Time off Travel: Why Maj Is Royally Amused by Windsor Fact; Ken Bennett Takes a Trip around the Queen's Favourite Castle

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THE Queen and I were having breakfast and contemplating a saunter round the gilded grandeur of Windsor Castle.

While she was opening the Tupperware,I was feeding the inner man with bacon and scrambled eggs in the stylish dining room at Taplow House, a few miles away.

I was stoking up for a two hour tour of the castle -which seems to have more meaning when the Royal Standard is fluttering to show she's actually at home.

The Queen goes there most weekends.It's become her favourite home and you can understand why. For a start, there's the setting. From the battlements she can look over a bend in the River Thames,across the treetops to Eton College and out over farms, villages and shires of Berks and Bucks.

And I'dhave to agree with an international survey rating this Royal Borough one of the coolest places on the planet -it takes in mind blowing sights and fun all in a few miles.

Just along the Thames is Runnymede, a place for reflection.It's where theBar-ons gave King John the hard word and made him put his seal on Magna Carta, which enshrines not only our rights but was the model for the American constitution.

A tribute to President Kennedy graces the site while,on a hill above stands a memorial recording the names of 20,455Commonwealth airmen who have no grave.

Two miles from Windsor lies Legoland, where you can take in the enormity (if that's the right word)of 46.5 million Lego bricks made into 800 model buildings and 700 models including cars and bridges.

And if brick-laying isn't your bag, the fully-fledged entertainment park offers rides like the Jungle Coaster, which races along at nearly 40mphand plunges under a waterfall.

But Windsor itself is enough to fascinate anyone for a weekend. First,checkout the excellent Tourist Information Centre opposite the Castle and then, tog et your bearings,amble down to the river.

Here I witnessed the largest bevy of swans you're ever likely to see in one place. At least 60 were gathered by the bridge near French Brothers boat moorings as we boarded for a 35-minute trip upstream, past the island that houses Windsor Racecourse and gaz-ing enviously at the plush homes of stars like Natalie Imbruglia.

Then across the bridge and down to Eton College; a guided tour of the college that has been home to Princes William and Harry costs just pounds 5 -one of the better fivers you'llever spend. …