I’ve just got back from another trip to London Heathrow, and decided it was time to explore a part of the UK I’ve not visited before. Since our crew hotel is just by Heathrow Airport, it’s only around a 20 minute drive to Windsor, so myself and 2 other crew, Ananda from Brazil & Alex from Italy, got in an Uber and made our way there.
Unfortunately Windsor Castle was closed for visitors by the time we arrived, as last entry is at 4pm, so if I get an earlier flight to London I’ll try and go back so I can visit the inside as well. I hadn’t actually done much research about what to see or do in Windsor other than the castle, so we pretty much decided to just stroll wherever we fancied!
Windsor Castle is actually a royal residence and functioning royal home, and is owned by the Queen – she also uses it as a weekend home as well as for state banquets and official entertaining. The original castle was built in the 11th century and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe.
I was sad that we didn’t get the chance to go inside, but nevertheless it’s still very impressive from the outside!
For this trip, Pixter very kindly sent me over a selection of smartphone camera lenses to try out, the Pixter Starter Pack, including the Wide Angle Lens, the Fisheye Lens, and the Ultra Macro Lens. I hadn’t had a chance to test them before this trip, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to see how they work!
The first lens I tried was the wide angle – and you can see from the pictures above and below just how much more you can fit into the picture purely from clipping these little lenses onto your phone!
We walked around the outskirts of the castle, enjoying the fact we could walk around in the sunshine – unlike Dubai where the current average temperature is at least 40 degrees!
It was fairly busy in Windsor, being a Saturday afternoon, but nobody was in a rush to get anywhere and there was a lovely atmosphere. We continued our stroll towards the centre of town for a look around, not before I got the chance to try out the fisheye lens to snap this quick picture of Queen Victoria!
The streets were all lined with pretty flowers and it made me miss living in England…I’m sure as soon as I come back in winter I’ll be glad I live in Dubai!
We passed by the Windsor Royal Shopping Centre, which is housed in a glass covered Victorian station.
Above – no lens.
Below – Pixter Wide Angle lens.
After having a browse through the shopping centre, our stomachs were starting to rumble, so we chose a restaurant called The Cattle Grid, which most certainly did not disappoint! All 3 of us chose the rack of pork ribs, which were just incredible, especially as ribs are something I’d never normally go for!
After our early dinner, I tested out the Macro Lens to get some close up shots of the flowers by the restaurant.
Lavender plant just shot on my iPhone, compared to the lavender up close with the Macro lens – I’m amazed!
Next to the restaurant there was also a bull statue made out of all sorts of nuts, bolts and chains, and I wanted to compare the pictures with and without the Wide Angle lens; you can definitely see so much more just by clipping the little lens onto your phone. I also tested out the Macro lens on the chains and although it was slightly trickier to get it to focus, I think it’s pretty cool!
After our delicious dinner the three of us continued walking through Windsor and on towards the River Thames. Not before stopping for an ice cream and to admire some pretty flowers of course!
To get to the river we passed by the castle again and admired it from a different angle.
Down by the river, we saw a huge flock of swans, and lots of children feeding them bread.
You can actually take boat trips along the river, but sadly we missed out on that as it was getting late. That will have to go on the list for next time as well!
Across the other side of the river is Windsor’s twin town, Eton – they are separated by the River Thames and joined by the Windsor Bridge. The most famous place in Eton is of course Eton College, so we headed in that direction.
The town is lined with Union Jacks, and I felt very patriotic! Just as we arrived at one of the prettiest buildings, there was a sudden unexpected downpour! Luckily it only lasted a few minutes, and we managed to dash under an archway to get out of the rain. Typically, I’d left my umbrella behind thinking that I wouldn’t need it!
The current annual school fees for Eton College are £37,000….a bargain!
For these two pictures above, I was standing in the exact same spot, but the second one is taken using the Wide Angle lens. I’m so impressed at how much more you can fit in the picture!
As with the castle, the college was also closed to visitors, but we got chatting to the security officer on duty and he let us in to have a quick look around the courtyard. Can you imagine this being your school?!
Slowly we started to make our way back, as it was beginning to get dark.
We crossed back over the bridge and wandered through town, before finally ordering another uber to take us back to our hotel.
A huge thanks to Pixter for sending me these awesome lenses to test out. The Wide Angle Lens is great for taking landscape shots, as you can fit so much more into the frame. One thing I should mention, is that a few of my pictures using the wide angle lens have a very slight border around the edge, they normally wouldn’t if you attach the lens directly onto the phone but since I dropped my iPhone and smashed the screen not too long ago I have a protective case which I don’t like to remove, so just a heads-up if you’re using a phone case!
The Fisheye adds a super fun element to your pictures, especially as it’s something I’ve seen before but never managed to try out myself.
The Ultra Macro is awesome, you can get such close up shots that you’d never normally be able to on a smartphone. I also loved that all of the lenses come in a little drawstring pouch with a cleaning wipe, and each have an individual cover. I’ll definitely be taking them along on my future layovers!