Saturday, 27 April 2013

Beautiful Windsor and Eton

Me outside the massive sprawl which is  Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle from the River Bank

Previously I  had only spent a few hours in Windsor and having found it a truly beautiful place I wanted to go back.  I booked two family rooms at the Windsor Travelodge last November for April.  Tip - go midweek or book a Sunday night and book early.

Windsor Castle is massive and seems to be in three separate sections although it is all classed as Windsor Castle.  The Royal Standard was flying over the castle meaning the Queen was at home though not surprisingly we didn`t see any of the Royal family.

 Some tourists  from China we spoke to thought that because the flag was flying the Queen would come outside, strange ideas some people have. 
It is expensive per adult to go inside and view the grounds and some of the staterooms. We were on a budget and decided not to go into the castle. We did spend £5.70 each for a forty minute boat trip down the Thames.


Impressive Castle

We took a  leisurely boat trip along the river passing Windsor Race Course and the riverbank of Eton College. We sailed past the most amazing houses where gardens slipped ultimately into river and swans sat resting in the sun.

Having seen glimpses of Eton College from the boat trip my son Anthony and I wandered off to see more. My daughter Katrina and her husband Richard decided to stay put and sample the beer at the inviting pub by the waterside.

Eton Chapel

Amazing buildings are scattered around with faculty names above their entrances and pretty gardens hidden behind the arched doorways.

Nice place to study I know I would be happy to spend a good few years studying around Windsor.

This path in Windsor Great Park seems truly endless and goes on for as far as you can see. Horses canter down the path and jealous walkers on tired legs wish for a bus to pass.


Great way to travel around Windsor and the kids would love it. If you are going to Legoland it is only a few miles away and a shuttle bus runs there from Windsor town centre.

Time for a well earned coffee in this very old, very crooked cafe, which sits on the high street beside estate agents and pizza places.

One of the first postboxes sits yards from the back of the Castle.  Post from Queen Victoria may have sat here waiting to summond lords and ladies to dinner. Today we laughed as an Ocado food delivery van drove though the Castle gates. How times change

A policeman and the Queens Guards are calm yet impressive figures outside the gate leading to the Royal apartments.  We enjoyed our 24 hours in Windsor and will certainly visit again. 

Stay at Windsor 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Money Saving Tips


Here`s my Money saving tips.

1. Book Travelodge rooms at least six months in advance to get the best deals.  Just been to Windsor with the family ( I Booked 2 family rooms last October) £25 per room.

2. Take sachets of coffee and teabags with you buy in pound shops there is never enough tea and coffee in hotel rooms.

3. If you have young children buy Merlin cards in January when they are cheapest and don`t activate them until the Easter holidays. Save Tesco points to pay for one or two.

4. Collect vouchers from newspapers for cheap holidays or try freecycle for a tent.

5. Make use of all the websites that give advice on car insurance/credit cards/ codes for free delivery/ discounts etc.

6. Use a cashback sites like quidco

7. Don`t buy packet cereal use porridge oats with a banana instead. Healthy and cheap.

8. Keep a flask by the kettle and pour any spare hot water into it for your next coffee.

9. Pour a packet of salt down your loo and leave overnight if its beginning to clog with toilet paper.

10. Get to know how to dye clothes it saves a lot and can be used to revamp faded black jeans.

11. Grow your plants from seeds don`t buy them from garden centres.

12. Know whats in your freezer and store cupboards so you are not re buying the same things.

13. Use the market for fruit and veg and discount shops for as much as possible. Approved foods is worth checking out too.

14.  Get to know your local allotment group they will often sell some of there gluts very cheaply.

15. Yellow stickers are your friend especially on basics like bread and milk. Shop between 7 and 9pm when possible.

16. Car boot sales are good for children's toys and toiletries.

17. Get crafty and make your own cards and gifts I am not very good at this so I am learning with some library books. So join the library and learn a new skill.

18. My GP surgery has free weigh-in every week and diet sheets. Saves a slimming club cost and does the same job.

19.  Walking boots are much cheaper than a gym membership and a pair of trainers are fine to.

20. Make cakes and biscuits don`t pay the high prices in the shops. A tray bake is easy to do and for a sponge cake use the basic sponge mix. 24p in some supermarkets.

21. A plant spray plastic bottle filled with diluted bleach cleans most things so you don`t need expensive cleaners.

22. Volunteer for the National Trust and you get reduced fees when visiting their properties. If you go on a weeks  working holiday, which are great fun and fantastic value, you get a free years membership. 

23. Mix value cheese spread with value salmon shavings for a taste of luxury on your sandwiches for pennies.

24. An old sock on your hand makes a great duster.

25. Buy memory foam inner soles for all you shoes and boots ( in 99p shops) they make your shoes much warmer in winter.

26. Learn how to make soda bread it is cheap and quick to make.  No yeast is required so it can go straight in the oven and it tastes good.

27. Use sites like,, quidco, and Hotdealsuk always!

28. Try entering free competitions you just might get lucky. I went to the BAFTAS  recently which was amazing. Won through entering a free competition with a daily newspaper.

29. Print off vouchers from sites like when going to resturants. There are often 241 vouchers to print off.

30. Follow blogs like `Life After Money ` for extreme moneysaving tips.