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Windsor Castle

Type:Castle / Fort

Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 11535 reviews11535 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 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 from October to March each year.  Richly decorated, they are used by The Queen for hosting her guests. The additional five rooms that make up the Semi-State Rooms will reopen to the public on Friday 26 October 2018.

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

See the wedding outfits worn by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at a special exhibition at Windsor Castle from 26 October 2018 until 6 January 2019.

Celebrate Christmas at Windsor Castle.  The highlight of the display will be the magnificent 20-foot-high Nordmann Fir Christmas tree in St George's Hall, taken from Windsor Great Park and entirely dressed in gold decorations.  Wreaths and garlands decorated with gilded fruits and sparkling lights will transform the State Apartments and Semi-State Rooms.

 

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.
  • 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 your free multi-media 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 version too!
  • 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.

 

See the royal wedding outfits at a special Windsor Castle exhibition 'A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex'

Visitors to Windsor Castle this autumn and winter are in for a treat.  A special Royal Wedding exhibition will feature the wedding outfits worn by the couple at their wedding in May 2018. 

The exhibition runs from 26 October 2018 to 6 January 2019 and is included in the Windsor Castle ticket price.

See the Duchess of Sussex's wedding dress created by the British designer Clare Waight Keller, Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy. 

Admire the five-metre-long veil made from silk tulle and embroidered with the flora of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth, a reference to an important part of The Duke and Duchess's official work following His Royal Highness’s appointment as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. The Duchess added two of her favourite flowers to the embroidered decoration: Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), which grows in the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), the State flower of The Duchess's place of birth, California.

The Duchess's veil was held in place by a diamond and platinum bandeau tiara, lent to her by Her Majesty The Queen.  See it on public display for the first time as part of this special exhibition.

The Duke of Sussex's wedding outfit was the frockcoat uniform of the Household Cavalry (the 'Blues and Royals'), made by tailors at Dege & Skinner on Savile Row.  As the uniform specially commissioned for the occasion is required for use by His Royal Highness, an identical uniform made for The Duke by Dege & Skinner a few years earlier will be displayed.

Please note it is not possible to see the special exhibition A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex when the State Apartments and Semi-State Rooms are closed.  Please see Provisional Closure information below to avoid any disappointment.

 

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.

November 2018: guard mounting will take place at 11:00, weather permitting, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in November.

 

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. 

 

Windsor Castle Family Saturdays in November 2018: Windsor Remembers

Windsor Remembers – Family activities marking 100 years since the end of the First World War. Find out how Windsor Castle's community was impacted by the Great War, and make a beautiful poppy to add to a wreath that will be displayed in the Castle in their honour.

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

 

Celebrate Christmas at Windsor Castle

This Christmas, visitors to Windsor Castle will see the State Apartments decked with twinkling lights, garlands and glittering Christmas trees to celebrate the festive season.

The highlight of the display will be the magnificent 20-foot-high Nordmann Fir Christmas tree in St George's Hall, taken from Windsor Great Park and entirely dressed in gold decorations.  Wreaths and garlands decorated with gilded fruits and sparkling lights will transform the State Apartments and Semi-State Apartments, the private rooms of George IV that are only open to visitors during the winter months.

Don’t forget that throughout the Christmas period, visitors to Windsor Castle will be able to enjoy the special exhibition A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, on display between 26 October 2018 and 6 January 2019.

The exhibition will include The Duchess's wedding dress, created by the British designer Clare Waight Keller, Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy; the five-metre-long silk tulle veil, embroidered with the flora of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth; the diamond and platinum bandeau tiara, lent to The Duchess by Her Majesty The Queen; and The Duke of Sussex's frockcoat uniform of the Household Cavalry (the 'Blues and Royals'), made by tailors at Dege & Skinner on Savile Row.

On selected dates in December, visitors can enjoy a Private Evening Tour of Windsor Castle.  The tours are led by an expert guide and offer a special behind-the-ropes experience.  All tickets include a glass of champagne, a copy of the Official Souvenir Guide and a 20% discount at Royal Collection Trust shops.

