Windsor Castle is open to the public five days a week, remaining closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Tickets must be booked in advance. Tickets for Royal Borough Advantage Card holders are available on the day (subject to availability) or can be prebooked by telephone only (transaction fee payable). Visit Windsor Castle's Practical Information page to find out more.
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 (5.3 hectares/13 acres) is breathtaking, 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.
The safety and wellbeing of visitors and staff are the priority and the Royal Collection Trust has introduced a number of measures to ensure that Windsor Castle can open safely and visitors can return with confidence. These include:
• The introduction of timed tickets in order to manage visitor numbers. Visitors must book tickets in advance through www.rct.uk/tickets as capacities will be limited.
• Markers and signs to help visitors maintain social distancing, with staff on hand to manage the flow of visitors in queuing areas and indoor spaces.
• The introduction of one-way routes in some areas.
• Hand sanitiser stations along the visitor routes.
• Enhanced cleaning regimes.
• Perspex screens at all till points, with payment by card only.
• All front-of-house staff fully trained in COVID-secure procedures.
With these measures in place, Royal Collection Trust has acquired the ‘We’re Good to Go’ Industry Standard mark, recognised by VisitEngland.
Please note the safety and wellbeing of visitors and staff are Royal Collection Trust's priority. In order to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit a small number of rooms where social distancing cannot be easily maintained (including Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House) are currently closed and Precinct Tours are temporarily unavailable. It is hoped they will reopen soon and when it is safe to do so.
This festive season, Christmas decorations – including shimmering Christmas trees, twinkling lights, festive garlands and the 20-foot-high Christmas tree in St George’s Hall – will transform the State Apartments at Windsor Castle and a special display, ‘The Princesses’ Pantomimes’, will bring together costumes worn by Her Majesty The Queen and Princess Margaret during wartime pantomimes. Exclusive tours of Windsor Castle will give visitors a behind-the-ropes experience while family activities will bring royal Christmases to life for children and adults alike.
During World War II, Her Majesty The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) and Princess Margaret spent much of their time in Windsor, safely away from the bombing in London. Between 1941 and 1944 they performed in and helped to stage a series of Christmas pantomimes to raise money for the Royal Household Wool Fund, which supplied knitting wool to make comforters for soldiers fighting at the Front.
Visitors to Windsor Castle this Christmas will have the unique opportunity to see six rare surviving costumes worn by the teenage Princesses during these wartime performances. Brought together for the first time, the costumes will be displayed in the Waterloo Chamber where the pantomimes were originally performed 80 years ago. Read more here.
• Visitors to Windsor Castle between 25 November and 3 January will see the State Apartments decorated with shimmering Christmas trees, twinkling lights and festive garlands. A highlight will be the magnificent 20-foot-high Christmas tree in St George's Hall, taken from Windsor Great Park and dressed with hundreds of iridescent glass and mirrored ornaments.
• The Semi-State Rooms, created as opulent private apartments for George IV and now used by members of the Royal Family for official entertaining will feature a spectacular Christmas tree in the Crimson Drawing Room.
• On 4, 11, 18, 20 and 23 December, families can enjoy drop-in festive storytelling sessions in the State Apartments. Weekend arts-and-crafts activities in the Castle’s Learning Centre will give children the chance to design their own pantomime costumes, make pantomime-themed Christmas decorations and make a stage for pantomime characters to perform on.
• Exclusive Evening Tours throughout December offer a behind-the-ropes experience in the State Apartments. Led by an expert guide, visitors will discover more about the Castle’s 1,000-year history, enjoy a glass of champagne and receive a complimentary copy of the official souvenir guidebook. Book tickets now.
• Great Kitchen Tours (30 December to 9 January) will give visitors a guided tour of the oldest working kitchen in the country, which is not usually open to the public. Built in the reign of Edward III, the Great Kitchen has remained in use for over 750 years and is still used today for State occasions hosted by The Queen. Book tickets now.
• The Undercroft Café, located in the oldest surviving medieval space in the Castle, will be serving a festive-themed winter menu throughout December.
Visitors to Windsor Castle will see some unique pictures as they walk through the castle’s historic Waterloo Chamber.
During World War II, Her Majesty The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) and her sister Princess Margaret took part in a series of pantomimes in the Waterloo Chamber to raise money for the Royal Household Wool Fund, which supplied yarn to make comforters for soldiers fighting at the Front.
At the start of the war, the portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence that usually line the walls of the Waterloo Chamber were removed from their frames for safety reasons. To make the space more festive, 16 ‘pantomime pictures’ were commissioned to cover the bare walls.
Teenage evacuee and part-time art student Claude Whatham was asked to recreate fairy-tale characters on rolls of wallpaper. He shared a temporary painting studio in the Garter Throne Room with Sir Gerald Kelly, who was working on King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation portraits.
After the war, the portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence were returned to their frames in the Waterloo Chamber, and the pantomime pictures remained hidden beneath them. The only other time they have been revealed since the war was following the Windsor Castle fire of 1992.
The portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence were removed to facilitate essential maintenance work during the recent closure of the Castle.
