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Windsor Castle

Type:Castle / Fort

Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 12147 reviews12147 reviews

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Windsor Castle's Round Tower (daytime) – photographer: John Freeman, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018

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About

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.

 

Windsor Castle Future Programme

Over the past few years the Royal Collection Trust has been busy transforming the experience of visiting Windsor Castle, and in 2019 visitors will begin to enjoy the first of many improvements. The medieval Undercroft will be transformed into the Castle’s first permanent café, and the ground floor of the Castle will be opened up, reinstating George IV’s entrance hall and giving visitors the chance to experience the State Entrance, where The Queen’s guests arrive.

A new introductory space will tell the story of the Castle’s 1,000 years of history, and step-free access will be introduced throughout the visitor route. In 2020, improvement works on the Admission Centre and visitor facilities are due to be completed, together with a new dedicated Learning Centre within the Castle’s precincts.

Find out more about the Royal Collection Trust's £27 million investment in the visitor experience at Windsor Castle

 

What to see and do at Windsor Castle (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, Windsor Castle, location of the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle, 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.

Join a free 30-minute Precinct Tour with one of the Castle’s wardens when you first arrive and get the most out of your visit to Windsor Castle.  Learn about the Castle's 1,000-year history as fortress, palace and official residence of The Queen.

Imagine being entertained by royalty in the Semi-State Rooms, the spectacular private apartments open to visitors during 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 will re-open on Saturday 28 September 2019.  Please note that the Semi-State Rooms are closed when the State Apartments are closed.

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

 

Top Tips for visiting Windsor Castle

  • Book your tickets in advance and avoid the queues! Visit the official Royal Collection website then print your tickets at home before you arrive.  You can bypass the tickets queues by joining the ticketholders line in the Castle’s Admissions Centre. 
  • Check if your accommodation provider is part of RBWM’s Concierge Scheme and book your Windsor Castle ticket in advance courtesy of your hotel or guest accommodation.
  • Don’t forget to convert your Royal Collection ticket into a one-year pass so you can visit again within 12 months – there’s always something new to see (don’t forget to bring some ID with you).
  • Check which flag is flying from Windsor Castle’s round tower – if it’s the Royal Standard then The Queen is in residence when you’re visiting!
  • Windsor Castle is a working palace and can close fully or partly at short notice for any reason; always check the provisional closure dates below on a regular basis.
  • Consider the winter months as a great time to visit; you’ll see the Semi-State Rooms at no extra charge and the State Apartments are beautifully decorated for Christmas.
  • Visit the newly-opened Moat Room display which features three bronze models of how the Castle looked in 1080, 1216 and 1377 – moments in time when the development of the castle expanded considerably – and showcases Windsor Castle’s 1000-year history, from simple fort to one of the greatest medieval palaces in Europe. One length of the Moat Room features a timeline illustrated with reigning kings and queens.
  • If the State Apartments are busy on the day you visit, why not explore beautiful St George’s Chapel first?  The chapel is closed to visitors on Sundays (but open to worshippers).
  • Visiting with children? You’ll find a whole range of family activities taking place each month at Windsor Castle.
  • Don’t forget to pick up a brand new multimedia guide to help you get the most out of your visit to Windsor Castle – it's available in many different languages and there’s a family tour too, led by Scorch the dragon!  The new multimedia tours mean you can choose which route you take to discover the treasures of Windsor Castle.  The Ceremonial Route will guide you through the ornate rooms that The Queen uses for official entertaining.  Opt for the Historic Route to see the suite of rooms created by Charles II, featuring many of the greatest works of art in the Royal Collection.
  • Look out for special tours throughout the year including Conquer the Tower and private evening ‘behind the ropes’ tours (the latter must be booked in advance).
  • 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.


Windsor Castle history

Windsor Castle as it appears today is the result of almost a thousand years of development but four monarchs in particular have left their mark: William the Conqueror, who founded the castle and established its outline plan and extent; Edward III (r.1327-77), who rebuilt it in a magnificent Gothic style and established the royal apartments in the Upper Ward; Charles II (r.1660-85), who transformed the Upper Ward of the medieval castle into a baroque palace; and George IV (r. 1820-30) who restored the exterior to conform with romantic ideals of castle architecture and created sumptuous and richly furnished palace interiors within the ancient fabric of the building.

