Bricks exterior of Eton College
Live like a local

A Neighbourhood Guide to Eton

June 17, 2021

Eton is world famous for its boarding school for boys which has educated the political and establishment elite, including Prime Ministers ranging from Robert Walpole to Boris Johnson, but it is also a flourishing riverside town located to the west of London in Berkshire. In addition to the marvellous brick and stone buildings of the 680-year-old college, a whole supporting ecosystem has built up around it to service both the boys, their families and the visitors who come for the Eton experience.

Eating in Eton

Right on Eton High Street and close to the River Thames, is Gilbey’s Bar and Restaurant, which used to be a butcher’s shop, and one of the first wine bars outside London. The brasserie style menu makes it the perfect place to tuck into a tasty plate of fish and chips or a goat’s cheese and apple salad, while watching Etonians catch up with visiting parents. If, however, you simply want to celebrate the great British tradition of afternoon tea, there’s the Clarence Brasserie & Tea Room in neighbouring Windsor, just across the bridge, which serves fluffy scones and sandwiches.

Sunny terrasse in front of the brasserie and tea room Clarence
Photograph of the stone facade of the famous Eton College in Great Britain

Eton College

Eton College was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI, who invited 70 underprivileged boys, called ‘King’s Scholars’, to be educated free of charge. Now home to around 1,300 students, who live in boarding houses dotted around the town and dress in stiff collars and tailcoats. Take time to wander through the streets, where little has changed for centuries, an observe some of the many traditions from the Wall Game, where nobody has scored a goal in decades, to the students passing by the statue of Henry V! to his right so they keep their sword arm free to protect him in an emergency.

Shopping in Eton

Tastes Delicatessen on the High Street has a fine range of cold meats, cheeses, olives, preserves, pickles and chocolates, alongside plenty of gifts, including honey from hives in Windsor, Iver and Wargrave, locally grown cereals and flour, chocolates handmade in Walton-on-Thames, and Darvilles of Windsor fine teas. Tom Brown Tailors is the place to go for a masterfully crafted outfit. Established in 1784, it originally provided uniforms for Eton College students but now works with a wider clientele and uses local fabrics to support the national textile and haberdashery industries.

Photograph of Eton city Center, UK
Photograph of antiques at the Eton Museum of Antiquities, Great Britain

Eton art and antiques

Trading from an 18th-century townhouse on Eton high street, Eton Antiques was established in 1973 and sells contemporary furnishings as well as antique furniture. It also offers customers the services of its upholsterers, furniture restorers and curtain makers. Fine art gallery J Manley Gallery, established in 1891, is home to a variety of original oils, watercolours and historical prints, as well as highly skilled framers and art restorers. The gallery was first set up on Peascod Street, Windsor, by John Manley who earned the first royal warrant from King Edward VII.

© Museum of Antiquities

The Eton Museums

If you are keen to explore fossils from the Pre-Cambrian era onwards, including casts of dinosaurs like the Allosaurus, or the Thackeray Collection of British Birds, then head to Eton’s Natural History Museum, where you are likely to learn alongside Eton College students. Home to various curiosities, such as a two-headed kitten, a four-footed duck, and an overstuffed Platypus, this Victorian building has been on its present site since 1895. The Museum of Antiquities has a world-class collection of Egyptian faience, death masks and portraits, and the Museum of Eton Life brings to life the experience of studying and playing at Eton College across six centuries.

Photograph of the Eton City Center

Eton’s restaurants, tea houses and antique shops are just a 20-minute drive away from Coworth Park.

Featured hotel

Coworth Park

The scenic route to five-star bliss. Coworth Park offers idyllic relaxation in many guises, from a rural detox to an indulgent, romantic escape. Here you’ll find an experience to refresh every sense within our welcoming oasis of calm.

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