Frogmore House, the royal residence next to Windsor Castle, is only open (apart from group visits) for one weekend in the year. I visited on the Saturday, having prebooked my ticket, although in the end I hadn’t really needed to as although there were plenty of people in the house, it certainly wasn’t crowded.
I hadn’t realised what a long walk it would be from Windsor to the house – more than once I found myself looking longingly at the little buggy transporting people with more reason to avoid walking than I. Still, it was a nice day, if a little too hot for me, and the gardens were beautiful, well worth a wander through. On the way I passed a small chapel as well as the mausoleum in which Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert are buried. Unfortunately it is not possible to visit the mausoleum, as it is in need of repair and currently deemed unsafe for visitors.
The house itself had a homely feel (as far as a stately home like this can be called “homely”), and I was impressed with the various collections of knick-knacks on display. One room was entirely given over to black lacquer boxes, another contained relics from the Royal Yacht, Britannia. The house was originally built in the late seventeenth century, and was bought by George III a century later for the use of his wife Queen Charlotte. Other notable residents include the Duchess of Kent (mother of Queen Victoria) and the future King George V and Queen Mary, the latter of whom turned the house into a kind of museum.
Frogmore House is definitely worth a visit, if you can get there when it is open. Several people were picknicking in the grounds and looked as if they were having a lovely time. It would be possible to visit both Windsor Castle and Frogmore House on the same day, if you were organised and started early!