img_8273

Waiting for bus number 8 that would take us back to Heathrow

That was our last day of the holiday, and we said goodbye to Windsor and London as we boarded the plane back to Singapore.

 

Advertisements

Author: cruiseoflife

Hi there. I'm from Indonesia but now live quite far away from my home country. I love cooking for my family. I learned how to cook for the first time from my mom and I believe that mom's cooking is always the best, and I do hope that my son will feel the same too even though he grows up so fast. I love Indonesian food as I grew up with it, and I promise to myself that my son, although he doesn't live in Indonesia right now, will always like and enjoy authentic Indonesian food. I make this blog so that my family will always remember our togetherness and happy time that we had, are having, and will have when we eat together and have good memories about a mother's love through her dishes. Hopefully these recipes will help other people to make healthy home cooked dishes for their families.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s