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Windsor Castle Travel Guide

Windsor Castle Travel Guide

Day trip from London

Windsor Castle, the Queen's favorite weekend home, is the largest inhabited castle in the world and is visited by over a million people each year.

Visiting Windsor Castle can easily be done in one afternoon as it's only an hour outside of London and easily accessible through London's metro system...

 

Getting There

1) Train from Waterloo

Leaving from London Waterloo station and going to Windsor & Eton Riverside station, South Western Railway operates trains every half hour each day and every hour on Sundays.  The journey takes about an hour and costs £14.70 round trip.

2) Train from Paddington

A slightly quicker and more frequent train is Great Western Railway from London Paddington station to Windsor & Eton Central station.  The trains leave every 15-20 minutes and cost £19.30 round trip.  While the journey does involve a transfer at Slough station, it is actually about 20 minutes quicker at around 45 minutes.
 

Hours of Operation

1) Peak Season

From March to October, Windsor Castle is open to the public at 9:30am every day, including Sunday, and closes at 5:30pm with a last entrance at 4:00pm.

2) Off Peak Season

During the rest of the year from November to February, the hours for Windsor Castle are from 9:45am until 4:15pm with a last entrance at 2:45pm.

3) Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle usually takes place at 11am Mondays to Saturdays from April until the end of July and on alternate days during rest of the year, weather permitting.

TIP
Windsor Castle is closed to the public from time to time for special events like state visits.
Before you go, check their official website to make sure the castle will be open that day.
 

Admission Prices

1) Adults

Admission to Windsor Castle is £21.20 for adults with a concession price of £19.30 for students with valid ID.

2) Children

Admission for children under 17 years old is £12.30 and for those under 5 it's free.

3) Families

Windsor Castle also has a family admission price of £54.70 good for 2 adults and 3 children under 17 years old.

TIP
You can purchase your entry ticket online in advance and save yourself from queuing in line.
During the summer months, the line to get into the castle during peak times can be up to an hour or longer.
 

Best Time to Visit

As with many tourist attractions, the summer tourist season is the busiest time of year and going on the weekends is doubly so.  Expect to wait in line for at least an hour during peak periods.

Visitors and tour groups flock to Windsor Castle in the mornings in order to catch the changing of the guard at 11am.  If you're not really interested in the show, head to the castle in the afternoon instead to avoid the mass of people.
 

Highlights

1) St George's Chapel

Most recently the site of the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, St George's Chapel is the spiritual home of the world's oldest national order of knighthood, the Order of Garter.

Inside the intricate Gothic architecture lie the tombs of ten sovereigns including Henry VIII and Charles I but this is also a working church as well.  Services take place every day and worshipers are welcome to attend.

2) Queen Mary's Dolls' House

Built in the 1920s, Queen Mary's Dolls' House, was designed by renowned architect Edwin Lutyens.  It took over 3 years and 1500 people to complete the most famous dolls' house in the world.  It is a perfect replica of an aristocratic home complete with electricity, plumbing, working lifts and, of course, a miniature collection of crown jewels.

3) State Apartments

Explore the State Apartments of the previous 39 monarchs that have called Windsor Castle home.  Here you'll find an immense collection of artworks including those by Rembrandt, Rubens and other acclaimed artists.

4) Changing of the Guard

The colorful tradition of the changing of the guard takes place at 11am most days (see hours of operation above) in front of St George's Chapel.  During the 45 minute ceremony you'll be treated to a spectacular display of British pageantry in color and sound.  Arrive early to get a good view of the show.