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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

No trip to Windsor could possibly be complete without a visit to amazing Windsor Castle, the family home to British kings and queens for over 1,000 years.

The size of the Castle (5 hectares/13 acres) is breath taking, in fact it is the largest and oldest occupied Castle in the world and it’s where Her Majesty The Queen chooses to spend most of her private weekends..

You might even time your visit when she is in residence! Look at the flag flying from the Castle’s Round Tower; if it’s the Royal Standard The Queen will be there too.

Windsor Castle offers something for everyone, and with so many areas to explore please allow at least 2.5 to 3 hours to see it all.

 

WHAT TO SEE AND DO (all included in your ticket price):

Visit the magnificent State Apartments furnished with some of the finest works of art from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto.

Take in the splendour of St George's Chapel, the burial place of 10 monarchs including Henry VIII and Charles I, and one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. 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.

Be amazed at Queen Mary's Dolls’ House, the largest, most beautiful and most famous dolls’ house in the world, created in the 1920s and filled with thousands of objects made by leading craftsmen, artists and designers of the time.

Join a free Precinct Tour with one of the Castle’s wardens when you first arrive and get the most out of your visit to Windsor Castle.

Imagine being entertained by royalty in the Semi-State Rooms, the spectacular private apartments open to visitors in the winter months. Richly decorated, they are used by The Queen for hosting her guests. The additional five rooms that make up the Semi-State Rooms are open to the public until 26 March 2017.

Learn more in the Drawings Gallery, displaying changing exhibitions of material from the Royal Collection (see below for current exhibition).

Stand to attention whilst watching the Changing of the Guard!  A colourful spectacle of British Pageantry (see below for schedule).

 

TOP TIP

With so much to see and do in Windsor Castle, visitors wishing to leave the Castle for refreshments and shopping in the town centre may obtain re-entry permits from the Castle shops or the audio return point.

 

DRAWINGS GALLERY

Shakespeare in the Royal Library, 13 February 2016 – 11 December 2016

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare in the Royal Library will show how generations of monarchs since Elizabeth I have enjoyed the work of Britain's greatest playwright, whether acquiring copies of Shakespeare's work or producing art inspired by his plays.

On display for the first time will be Shakespeare's First Folio acquired by George IV when Prince of Wales.  Published seven years after Shakespeare's death by his friends and fellow actors, John Heminges and Henry Condell, it brought his plays together in a single volume for the first time and included a number of previously unpublished works.

A manuscript dated 1607 shows views of Windsor Castle and the surrounding area as Shakespeare would have known it.  Created for Henry, Prince of Wales (eldest son of James I), The Description of the Honor of Windesor is one of only two copies and includes locations and landmarks mentioned in 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' and which still exist today.

 

FASHIONING A REIGN: 90 YEARS OF STYLE FROM THE QUEEN'S WARDROBE

This exhibition marks the 90th Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen through a display of fashionable dress, spanning the period from The Queen’s childhood in the 1930s to the present day.

Examples of the work of leading British couturiers who have been appointed as dressmakers to The Queen illustrate Her Majesty’s support for British fashion and reveal the specialist techniques of designers and milliners.  Magnificent evening gowns and elegant day ensembles worn at official events will be contrasted with fancy-dress costumes worn by the young Princess Elizabeth for wartime family pantomimes at the Castle.

The exhibition will run from 17 September until 8 January 2017. The Fashioning a Reign exhibition will not be open if the Semi-State Rooms are closed.

 

CHRISTMAS AT WINDSOR CASTLE

From 25 November, the State Apartments at Windsor Castle will be transformed to celebrate Christmas with festive decorations and glittering Christmas trees.

Windsor Castle will be decorated with a vintage theme, taking inspiration from the Christmases spent at the Castle by Her Majesty during her childhood.  The striking 20ft Nordmann Fir tree will be the centrepiece of the display, decked with lights, tinsel and colourful decorations.

 

CHANGING THE GUARD

The privilege of guarding the Sovereign has been carried out since 1660. Weather permitting, the ceremony begins at 11am and lasts approximately 30 minutes.

Please check the Royal Collection Trust website for latest information.  There is a link to the British Army website from here too with confirmation of the full schedule.

December 2016: weather permitting even days in December excluding Sundays up to the 24 December then on the 27, 29 and 31 December.

