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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 reopen 17 September 2016.

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).

The East End of the North Terrace will be open to the public on 25 July until 25 September - visitors will get a great view of the East Terrace Garden.

 

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.

 

CONQUER THE TOWER

This add-on tour takes visitors to the height of 65.5m above the River Thames to enjoy breathtaking views of the Castle and Windsor Great Park, the Thames Valley and the London skyline.  See www.royalcollection.org.uk for more information.

 

THE GREAT KITCHEN

This add-on tour of the Great Kitchen offers a fascinating insight into the behind-the-scenes life of the Castle.  See www.royalcollection.org.uk for more information.

 

THE MOAT GARDEN

The Moat Garden will be open each Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday during August, with all proceeds donated to charity.  Normal Castle opening times apply.
 

DRAWINGS GALLERY

Shakespeare in the Royal Library, 13 February 2016 – January 2017

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.

 

LIVE SHAKESPEARE PERFORMANCES

This August, the work of William Shakespeare is celebrated with special evening performances of his plays at Windsor Castle, including a special outdoor family performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Moat Garden. See www.royalcollection.org.uk for more information.

 

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.

July 2016: daily in July, excluding Sundays. Weather permitting.
August 2016: even days in August (2, 4, 6, etc), excluding Sundays.  Weather permitting.

 

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.

Family Activities will be taking place until 21 August (11:00 to 16:00).  The theme this year is Fair Ladies and Noble Knights - follow a special themed activity trail and take part in an art workshop.  On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, until 18 August, there will be armour handling talks in the State Entrance.  Daily summer holiday activities end on 21 August, however on 27 August art and craft activities will be taking place in the Moat Room. 

Family Saturdays–Celebrate The Queen's 90th Birthday in addition to trails and a children's audio guide, an exciting family programme is also offered every Saturday throughout the year linked to the history of Windsor Castle, art works on display and royal residents past and present.  In June the Learning Team will be celebrating the unique occasion of The Queen's 90th birthday.

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

 

SUMMER PERFORMANCES ON THE BANDSTAND IN THE JUBILEE GARDEN

What could be nicer than the sound of a band playing on a summer's afternoon?

Enjoy the following bands, performing on the bandstand in the Jubilee Garden, whilst you visit Windsor Castle:

Afternoons of 23 and 24 July: The Herfordshire Concert Band
Afternoon of 7 August: The Abingdon Town Band
Afternoon of 28 August: The Marlow Town Band

 

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

OCTOBER 2016

7 State Apartments closed

12 St George's Chapel closes at 12:30

DECEMBER 2016

2 State Apartments closed

23 St George’s Chapel closes at 13:00

24 St George’s Chapel closed to visitors but open for services

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 Mar 2016 - 31 Oct 2016)
DayTimes
Monday09:3017:15*
Tuesday09:3017:15*
Wednesday09:3017:15*
Thursday09:3017:15*
Friday09:3017:15*
Saturday09:3017:15*
Sunday09:3017:15*
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*

* Last admission 75 minutes before closing.

Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor
  • Certificate of Excellence 2016

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
    4900
  • Very Good
    1572
  • Average
    261
  • Poor
    65
  • Terrible
    31

Recent Reviews:

  • natalie130201
    Melbourne, Australia
    Trip Type:
    Family
    A must see
    5 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 26th July 2016
    Absolutely amazing would highly recommend to anyone thinking of going to England! Went in September 2015 and spent a day looking around the castle but could honestly spend longer looking at not only... Read full review
  • Catererz
    Trip Type:
    Family
    Fun Day
    4 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 26th July 2016
    People may think a castle is boring but this is a great little day trip - to go and see the castle and to see changing of the guard - lots of fun! plus everything is in walking distance so it is easy... Read full review
  • F463SCdanielo
    Bratislava, Slovakia
    Great experience
    5 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 26th July 2016
    We were visiting our friends in Windsor and this one is a must! Very nice complex, wonderful architecture and excellent interiors. Liked the Queen's Doll House and collections of weapons and armors. Read full review

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