And on 7, 8 and 9 December, treat your family to an exceptionally special after hours event inside the glittering State Apartments by attending a performance of The Princess and the Pantomime.  Beneath the breathtaking Christmas tree in St George’s Hall, travel with our storyteller on a captivating journey through Christmas past at Windsor Castle. You are then invited to step onto Aladdin’s magic carpet for an exhilarating pop-up pantomime in the Waterloo Chamber, exactly where The Queen performed wartime pantomimes when a princess. Please note, this is a ticketed event which requires pre-booking.
 

 

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 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 2018

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.

NOVEMBER 2018
2 State Apartments closed.  Please note it is not possible to see the special exhibition A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex when the State Apartments are closed.
9 St George's Chapel opens at 10am
23 Semi-State Rooms closed. Please note it is not possible to see the special exhibition A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex when the Semi-State Rooms are closed.

DECEMBER 2018
3 Admission Centre closes at 14:00.  State Apartments last entry at 14:30
14 St George's Chapel closes at 15:30 (open for services)
14 Semi-State Rooms closed. Please note it is not possible to see the special exhibition A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex when the Semi-State Rooms are closed.
23-26 St George's Chapel closed (open for services)
25-26 CASTLE CLOSED (St George's Chapel open for services)

 

Special tours for pre-booked groups at Windsor Castle

Download the Group Visits and Private Tours 2018 Brochure.

Royal Weddings at Windsor  The marriage of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle in 2018 was part of a 900-year tradition of royal weddings at Windsor Castle. The first was in 1121 when his namesake, Henry I wed at the Castle, and by Queen Victoria’s reign Windsor had strong romantic associations. In our own time several of The Queen’s children and now grandchildren have also chosen Windsor to take their wedding vows. From March until October 2019 and exclusively available to groups, this special talk will show how royal weddings at Windsor Castle have evolved into the moving ceremonies followed by magnificent celebrations which have been shared throughout the country and across the world. On sale 1 November 2018.

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.

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 7321.

 

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
2018 Adult£21.20 per ticket
2018 Adult (during closure of State Apartments)£11.70 per ticket
2018 Family: 2 adults & 3 under 17s£54.70 per ticket
2018 Family: 2 adults & 3 under 17s (during closure of State Apartments)£30.60 per ticket
2018 Senior/Student£19.30 per ticket
2018 Senior/Student (during closure of State Apartments)£10.60 per ticket
2018 Under 17/Disabled£12.30 per ticket
2018 Under 17/Disabled (during closure of State Apartments)£7.20 per ticket

2018 ticket prices are valid 9 January 2018 to 6 January 2019.

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
  • Certificate of Excellence 2018

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
    8162
  • Very Good
    2670
  • Average
    499
  • Poor
    134
  • Terrible
    71

Recent Reviews:

  • Debbiebain71
    Murrumba Downs, Australia
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Worth the visit
    5 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 13th November 2018
    We arrived in Windsor just before the changing of the guard. I love that it’s still performed each day. After visiting many historical places, this was great to walk through st James chapel, you can... Read full review
  • barbara t
    Abingdon, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    Incredibly helpful staff
    5 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 13th November 2018
    Castle itself is great, impressive, full of history, stunning rooms etc etc. But was most impressed with the staff. I was helping with a group of elderly residents of a care home, mostly in... Read full review
  • franceabound
    Melbourne, Australia
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Incredible
    5 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 13th November 2018
    Visited this spectacular castle the day after Princess Eugenies wedding so we were lucky enough to admire the beautiful flower arrangements that were still set up. The tour is a must and we... Read full review

Map & Directions

Opening Times

Open New Year
Open (1 Nov 2018 - 28 Feb 2019)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 16:15*
Open (1 Mar 2019 - 31 Oct 2019)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:15*

* 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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