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 be open to the public until Sunday 30 March 2014.
THE DRAWINGS GALLERY EXHIBITION
“Royal Paintbox: Royal Artists Past and Present”
22 June 2013 – 24 January 2014
For generations, Britain’s kings, queens and their families have been inspired to paint, sketch and sculpt. Accompanying the ITV programme Royal Paintbox, which will be broadcast tomorrow, an exhibition at Windsor Castle this summer charts the history of royal artists from the 17th century to the present day. It includes works by George III and his children, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and their children, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra and by Her Majesty The Queen. Also on display are a group of watercolours by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. The Prince, who is Chairman of The Royal Collection Trust, has described how his love of painting was inspired by his early years at Windsor Castle surrounded by great art – so it is fitting that the Castle’s Drawings Gallery provides the backdrop for an exhibition dedicated to his family’s work.
CHRISTMAS COMES TO WINDSOR CASTLE
This festive season Windsor Castle will be transformed inside and out, as the visitor route is decorated for Christmas. From 1 December until 12 January 2014, traditional wreaths and garlands will adorn the Castle Precincts and some of Windsor's most famous State Apartments.
Dominating St George's Hall will be a six-metre Nordman Fir Christmas tree, while in the Crimson Drawing Room a richly decorated tree will be set against the spectacular gilded interiors of George IV's private apartments.
In the Waterloo Chamber a table of glittering silver-gilt from the Grand Service will be laid for a seasonal feast. Commissioned by George IV, the service is still used by The Queen at State Banquets today. The highlight of the State Dining Room Christmas display will be a silver-gilt table centrepiece designed by Prince Albert in 1842/3. Measuring nearly 80 cm in height, it is decorated with sculptures of four of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's favourite pets – Eos, the Prince's devoted greyhound, the dachshund Waldman, and the Highland terriers Cairnach and Islay.
On Saturdays, 7, 14 and 21 December and Sunday, 22 December, families are invited to join a storyteller in St George's Hall for a glimpse into royal Christmases past and to hear tales of glorious feasts and horse-drawn sleigh rides in the Castle grounds.
Visitors can also book an Exclusive Evening Tour of the Castle on selected days in December. Offering a special behind-the-ropes experience after the public have left for the day, the tour explores the history of the Castle and the works of art from the Royal Collection on display throughout the State Apartments. Tours are available on 10, 14, 20, 21 and 28 December and include a glass of champagne, a copy of the Official Souvenir Guide and 20% discount in the shop.
The Christmas displays are part of a visit to Windsor Castle from 1 December until 12 January 2014. The Castle is open daily, except 25 and 26 December.
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.
November 2013: takes place at 11am, weather permitting, on odd numbered days (1, 5, 7, etc) except Sundays.
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 2013
22 November 2013: State Apartments closed.
23 December 2013: St George's Chapel closes at 13:00
24 December 2013: St George's Chapel closed to visitors but open for services
25-26 December 2013: CASTLE CLOSED (St George's Chapel open to worshippers).
SPECIAL TOURS FOR PRE-BOOKED GROUPS:
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.
This tour is 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.
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.
This tour is available to PRE-BOOKED groups on selected dates ONLY by appointment with the Ticket and Information Office at Buckingham Palace on 020 7766 7322.
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.
This tour is 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.
|Open New Year|
|Open (01/11/2013 - 28/02/2014)|
|Open (01/03/2014 - 31/10/2014)|
* Last admission 75 minutes before closing.
- Tourism South East Award - Tourism South East Member 2013