The Long Walk at Windsor Great Park (Plus Dashing Eton Boys!)

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Yesterday, while cycling through Windsor and Eton (including Dorney Lake, where the Eton boys row), I came upon one of the most evocative, beautiful foggy views in all of England - The Long Walk at Windsor Great Park, a 2.62 mile long path from Snow Hill to the gates of the castle.

Windsor and Eton is such an easy day trip from London, and a very cute town - exactly what you think an English town will look like. The castle looms over it all, as Queen Elizabeth II's favorite weekend escape.They are the House of Windsor, after all.

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Windsor CastleWindsor CastleAnd if you want to stay overnight somewhere? I LOVE Coworth Park, which I visited a couple years ago, just 15 minutes from Windsor.

Windsor Great Park is an absolutely stunning place to cycle or walk. I am cycling on an itinerary created by The Carter Company, a truly awesome family-owned English company, and they have completely amazed me with their insider-y cycling routes.

Plus, because I used to seriously have a crush on Prince William when he had hair (THAT YM cover here...), it was thrilling to see Eton College and some of those dashing boys wearing the famous tails. They looked SO YOUNG and too cute.

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Eton boys in their tailsEton College EntranceThe town of Windsor

Coworth Park, Ascot, England

On my way to Hampshire, I stopped in Ascot to see Coworth Park, the still-new British hotel and spa for lovers of polo and horseback riding (including Kate and William, who came to Ascot last in May). It's also just 15 minutes from Windsor Castle and Eton College. Surprisingly, it's also only 20 minutes from Heathrow Airport, where I picked up my rental car. That first car ride was terrifying as I navigated my way through roundabouts, the left side of the road, insane drivers, and a manual car but I made it to beautiful Coworth Park. Doesn't the name make you think there should be some fabulous British drama set here about rich polo players, their love lives, and clashes with other players?

English countryside at Coworth Park

Common area in the Mansion HouseThere is quite a bit of history at Coworth Park, owned by a number of regal families, but it didn't open as part of the Dorchester Collection until 2010. You can stay in the Mansion House, which is closer to the restaurant and lobby scene, or the renovated stables, which are great for families. Restaurant Coworth Park in the main building is sophisticated and delicious, but I loved dining at The Barn at Coworth Park best, a short walk away and in the original barn frame with a great stone fireplace and views out to the English countryside. The spa is housed in a separate, totally contemporary and airy white building, with 100% organic treatments, a nice gym, and a bar area to enjoy a healthy snack or glass of champagne.

The Barn at Coworth ParkRustic table setting & stone fireplace at The Barn

Hallway in the Mansion HouseCoworth Park Mansion House roomCoworth Park is all about idle pleasuresStable rooms at Coworth ParkActual stables! What's more English than this? Nice gym I'll sit and stay awhileLoved how this teapot was being used!I can't wait to go back when the flowers are blooming at Coworth Park and the entire exterior changes. It's a beautiful addition to the landscape of English country hotels and so close to London!

Before the flowers are in bloom!