The very regal home of the coincidentally-named Windsor family is, officially, a Money kind of a town. The station is named Royal Windsor, the cafe is Windsor Great Perk: you get the idea. Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes not so good – it seems to depend on the level of the Money.
Fortunately, in Windsor, it’s a good thing – here we have a decent number of well-stocked charity shops, and a nice day out to boot. We parked in Victoria Street – don’t be tempted by the Park and Ride if you’re just here for the charity shops: £2.90 will get you three hours of multistorey, town centre joy. What more does one need?
The bulk of shopping action in Windsor takes places on Peascod Street, which descends from the castle down to Victoria Street. Diverting from the main drag will reveal a fancy market-type affair in the old station concourse, a large shopping centre, Waitrose, a Fenwicks, another, more Are You Being Served? style department store, and various fancy lady clothes shops. Needless to say, I was not found there.
First is a small PDSA, which complements its small selection of books and cds with a few decent clothes racks and, confusingly, dog beds. Almost nextdoor is Cancer Research, a confusingly laid-out branch this. Both these shops, like so many others, have gone down the route of augmenting traditional jumble-style produce with new things, gifts, sundries and the like. Normally, I’m not a fan – Cancer Research’s selection tends to be significantly naff, while PDSA’s is a bit more functional, but again, not so cool. Still, a cheap pair of slippers and gloves from the PDSA served a very useful function on this bitter New Years’ Eve.
Next up, an excellent Oxfam. The ground floor is a big old mix of Fair Trade, mens shoes and lady dresses, etc., but downstairs is an entire floor of books – this we like. Today it was locked (cruel fate mocks me again), but I’ve been before: good stuff. The shop is housed in a low-beamed old building, one of the cutest in town.
On the other side of the road is a rangy Hospice shop, and a large Save the Children (again, closed today, but it’s provided baskets in the past), then that leaves a sizeable British Heart Foundation: this isn’t vast, but it’s got a good stock – today it yielded up a novel by Italo Calvino for me, fruit based beverage for the lady; or at least, a very pretty frock.
All in all, Windsor’s well worth visiting, and makes a good base for some pootling around this part of Berkshire – we’ll be returning to Chertsey and Egham in future, for instance.
Find: Windsor @ Google Maps
Consume with: Maud’s Ice Cream
Visit: Windsor Castle, of course
Overall rating: four chocolate fondue sets