Newest Review: ... next to the wheel was not a lot cheaper. Compare this with £18 for a standard ride on the London Eye and this is a steal. For those that... more
Like the London Eye, but smaller and in Windsor.
Royal Windsor Wheel (Berkshire)
Member Name: azana
Royal Windsor Wheel (Berkshire)
Date: 15/08/11, updated on 25/08/11 (98 review reads)
Advantages: something a little bit different
Disadvantages: not all year round
Alexandra gardens is situated by the River Thames, right next to the coach park and a short stroll down the hill from the castle. Tickets can be pre-booked - and you can check prices and reserve tickets before your visit at a slight discount at http://www.mellorsgroup.com/Windsor-Wheel/index.ht ml. We didn't reserve but pitched up on a Saturday in August and bought a family ticket for 4 for £18. This meant we had a gondola to ourselves for the duration of our "flight".
Getting on the wheel is quick and easy, we had no wait at all either on this visit or a previous visit two years ago now. Having politely declined having our photo taken at the foot of the wheel, five gondolas were loaded at once and, after a very small wait we were off! The flight lasts 12 minutes and, by my calculations that included 5 complete rotations of the wheel and loading and disembarking. The wheel turns at just the right speed to allow you to have a good look around and enjoy either the accompaniment of the local radio or a commentary about Windsor. We opted for silence after having tried out both and settled back to enjoy the view.
On the day we went the sky was pretty well cloud free and it was sunny, you could see London in the distance and had a very good view of Windsor castle and, less impressively the coach park. The castle looks amazing from above, at street level it's easy not to realise the scale of the castle, from the top of the wheel you can see quite how far the turrets extend and how many buildings are contained within its walls, it's all very impressive. There's a good view of the river and Eton on the opposite bank. Riding in the wheel feels very secure but there are slight gaps in the doors and you probably wouldn't want to move off the benches, of which there are two, and move around too much. The gondolas seemed to be kept clean with smear free glass. A ride in the wheel is enjoyable for both adults and children alike in my opinion and I actually thought the family ticket was quite good value.
At the wheel there is a small cafe and also a stand selling photo souvenirs. I am not sure how good access is for those in wheelchairs and there is nothing on the online site to indicate whether they can accomodate those with special needs.
As far as we are concerned the Wheel is an attraction that we enjoy visiting and we will no doubt visit again. It's no doubt it is best enjoyed on a clear day. If you are visiting the area in Summer I would recommend a trip on the Wheel, it's fun, interesting and just a good way of seeing Windsor in a slightly different way!
Under 3's are free and group discounts also apply - 10% discount for online booking
VIP gondola also available - this appeared to be a gondola identical to the others with blacked out glass
Open daily 10am - 8pm
Summary: good way of seeing windsor differently
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