 

Changing the Guard at Windsor Castle

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.

May 2019: Changing the Guard will take place at 11:00; weather permitting on the following dates in May: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays plus on Friday 31 May.
June 2019: Changing the Guard will take place daily at 11:00; weather permitting, from Monday – Saturday throughout June, excluding Monday 17 June and week commencing 3 June, where it will take place on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  

 

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 Saturdays – Conserving the Castle 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. 

Family Activities in May – Victoria and Albert 200

11 and during half-term (25 May – 2 June), 11:00–16:00
​This May marks exactly 200 years since Queen Victoria’s birthday. Every Saturday in May (excluding 18 May) and during half-term, children visiting Windsor Castle are invited to create colourful collages of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Victoria’s birth. On 27 May, interactive storytelling sessions will give children the chance to try on replica Victorian costumes, and on 1 June families can travel back in time with Victorian falconry displays in the Castle’s Moat Garden.

During her reign Queen Victoria commissioned performances of Shakespeare’s plays to entertain the court at Windsor Castle. On 30 May, a storyteller from Shakespeare’s Globe will perform a family-friendly adaptation of The Merry Wives of Windsor in the Castle grounds, while Bach to Baby concerts will give under-fives the chance to dance, roam about and enjoy live period music.  Storytelling sessions 12:00 and 14:00. Bach to Baby concerts 11:00 and 13:00

Family Activities in June – Queen Victoria’s Sketchbook

Queen Victoria was a keen amateur artist throughout her life, often reaching for her sketchbook to capture a likeness of people close to her. Following Victoria’s lead, come and make a miniature portrait of someone close to you on every Saturday throughout June.

 

Opening arrangements for Windsor Castle

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)30 3123 7304.

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

March to October 10:00-17:15 (last admission 16:00), November to February 10:00-16:15 (last admission 15:00).

 

Provisional closure dates at Windsor Castle 2019

Please note that due to work being undertaken, as part of Future Programme, Queen Mary's Dolls' House at Windsor Castle will be closed to visitors from Friday 6 July 2018 until further notice.

JUNE 2019
11 The State Apartments Ceremonial Route will be closed to visitors from 15:00
14 State Apartments closed
14-15 St George’s Chapel closed (open for services)
16 CASTLE CLOSED
17 CASTLE CLOSED
18 State Apartments closed
26 The State Apartments Ceremonial Route will be closed to visitors from 15:00

JULY 2019
3 Last admission 15:00. Castle closes at 16:00

SEPTEMBER 2019
7 Last admission 15:00, last admission to State Apartments 15:30, closes 16:00

OCTOBER 2019
2 Last admission 15:00. Castle closes at 16:00
3 Last admission 15:00. Castle closes at 16:00

DECEMBER 2019
13 St George’s Chapel closes at 15:30
23 St George’s Chapel closes at 13:00
24 St George’s Chapel closes at 13:00
25–26 CASTLE CLOSED

 

Attending a service in St George's Chapel

St. George’s Chapel is closed to visitors on Sundays as services are held throughout the day. Worshippers are welcome to attend the services. These occur at the following times:
08:30 – Holy Communion
10:45 – Mattins and Sermon
12:00 – Sung Eucharist                                
17:15 – Evensong

 

Special tours for pre-booked groups at Windsor Castle

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.

Restoring Windsor: The Castle after the fire – This special visit begins in the Castle's Winchester Tower with refreshments and an expert talk recounting the dramatic story of the battle to stop the flames and save irreplaceable works of art from the Royal Collection.  The visit continues with a self-guided multimedia tour around the State Apartments

Royal Weddings at Windsor – This special talk will show how royal weddings at Windsor Castle have evolved into the moving ceremonies followed by magnificent celebrations that have been shared throughout the country and across the world. The visit continues with a self-guided multimedia tour of the State Apartments.    

The above tours are available to pre-booked groups on selected dates only by appointment with the Ticket Sales and Information Office at Buckingham Palace on +44 (0)30 3123 7322.