 

FAMILY ACTIVITIES AT WINDSOR CASTLE

• Free family multimedia tour (for children aged 7-11)
• Free family Activity Trail
• Family Saturdays and school holiday events and activities.

Windsor Castle offers an exciting family programme every Saturday throughout the year, linked to the amazing history of the Castle, the magnificent art on display and the royal residents past and present who have lived here.

The programme includes storytelling and dressing up in replica historic costume and armour, and art and craft workshops where families can get creative together.

Families visiting on Saturdays in December can join a professional storyteller by the fireside in St George's Hall for a glimpse into Christmas past, with tales of glorious feasts and horse-drawn sleigh rides.

School choirs - on selected days in early December, school choirs from the local community will sing around the Christmas tree in St George's Hall.

Festive Weekend - From carol singing, drop-in workshops for decoration making, Christmas shopping, to a pop-up pantomime, there is so much to see and do for all ages throughout the State Apartments and St George's Chapel on the 10 and 11 December.

For more details and a full list of family activities visit https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/whatson/windsorcastle?type=2187

 

 

ADULT LEARNING

There is more to Windsor Castle than just a visit! Find out more about Royal Collection Trust's Adult Study Days and Lectures. http://view.digipage.net/00000959/00020677/00093726/
 

OPENING ARRANGEMENTS

Windsor Castle is a working royal palace so opening arrangements may change at short notice.

To avoid the disappointment of finding part or all of Windsor Castle closed, please check before planning a visit by checking the Provisional Closure Dates below, by visiting http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/windsorcastle/plan-your-visit or by telephoning the Ticket Sales and Information Office on +44 (0)20 7766 7304.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CASTLE CLOSES 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES AFTER LAST ENTRY TIME SHOWN BELOW:

March to October 09:30-17:15 (last admission 16:00), November to February 09:45-16:15 (last admission 15:00).

 

PROVISIONAL CLOSURE DATES 2016

DECEMBER 2016

2 State Apartments closed

5 Semi-State Rooms closed

12 Semi-State Rooms closed

23 St George’s Chapel closes at 13:00

24 St George’s Chapel closes at 13:00

25-26 CASTLE CLOSED (St George’s Chapel open for services)

 

SPECIAL TOURS FOR PRE-BOOKED GROUPS

Download the Group Visits and Private Tours 2016 Brochure.

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.

Exhibition Talk - the tour begins in the Castle's Winchester Tower with refreshments and an introduction to the special exhibition in the Castle's Drawings Gallery.

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.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.

Opening Times

Open New Year
Open (1 Nov 2016 - 28 Feb 2017)
DayTimes
Monday09:4516:15*
Tuesday09:4516:15*
Wednesday09:4516:15*
Thursday09:4516:15*
Friday09:4516:15*
Saturday09:4516:15*
Sunday09:4516:15*
Open (1 Mar 2017 - 31 Oct 2017)
DayTimes
Monday09:3017:15*
Tuesday09:3017:15*
Wednesday09:3017:15*
Thursday09:3017:15*
Friday09:3017:15*
Saturday09:3017:15*
Sunday09:3017:15*

* Last admission 75 minutes before closing.

Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change
TripAdvisor
  • Certificate of Excellence 2016

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
    5574
  • Very Good
    1803
  • Average
    298
  • Poor
    72
  • Terrible
    37

Recent Reviews:

  • froggie93
    fl
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    Windsor Castle is a must see
    5 of 5 stars
    Friday, 2nd December 2016
    We visited Windsor Castle, it's a beautiful town with lots of shopping and restaurants We went to see Castle our ticket was included in our London Pass as well as the train trip from London... Read full review
  • Stephen C
    Fort Mill, South Carolina
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Great day trip from London
    5 of 5 stars
    Friday, 2nd December 2016
    We took the train from London on a day trip. We arrived near lunch time and lunch in the village. We then purchased tickets after a short queue and we were on our way. The audio guide is very useful... Read full review
  • BonzoD
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Steeped in tradition
    4 of 5 stars
    Friday, 2nd December 2016
    There's nothing I can say about Windsor Castle than hasn't already been said by countless visitors over the decades (or centuries!). It's truely a magnificent place. One word of warning though; when... Read full review

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