Windsor Castle

Type:Castle / Fort

Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ

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TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 13679 reviews13679 reviews

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Windsor Castle's Round Tower (daytime) – photographer: John Freeman, Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2022

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About

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II Windsor Castle has now reopened to visitors.  For more information, please visit the Royal Collection Trust's FAQs page.


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 and today one of the official residences of His Majesty The King.

The size of the Castle (over 10.5 hectares) is breathtaking, in fact it is the largest and oldest occupied Castle in the world and it’s where Queen Elizabeth II chose to spend most of her private weekends.

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.

Covid 19 information

To ensure your visit is comfortable and enjoyable, the Royal Collection Trust is maintaining a range of measures for your safety and the safety of Windsor Castle staff.  These include:

•    A timed tickets system in order to manage visitor numbers. Visitors must book tickets in advance through www.rct.uk/tickets as capacities will be limited.  
•    Hand sanitiser stations along the visitor routes.
•    Enhanced cleaning regimes.

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 Holbein, Rubens and Van Dyck.

Take in the splendour of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, the burial place of 11 monarchs including Queen Elizabeth II, Henry VIII and Charles I, location of the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle and one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. St George’s Chapel will continue to be included as part of a ticketed visit to Windsor Castle. In St George's Chapel, the final resting place of Queen Elizabeth II can be seen by visitors on all days the Castle is open to the public, excluding Sundays. 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 served as the private rooms of George IV in the 19th century. The additional five rooms that make up the Semi-State Rooms are included in the visitor route from 24 November 2022 to March 2023.  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).
  • 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.
  • Check which flag is flying from Windsor Castle’s round tower – if it’s the Royal Standard then The King is in residence when you’re visiting.
  • 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 Moat Room display which explores 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 used by the sovereign 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 private evening ‘behind the ropes’ tours (these must be booked in advance).

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.

Christmas at Windsor Castle, 24 November 2022 to 2 January 2023

Celebrate Christmas at Windsor Castle and experience the magnificent State Apartments adorned with Christmas trees, twinkling lights, wreaths and garlands. 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 also be open to visitors for the winter months. Visit in December to hear local school and community choirs singing carols beneath the Christmas tree, take your pick from the festive menu in the Undercroft Café, and browse for Christmas gifts in the Castle’s shops, where luxurious hampers, traditional decorations and sustainable stocking fillers all make for perfect presents. On Saturday 3 December, visit as a family and step back in time to a Victorian Christmas. Learn about how Christmas was celebrated during Queen Victoria’s reign, dress up as an elegant Victorian, devise your own royal Christmas menu, and design a tree decoration, wreath or angel just as a Victorian child would have done. Christmas at Windsor Castle and all family activities are included with admission to the Castle.

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.

Undercroft Café

The first café for visitors to Windsor Castle is located 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 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 serves 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. 

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 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.

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 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.

Special tours for pre-booked groups at Windsor Castle

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.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
2022 Adult (Sat)£28.50 per ticket
2022 Adult (Sun-Fri)£26.50 per ticket
2022 Child 5-17 / Disabled (Sat)£15.50 per ticket
2022 Child 5-17 / Disabled (Sun-Fri)£14.50 per ticket
2022 Under 5Free
2022 Young Person 18-24 (Sat)£18.50 per ticket
2022 Young Person 18-24 (Sun-Fri)£17.50 per ticket

Families visiting Windsor Castle can save up to £22.00 when booking with Windsor Castle directly.
The family discount is automatically applied at checkout to bookings of at least 1 adult and 2 children, up to 2 Adults and 4 children.
Groups: reduced admission charges apply to groups of 15 people or more.
Different discounted prices apply when the State Apartments are closed.

Events

Saturday, 19th November 2022 - Thursday, 5th January 2023

Garter Tower Christmas Illuminations copyright Gill HeppellGarter Tower Christmas IlluminationsStanding over 50ft tall, 17 stunning images from the stained glass windows and architecture of St George’s Chapel are projected onto Windsor Castle’s Garter Tower.
more info

Thursday, 24th November 2022 - Monday, 2nd January 2023

Windsor Castle's Crimson Drawing Room. Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2022Christmas at Windsor CastleExplore the Christmas display at Windsor Castle, including the magnificent 20-foot-high Nordmann Fir tree in St George's Hall, taken from Windsor Great Park and dressed with hundreds of iridescent glass and mirrored ornaments.
more info

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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

Catering

  • Cafe
  • On-Site cafe/restaurant - Undercroft Café serving freshly prepared meals, including sandwiches, wraps, salads and sweet treats and an exclusive selection of teas
  • Refreshments Available
  • Vegetarians catered for

Children & Infants

  • Family Friendly, Children Welcome

COVID-19 Response

  • Capacity limit - Visitors must book tickets in advance through www.rct.uk/tickets as capacities will be limited
  • Clear signage
  • Contactless payment only - Payment by card only
  • COVID-19 measures in place
  • COVID-19 staff training completed - All front-of-house staff fully trained in COVID-secure procedures
  • Deep cleaning between visitors - Enhanced cleaning regimes
  • Facilities must be booked
  • Hand sanitizer available to visitors & staff - Hand sanitiser stations along the visitor routes
  • Hygiene screens in place - Perspex screens at all till points
  • One way system - Introduction of one-way routes in some areas
  • Online booking possible

Establishment Features

  • Audio Commentary in Foreign Languages
  • Gift shop - Step into the Windsor Castle shops and experience a world of exclusive gifts and royal souvenirs, including commemorative chinaware, glittering jewellery, sumptuous homeware, delicious food and drink and charming gifts for children.
  • 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
    • Excellent
      9614
    • Very Good
      3113
    • Average
      643
    • Poor
      190
    • Terrible
      119

    Recent Reviews:

    • AlwaysHonestSam89
      Basildon, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Family
      Family with pram and young baby
      5 of 5 stars
      Sunday, 27th November 2022
      Sunny day helped as a lot of it outdoors walking about the grounds, indoor areas were impressive. No prams BUT excellent options to store pram safely and get a carrier or sling to borrow... Read full review
    • Traveller24892
      Chelmsford, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Friends getaway
      Enjoyable
      4 of 5 stars
      Sunday, 27th November 2022
      Very enjoyable. Go for 9:45 slot and go straight to chapel if you want to see the resting place of Queen Elizabeth. The queue got quite long later in the day. Enjoyable time in state apartments but... Read full review
    • troyc842
      Cambridge Bay, Canada
      Trip Type:
      Family
      Father and son trip
      4 of 5 stars
      Friday, 2nd December 2022
      We had an excellent time visiting the castle in August. It was a very hot day but we enjoyed ourselves none the less. Read full review

    Map & Directions

    Awards

    • Regional and Miscellaneous -WTTC Safe Travels WTTC Safe Travels 2021

    Opening Times

    Open New Year

    * Windsor Castle will reopen to visitors on Thursday, 29 September 2022.

    Last admission 75 minutes before closing. Please check the 'provisional closure' dates listed on the Royal Collection website.

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