As thoughts turn to Christmas shopping and magical lights switch-ons, people are encouraged to support local traders and make the most of free parking incentives in Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton town centres.
The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead is announcing free all-day parking in Maidenhead on Saturdays and Sundays from 27 November to 26 December, including Christmas Day itself, plus bank holidays on 27 and 28 December and New Year’s Day. This applies to council-run car parks at Nicholson’s, Magnet, Grove Road, West Street and Hines Meadow/Stafferton Way.
This festive incentive will be welcomed by families attending Maidenhead’s Christmas lights switch-on, taking place on Saturday, 27 November at the Town Hall. The event begins with live music and entertainment on stage from 4.40pm, with a spectacular lights switch-on and fireworks display taking place at 6pm Note: Due to the forecast weather, the fireworks display has been cancelled, but our spectacular lights switch-on will still take place at 6pm and all the other festive fun will still go ahead.
This year, the lights will be turned on by decorated local Team GB Olympians, Moe Sbihi MBE and Jack Beaumont, Paralympian Jeanette Chippington MBE, and the winner of Norden Farm’s Kipper’s Snowy Day Competition.
There will also be a funfair on St Ives Road from lunchtime, plus a bustling Festive Market in the High Street, trading between 9.30am and 7pm, offering local crafts, gifts, hot food, mulled wine and treats.
In Windsor and Eton, residents and visitors will be able to park free-of-charge from 4pm for the Christmas lights switch-on events, taking place in Windsor on Saturday 20 November and Eton on Thursday 18 November. This applies to car parks at Alma Road, Alexandra, King Edward VII, Romney Lock/Home Park, Victoria Street, and Eton Court/Meadow Lane.
With the majestic Windsor Castle as the backdrop, there will be a programme of live entertainment in Windsor from 3pm on 20 November, with carol-singing and community stalls all culminating in the switching on of the Christmas lights at 5.30pm with the cast from Theatre Royal Windsor’s panto Jack and the Beanstalk. There will be road closures on Castle Hill, Thames Street and High Street starting at midday.
Eton’s switch-on event will start in and around Jubilee Square from 5pm on 18 November, with food stalls, funfair rides, music, dancing and all the fun of Christmas. At 6.30pm, watch a magical Christmas procession with Father Christmas, followed by the Christmas lights switch-on in Jubilee Square at 7pm with Olympic rower and broadcaster Sir Matthew Pinsent.
There will also be free parking in those same council-run car parks in Windsor and Eton from 4pm for the late-night shopping evenings on 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21 and 23 December, and on Christmas Day itself.
Councillor Andrew Johnson, council leader and cabinet member for business, said: “We know that Christmas is a crucial time for our town centres and traders. It remains a challenging time for businesses, and we're doing everything we can to back our local retailers and support a safe, local and fun Christmas shopping experience.
“These magical switch-on events, the late-night shopping evenings, and the addition of free parking incentives in town centre car parks, will provide a much-needed boost for retailers and shoppers alike during this peak trading period.
“We have so many great local businesses, including independent stores, where you can pick up unique gifts for family and friends. So make sure you take the opportunity to enjoy the festive cheer of the magical lights switch-ons and support your local businesses.”
For more information about festive events in the Royal Borough, visit www.windsor.gov.uk/ideas-and-inspiration/christmas
A road closure will be in place on Queen Street from its junction with Broadway, High Street, St Ives Road and the Colonnade from 7am until 9pm on 27 November and on-street parking will be suspended from midnight on the 26 November.
There will be road closures on Castle Hill, Thames Street, High Street and Sheet Street - from its junction with High Street to the junction with Victoria Street - starting at midday on 20 November and scheduled to lift at 6.30pm.
Road closures are due to take place at the following locations:
- B3022 High Street - from its junction with Keate’s Lane southwards to its junction with Eton Court. Between 5.45pm and 8.30pm on Thursday 18 November
- B3022 High Street - from its junction with Eton Court southwards to its junction with Brocas Street. Between 5pm and 8.30pm on Thursday 18 November
- Eton Court - from its junction with the B3022 High Street westwards to the entrance of Meadow Lane Car Park. Between 5pm and 8.30pm on Thursday 18 November.
There will also be parking suspensions in High Street, from Eton Court to the Windsor & Eton Bridge to facilitate the event from midday to 9pm, and from Keate’s Lane to Eton Court between 2pm to 8:30pm. There will be a parking suspension in Meadow Lane between 4pm and 8:30pm.