HOW TO VISIT THE WINDSOR CASTLE
Dave and I love castles when we visit the UK. We need more courts when we visit Europe, in general. Windsor Castle is our top pick. Windsor Castle is the oldest and most inhabited castle in the world and attracts visitors from all over the globe and locals. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 2018 wedding here brought the court back to the forefront. With the media buzzing about “Megxit” and The Crown streaming strongly on Netflix, interest in the royals has never been greater.
We’ve compiled some tips and advice to help you plan your visit to Windsor Castle.
Tips for Visiting Windsor Castle
Make sure you book your Windsor Castle ticket entry well in advance. GetYourGuide allows you to purchase tickets online. You can cancel your order 24 hours before the event for a full refund.
You can travel from London to Windsor by coach if you prefer. This highly-rated tour from GetYourGuide will take you on a half-day tour. GetYourGuide’s outstanding feature is that you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour to get a full refund. We’ve done it all ourselves.
About Windsor Castle
Let’s first look at the history of Windsor Castle before we begin. Windsor Castle is the official residence of the Queen. Windsor Castle was founded in the 11th century by William Conquerer. It has been home to 39 monarchs for over ten centuries.
The Queen regularly uses this castle, making it a unique place to visit. It is her preferred place to spend her weekends. Imagine catching a glimpse at the Queen of England while on your visit. Although it is unlikely that this will happen, it is still exciting to think that she may be in the area. If you’re curious to discover if the Royals are at home, hover above the Round Tower and look for the Royal Standard Flag. The Queen will fly if that flag is visible above the Round Tower.
How to get to Windsor Castle
You can reach it easily by train from London Paddington and Waterloo stations. Once you have transferred to Slough, you can catch a train to Windsor or Eton Central Station.
London Paddington train takes approximately 35-40 minutes, while Waterloo station takes nearly 45-55 minutes. It is less than 10 minutes from Windsor and Eton Central station to reach Windsor Castle entrance, located at Castle Hill’s top.
Windsor Castle is located just 8 miles from London Heathrow Airport. It’s easy to rent a car or take the Green Line bus to Heathrow Terminal 5.
This full-day tour takes you on a fun day trip from London. It includes entry to Windsor Castle, a visit to the State Apartments, and time to visit St. George’s Chapel or the Castle Grounds. Then you’ll stop to tour the Stonehenge pre-historic stone circles before continuing to Oxford for an informative walking tour. The tour includes transport from London’s Victoria Coach Station.
Tips for Visiting Windsor Castle
It is recommended that you buy tickets in advance to visit Windsor Castle. The queues can get long during peak summer times. You don’t need to wait for entry; you can walk in with your ticket.
Take note, however, that Windsor Castle is situated at the top of a steep hill and covers quite a bit of ground. So don’t wear heels and bring some comfy shoes to enjoy your visit.
You must note that Windsor castle closes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Plan your trip accordingly. You can also expect some parts of the court to be closed due to its official status.
- The ticket allows entry to the State Apartments or St. George’s Cathedral in the summer months.
- You will have winter access to the private apartments that George IV has created.
You can convert tickets to a 1-year pass.
You can convert your entry ticket into a 1-year pass by purchasing tickets directly from Windsor Castle or at the gate. You can restore your entry ticket to one-year access by asking an Admissions Assistant to stamp it. Before arriving, ensure your passport is printed and signed in the appropriate spaces. You can also bring a pen.
When to Visit Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a top-rated attraction. 1.5 million people visit it each year. Summer can bring long queues and crowds. Winter is the best time to visit the castle if you don’t want to wait in long lines.
Some times are more favorable than others for you to visit the castle if you’re visiting in high season. Windsor Castle is best visited during peak season during the week, after, or during the changing-of-the-guards at 11:00 am.
Windsor Castle can get very crowded at weekends and early in the morning. It is tempting to rush to Windsor Castle at 10 am for the opening. However, most coaches arrive at Windsor Castle to open. The coaches then stay for the changing of the guards at 11:15 am.
Arriving after 11:00 to see the changing guards on the castle grounds will allow you to explore the castle grounds without being rushed.
You can also see the guards if you cannot wait to enter the castle. The barracks are located 500m from the court. Guild Hall or Castle Approach Road are the best places to view the marching band from town.
How long to spend at Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is best visited for 2.5-3 hours. Windsor Castle is home to over 1000 rooms. Not all of them can be called, but we recommend an audio tour to get the most out of your visit. This will allow you to see all of Windsor Castle. This audio tour, which is included in your entry fee, takes you through the State Apartments and St George’s Chapel. It also provides commentary on the Castle Precincts’ 1000-year-old history. The Prince of Wales presents it, and then the royal residence staff discuss their employees’ duties and prepare for royal events.