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Windsor Castle

Type:Castle / Fort

Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 10711 reviews10711 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.

From 2018, work to enlarge and reconfigure the Windsor Castle Admissions Centre will begin. The changes will create a faster and more efficient entrance for visitors, as well as a new view of the Castle for all to enjoy at the start of their visit.  The works are being carefully phased, and the Admissions Centre will remain fully operational throughout.

This is just one of the exciting projects being carried out as part of Royal Collection Trust's £27 million investment in the visitor experience at Windsor Castle. We'll keep you up-to-date with progress as we receive it.

 

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).
 

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 VI (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.

 

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.

 

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.

July 2018: guard mounting will take place at 11:00, weather permitting, Monday to Saturday throughout July.
August 2018: guard mounting will take place at 11:00, weather permitting, on 1, 2 and 4 August, then on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for the rest of August.

 

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 August 2018

The theme of this summer holiday’s children’s activities at Windsor Castle is 'Fierce Ladies and Naughty Knights'.  Enjoy activities including art workshops, talks and armour handling!

Art workshop: 1 - 27 August at 11:00 - 16:00
Take part in an art workshop in Windsor Castle’s magnificent State Apartments and create a mini masterpiece to take home.

Armour and Knights Talks: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 21, 22, 23 August at 11:30, 13:30, 14:30
You’ll find interesting talks about armour and knights in St George’s Hall; you can even handle and try on some replica armour!

Meet our mail armour expert: 4, 18, 25 August at 11:00 - 16:00
Chat to our resident mail armour expert in St George's Hall. You’ll have an opportunity to handle objects, try on costumes and maybe even receive a knighthood!

Interactive activities: 14, 15, 16 August at 11:00 - 16:00
Take part in a range of interactive activities related to armour and knights on the Castle's Bandstand.

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

 

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 October10:00-17:15 (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 Queen Mary's Dolls' House is currently closed.

AUGUST 2018
18 St George's Chapel closes at 13:00

SEPTEMBER 2018
1 (last admission 15:00, last entry to the State Apartments 15:30, closes 16:00)
5 (last admission 15:00, last entry to the State Apartments 15:30, closes 16:00)
27 (last admission 15:00, last entry to the State Apartments 15:30, closes 16:00)

OCTOBER 2018
4 (last admission 15:00, last entry to the State Apartments 15:30, closes 16:00)
11-12 CASTLE CLOSED

DECEMBER 2018
14 St George's Chapel closes at 15:30
23-26 St George's Chapel closed
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.

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 Military Knights’ Tale – This tour offers a personal insight into the ancient and noble institution of the Military Knights of Windsor presented by a serving Military Knight.  

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 to 31 December 2018.

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
    7614
  • Very Good
    2480
  • Average
    452
  • Poor
    109
  • Terrible
    64

Recent Reviews:

  • Pamela G
    Trip Type:
    Family
    Beautiful
    5 of 5 stars
    Monday, 16th July 2018
    To say gorgeous and breath taking is an understatement, well maintained and plenty to see. Kids really enjoyed it and and loved being able to stand where it all happened only weeks earlier for the... Read full review
  • J_Barnet1973
    London, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Family
    Could be so much better...
    3 of 5 stars
    Monday, 16th July 2018
    It was great to visit and the chapel as well as the outside were highlights (eg the moat) but the state rooms were a disappointment. The audio guide was ok (but fiddly and kept crashing) but there... Read full review
  • MsNBrooks
    Houston, Texas
    Trip Type:
    Family
    Was not disappointed
    5 of 5 stars
    Monday, 16th July 2018
    Any history buff should definitely visit this magnificent castle, it is breathtakingly beautiful and everything that i hoped my visit would be. Read full review

Map & Directions

Opening Times

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