 

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
2019 Adult£22.50 per ticket
2019 Adult (during closure of State Apartments)£12.40 per ticket
2019 Disabled£13.00 per ticket
2019 Disabled (during closure of State Apartments)£7.30 per ticket
2019 Family: 2 adults & 3 under 17s£58.00 per ticket
2019 Family: 2 adults & 3 under 17s (during closure of State Apartments)£32.00 per ticket
2019 Senior/Student£20.30 per ticket
2019 Senior/Student (during closure of State Apartments)£11.20 per ticket
2019 Under 17£13.00 per ticket
2019 Under 17 (during closure of State Apartments)£7.30 per ticket

2019 ticket prices are valid 19 January to 31 December 2019. Groups: reduced admission charges apply to groups of 15 people or more.

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Accessible Lift - gives access to State Apartments and Semi-State Rooms.
  • All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors
  • Facilities for Hearing Impaired Visitors - Induction loop on audio tour.
  • Facilities for Visually Impaired Visitors
  • Facility for service dogs - water available on request
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Ramp/Level Access
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors
  • Wheelchair user accessible

Audio Commentary in Foreign Languages

  • French audio guide
  • German audio guide
  • Italian audio guide
  • Japanese audio guide
  • Mandarin audio guide
  • Portuguese audio guide - Brazilian Portuguese
  • Russian audio guide
  • Spanish audio guide

Establishment Features

  • Audio Commentary in Foreign Languages
  • Printed Material in Foreign Languages
  • Toilets

Parking & Transport

  • Green Transport - Green Line from London. Buses and coaches from Slough, Staines, Heathrow and Bracknell.
  • Parking (charge) - No car parking on site but follow the signs for LONG STAY PARKING in Windsor town centre; these car parks are better value if you are visiting the castle.

Payment Methods

  • American Express accepted
  • Approx length of visit - A typical visit lasts between 2 and 3 hours.
  • Blue Badge Guides admitted free
  • Delta accepted
  • Groups Accepted - Only Blue Bage Guides accredited to Windsor Castle are permitted to guide within the precincts of the Castle.
  • Maestro Accepted
  • MasterCard accepted
  • Max group size - 9999
  • Min group size - 15
  • Special group rates - Reduced admission charges apply to groups of 15 or more visitors
  • Sterling Travellers Cheques accepted
  • Visa accepted

Printed Material in Foreign Languages

  • French printed material
  • German printed material
  • Italian printed material
  • Japanese printed material
  • Mandarin printed material
  • Portuguese printed material - Brazilian Portuguese
  • Russian printed material
  • Spanish printed material

Provider Preferences

  • In town/city centre
  • No Smoking Attraction

Specialist Features

  • Family Fun - 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.

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups
  • Guided Tours Available for Individuals

Travel & Trade

  • Group discounts available

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars
  • Certificate of Excellence 2019
  • Excellent
    8599
  • Very Good
    2791
  • Average
    536
  • Poor
    146
  • Terrible
    76

Recent Reviews:

  • Margaret W
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Daytime tour.
    5 of 5 stars
    Saturday, 25th May 2019
    This is a very popular tourist must see when in Windsor. Long queues however they move swiftly through.Its a “well oiled machine”. Great to see the rooms,art,and the vast array of military on... Read full review
  • loves2travel59
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Family
    Enjoyable but not really for children under 7 years old.
    4 of 5 stars
    Saturday, 25th May 2019
    We visited on a Sunday and although the Chapel was closed unless you were taking part in the service we had to pay the full admission cost. Definitely pre book your tickets as the queue is... Read full review
  • Z9987HPbrianc
    Bremerton, Washington
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Really enjoyed the castle and tour.
    5 of 5 stars
    Saturday, 25th May 2019
    This was definitely the best castle experience of our two week tour. The tour really made the experience much more memorable. It included history and explanations of the castles development. The... Read full review

Map & Directions

Opening Times

Open New Year
Open (1 Mar 2019 - 31 Oct 2019)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:15*
Open (1 Nov 2019 - 28 Feb 2020)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 16:15*

* Last admission 75 minutes before closing. Please check the 'provisional closure' dates contained within 'About'.

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

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