Saturday From a morning pick up in your local area we travel by comfortable coach direct to Windsor where admission to Windsor Castle is included in your break. This 11th-century castle, set in 5,000 acres of deer park, has been home to monarchs for 900 years and has 500 staff, 1,000 rooms and more gilt, velvet and Old Masters than you can shake a tiara at.
Well over forty kings, queens and royal princes and princesses are interred in the Castle's St George's Chapel, from King Edward IV and Queen Elizabeth Woodville in the 15th century, to Henry VIII and his wife Jane Seymour, to George VI and more recently the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.
There are lots of state rooms and state apartments to visit, plus an astonishing doll's house, built by Britain's premier architect Sir Edwin Lutyens as a present for Queen Mary.
It's a 4-storey Edwardian mansion, beautifully furnished, with electric chandeliers, lifts, running water and flushable toilets, a secret garden, a wine cellar with genuine vintages, real oil paintings and a library with around 200 printed volumes specially written for it by, among others, Hardy, Kipling, JM Barrie and Conan Doyle. Only Bernard Shaw and Elgar refused to print miniature versions of their works for the library, grumpily considering the entire project ridiculous.
According to a weapons inventory taken in 1330, the castle grounds once contained a huge siege catapult ("una magna balista") called Lady Gunhilda (Domina Gunilda), which is thought to be the origin of the word 'gun' (for more on this see here: Online Etymology Dictionary).
You'll have free time in Windsor either before or after your castle visit, then we continue on to the hotel for dinner and our overnight stay.
Sunday A full English breakfast will set you up for the day, then the coach will take you into central London for 3–4 hours' free time. Museums are generally free and the Science, Natural History and V&A museums are close together, near South Kensington tube (Circle line). Shopping's a favourite occupation for visitors to the capital, and the obvious place to head for is the selection of shops and stores on Oxford Street. But if you fancy some deluxe shopping, head for Knightsbridge where you'll find Harrods and Harvey Nichols, or alternatively, three tube stops North from there (change at Green Park for the Jubilee line) you'll reach Bond St and Selfridges. The coach will set off for home in the mid–afternoon.