At Windsor Castle, the Coronation Dress and Robe of Estate worn by The Queen for her Coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953 will be on display. Designed by the British couturier Sir Norman Hartnell, the dress was created in the finest white duchesse satin, richly embroidered in a lattice-work effect with an iconographic scheme of national and Commonwealth floral emblems in gold and silver thread and pastel-coloured silks, encrusted with seed pearls, sequins and crystals.
Her Majesty’s Robe of Estate was made by the royal robe-makers Ede and Ravenscroft of purple silk velvet woven by the firm of Warner & Sons, and was embroidered at the Royal School of Needlework. The goldwork embroidery design features wheat ears and olive branches, symbolising prosperity and peace, surrounding the crowned intertwined EIIR cipher. It took 12 embroideresses, using 18 different types of gold thread, more than 3,500 hours to complete the work between March and May 1953.
[Please note that in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit, Windsor Castle has closed the following rooms where social distancing cannot be easily maintained: Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, The Moat Room, The King’s Closet, The King’s Dressing Room, The King’s Bedroom, and The King’s Drawing Room. Precinct Tours are also unavailable in the short term.]
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.
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 are included in the visitor route from September 2021 to March 2022. 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).
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.
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.
• 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.
Royal Collection Trust recently transformed the visitor experience of Windsor Castle. The works are complete and visitors can enjoy many improvements, including newly opened spaces and a cafe.
The Moat Room, a new introductory space, tells the story of the Castle’s 1,000 years of history. It features a bronze model of Windsor Castle in 1377, drawing on the most recent research of how the Castle looked in the past. A timeline illustrated with reigning monarchs along the length of the room provides context for the history of the Castle.
Windsor Castle’s Inner Hall, created by George IV in the 1820s as a space to receive official guests, has been restored and opened to the public. Now, for the first time since its closure by George’s niece, Queen Victoria, the Inner Hall serves its original purpose as a magnificent welcome area for visitors to the Castle.
The medieval Undercroft has now been transformed into the Castle's first permanent café. Visitors can enjoy sandwiches, salads and sweet treats, alongside a selection of specialty teas in one of the few surviving areas of Edward III’s magnificent Gothic palace.
The works also introduced step-free access has been introduced throughout the visitor route, an expanded Admissions Centre, new visitor facilities and a dedicated Learning Centre.
Find out more about the Royal Collection Trust's £27 million investment in the visitor experience at Windsor Castle.
The first café for visitors to Windsor Castle has opened in Edward III’s medieval Undercroft, which for centuries served as the Castle’s main wine cellar and is one of the oldest surviving spaces in the 1,000-year-old royal residence.
Visitors can now enjoy freshly prepared meals, including sandwiches, wraps and salads, served alongside an exclusive selection of teas. Sweet treats range from vanilla mille-feuille and vegan chocolate cake to fruit scones and Victoria sponge. During the summer, the Café will serve ice cream produced using milk from the Jersey herd at the Royal Farms, Windsor.
The Undercroft is on the ground floor of the Castle beneath St George’s Hall, where State Banquets take place, and dates back to Edward III’s major renovations during the 1350s and 1360s.
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 by visiting https://www.rct.uk/visit/windsor-castle or by telephoning the Ticket Sales and Information Office on +44 (0)30 3123 7304.
St George's Chapel closes at 16:00, although visitors are welcome to attend the evensong service at 17:15.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CASTLE CLOSES 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES AFTER LAST ENTRY TIME SHOWN UNDER OPENING TIMES.
St George’s Chapel is closed to visitors on Sundays as services are held throughout the day. Worshippers are welcome to attend the services which include Holy Communion, Mattins and Sermon, Sung Eucharist and Evensong. You can find out more about attending a service at St George's Chapel by visiting the St George's Chapel Diary.
There is a range of tours available for pre-booked groups to Windsor Castle including ‘behind-the-ropes’ private evening tours of the State Apartments and themed talks such as ‘Royal Weddings at Windsor’ and ‘Restoring Windsor: The Castle after the fire’. Find out more by contacting the Ticket Sales and Information Office at Buckingham Palace on +44 (0)30 3123 7322.
|Ticket Type||Ticket Tariff|
|Adult||£23.50 per ticket|
|Adult (during closure of State Apartments)||£12.90 per ticket|
|Disabled||£13.50 per ticket|
|Disabled (during closure of State Apartments)||£7.40 per ticket|
|Family: 2 adults & 3 under 17s||£60.50 per ticket|
|Senior/Student||£21.20 per ticket|
|Senior/Student (during closure of State Apartments)||£11.70 per ticket|
|Under 17||£13.50 per ticket|
|Under 17 (during closure of State Apartments)||£7.40 per ticket|
Groups: reduced admission charges apply to groups of 15 people or more.
|Open New Year|
|Open November to February (1 Nov 2021 - 28 Feb 2022)|
|Tuesday - Wednesday||Closed|
|Thursday - Sunday||10:00||- 16:15|
* Last admission 75 minutes before closing. Please check the 'provisional closure' dates listed on the Royal Collection website. Castle completely closed 25-26 December.
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