I chose The Old Farmhouse because it is close to Heathrow–a good place to unwind after a long flight or to depart without stress. I don’t like paying exorbitant airport hotel rates for rooms that are just OK at best. After three nights in this house, I’m hooked. I’ll go back any chance I get.
The Old Farmhouse is a destination in itself–peaceful flowery grounds, just three guest rooms, and a cooked-to-order breakfast that comes with a huge fresh fruit plate. No one actually lives in the house–the very professional staff arrive in the morning to bustle around making breakfast and cleaning, cheerfully answering questions and generally being friendly. They’re on call the rest of the day and night.
It’s actually a 14th and 15th century house, modernized over the centuries but keeping the historic charm that brings Anglophiles like me to England. It’s not rock-bottom cheap, but it’s about a third of the price of a comparable nice hotel in the town of Windsor–and way less than anything in London. I spend my trips to England using my National Trust pass to visit historic houses. It’s a real treat to stay in one.
My bedroom had ancient beams–complete with original wood pegs from the days when there were no nails.
The entry has a beautiful and very old fireplace, decked with flowers in spring.
There’s a pretty lounge downstairs with comfy sofas and a piano. Wifi is free and fast.
Is there anything I didn’t like? Well, I have to say that flights out of Heathrow begin at around 6:30 in the morning. But Heathrow planes fly over all of Windsor. And there are not that many flights. The Old Farmhouse must be on one of many flight paths.
When we left, it took about 25 minutes to drive to the rental car return at Heathrow–which I had saved as a location on my GPS, because finding it is confusing. Heathrow is huge, and the car rental is not only at Terminal 5, but way outside the terminal. I think a taxi ride to the Heathrow departure level for a specific terminal would be a lot faster. I understand there is also a bus.
The location makes for an easy daytrip into London. An inexpensive train ride from Windsor to Paddington Station takes about half an hour, including an easy change at Slough. Trains run every 10 minutes. We had a rental car to drive to the station, less than two miles away. But the location is so close to Heathrow and Windsor that it would also work with taxi rides, kept pretty inexpensive by following the advice of staff and calling a particular company.
Hampton Court Palace, where Henry VIII kept everybody shaking in their boots in the 1500s, is a 30-minute drive from Windsor. Henry’s Great Hall is intact, complete with some wood carvings of Anne Boleyn’s initials. Most of the marks of Anne’s time as Queen were removed along with her head, but even Henry VIII was not able to control every detail.
Join me next time for more explorations in the art and history of Europe and the British Isles!