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Windsor Castle

Castle / Fort

Add Windsor Castle to your Itinerary

Windsor Castle.  Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014.

Address/Location

Windsor
Berkshire
SL4 1NJ

Contact

Tel: +44 020 7766 7304

Fax: +44 020 7930 9625

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen.  Its rich history spans almost 1000 years.

The Castle covers an area of about 5 hectares (13 acres) and contains

• Magnificent State Apartments furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection
• St George's Chapel (one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in England and the burial place of 10 monarchs)
• Queen Mary's Dolls House, a masterpiece in miniature
• The Drawings Gallery featuring an exhibition (see below for current display).

During the winter months an additional five rooms, known collectively as the Semi-State Rooms, are included in the visitor route. Standard admission charges apply. The Semi-State Rooms will reopen to the public on Saturday 27 September 2014.

Christmas at Windsor 1 December 2014 – 6 January 2015
Monarchs have celebrated Christmas at Windsor for over 900 years. Continuing this tradition, from the end of November, the Castle will be decorated with a magical display of traditional wreaths and garlands for the festive period. The table in the State Dining Room will be set for a seasonal feast with glittering silver-gilt from the Grand Service. Commissioned by George IV, the service is still used by The Queen and her guests at State Banquets today. The highlight of the display is a centrepiece designed by Prince Albert and decorated with sculptures of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's favourite pets – Eos, the Prince's devoted greyhound, the dachshund Waldmann, and the Highland terriers Cairnach and Islay. In the Castle's Crimson Drawing Room, a richly decorated tree will be set against the spectacular gilded interiors of George IV's private apartments, while a six-metre Christmas tree from Windsor Great Park will dominate St George's Hall.

The Drawings Gallery
The Drawings Gallery displays changing exhibitions of material from the Royal Collection.

Treasures from the Royal Archives
(17 May 2014 – January 2015)
Marking the centenary of the establishment of a permanent home for the Royal Archives in the Round Tower at Windsor Castle, 25 items from the private archive of the Royal Family will be going on display, many for the first time. Offering a fascinating insight in to the lives of monarchs and their families, the exhibition will include diaries and correspondence sent between members of the royal family such as a love letter sent from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria during their engagement as well as account books for works at Windsor Castle as well as items from the current reign such as the 100th birthday card that was sent from The Queen to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

Waterloo at Windsor: 1815 – 2015
Windsor Castle 31 January 2015 – January 2016

2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the defeat of Napoleon. In celebration of the allied victory, George IV created the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle, a grand space filled with portraits of those instrumental in the victory, among them the Duke of Wellington. Throughout 2015, Waterloo at Windsor: 1815 – 2015 will combine a themed trail through the State Apartments with a display of prints, drawings and archival material that explores the battle and its aftermath. The trail will highlight objects seized on the battlefield by the victors, including silver, furniture, weapons and the beautiful red cloak belonging to Napoleon, presented to George IV by Wellington's ally, Field-Marshal Gebhardt von Blücher.

What's on
Look at our What's on Brochure to find out more about Adult Study Days and Lectures at Windsor Castle

Family Saturdays
Come and join us for Family Saturdays as well as school holiday events and activities. In addition to trails and a children's audio guide we now offer an exciting family programme every Saturday throughout the year, linked to the amazing history of Windsor Castle, the magnificent art works on display and the royal residents past and present who have lived here. The programme includes themed events such as storytelling and dressing up in replica historic costume and armour, and art and craft workshops where families can get creative together.

On Saturday 6, Saturday 13 and Saturday 20 December, families can join a professional storyteller by the fireside in St George’s Hall. Listen to tales of glorious feasts, the arrival of the first Christmas trees at the Castle, horse-drawn sleigh rides and much more. These sessions for families will run at 11:30, 13:30 and 14:30 and places will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. On Saturday 27 December, children can join a festive art workshop and make angel peg dolls, mini wreaths, Christmas cards and baubles to take home. All activities and materials are included in the standard admission price.
 

Changing of the Guard (weather permitting)
Please check Royal Collection website for latest information.  There is a link to the British Army website from here too with confirmation of the full schedule.

Nov 2014 - Even days (4, 6, 8, etc but never on a Sunday)
Dec 2014 - Even days (2, 4, 6, etc) but never on a Sunday

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CASTLE CLOSES 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES AFTER LAST ENTRY TIME SHOWN BELOW:
March to October 09:45-17:15 (last admission 16:00), November to February 09:45-16:15 (last admission 15:00). 

As Windsor Castle is a working royal palace, opening arrangements may change at short notice. Please check before planning a visit. Please note, worshippers are welcome to attend the Sunday services at St George's Chapel but the chapel is closed to general visitors on Sundays.

Provisional Closure Dates 2014

The Castle is closed
25-26 December 2014

The State Apartments are closed
5 December 2014

15-1131313 The Semi-State Rooms
Please note that the Semi-State Rooms are only open during the Winter months between September and March.

St George's Chapel is closed
23 December 2014 (St George's Chapel closed from 13:00)
24-26 December 2014 (Closed to visitors, but open for services)

 

Special Tours for Pre-booked Groups
These tours are available to pre-booked groups on selected dates ONLY by appointment with the Ticket Sales and Information Office at Buckingham Palace on 020 7766 7322.

From Great Kitchen to State Apartments - An introduction to the history of royal dining, past and present followed by a guided visit to the Great Kitchen and medieval Undercroft, neither of which are normally open to the public.

Private Evening Tours - In the company of an expert guide, guests will enjoy an exclusive 'behind-the-ropes' experience in the magnificent State Apartments. The tour ends with a glass of Champagne.

Queen Mary's Dolls House and the State Apartments - the tour offers a fascinating talk and a private viewing of Queen Mary's Dolls House, the most famous dolls' house in the world.  The visit begins by exploring the State Apartments at leisure with an audio tour.  The guided tour then starts in the Winchester Tower with refreshments and an introduction to the history of the Dolls' House and its delightfully detailed contents.  The tour then concludes with a private viewing of the Dolls' House after visitors have left for the day.

Exhibition Talk - The tour begins in the Castle's Winchester Tower with refreshments and an introduction to the special exhibition in the Drawings Gallery. The exhibition marks the centenary of the Royal Archives being housed in the Round Tower at Windsor Castle and includes some of the greatest treasures from the private archive of the Royal Family.  Exhibits include a love-letter written by Prince Albert to Queen Victoria during their engagement, the title deeds to Buckingham Palace and a letter penned by a seven-year-old Bonnie Prince Charlie to his father.

The Military Knights' Tale - This brand new group tour offers a personal insight into the ancient and noble institution of the Military Knights of Windsor presented by a serving Military Knight.

Opening Times

Open New Year
Open (01/11/2014 - 28/02/2015)
DayTimes
Monday09:4516:15
Tuesday09:4516:15
Wednesday09:4516:15
Thursday09:4516:15
Friday09:4516:15
Saturday09:4516:15
Sunday09:4516:15
Open (01/03/2015 - 31/10/2015)
DayTimes
Monday09:4517:15
Tuesday09:4517:15
Wednesday09:4517:15
Thursday09:4517:15
Friday09:4517:15
Saturday09:4517:15
Sunday09:4517:15

* Last admission 75 minutes before closing.

Awards

  • Tourism South East Award -Tourism South East Member Tourism South East Member 2014

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