Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.
William, the Conqueror, built the Castle in the 11th century, and since then it has been the home for 39 Monarchs.
The British Queen prefers to spend her weekend at this castle.
Every year more than 1.5 Million tourists visit this Royal residence.
In this article, we share everything you need to know before visiting Windsor Castle.
1. How to reach
2. Opening hours
3. Best time to visit
4. Tour duration
5. Windsor Castle ticket price
6. Buy Windsor Castle tickets
7. Guided tours
8. Changing of Guard
9. Windsor Vs Buckingham
10. Download Castle’s Map
How far is Windsor Castle from London?
Windsor Castle is in the county of Berkshire, England, UK.
It is located on river Thames about 32 Kms (20 Miles) west of London.
Oxford is about 65 Kms (40 Miles) NorthEast of Windsor Castle. Get directions
How to reach Windsor Castle
One can take a bus or train to reach Windsor Castle.
The fastest and most popular option to reach Windsor Castle is to take a train from Paddington Station.
You can also take a train from Waterloo Station, but the journey takes 10 minutes longer.
Since there is no reserved seating and ticket is not specific to a train schedule, you don’t need to pre-book your train tickets.
Trains run very late into the evening and at good frequencies.
If you have plenty of time but want to save on some money, the next best option is the Green Line Bus, which starts from the Green Line Coach Station in Victoria.
It is slower and cheaper than the train.
The Green Line bus trip doubles up as a sightseeing tour because it passes through numerous hotels in the Kensington area and the Legoland in Windsor.
Driving to Windsor Castle
It takes around 45 minutes to drive from London to Windsor and the driving distance is around 37 KMs (23 Miles).
Windsor Castle parking
There are many car parking slots in Windsor Castle.
Since you will be spending time exploring, it is better to opt for the long-stay car parks recommended below –
|Location||Car Park 1||Car Park 2|
|Datchet Road||Romney Lock||King Edward VII|
|Next to Coach park||Alma Road||Alexandra Gardens|
These recommended car parks are less than 10 minutes’ walk to Windsor Castle.
Windsor Castle hours
Windsor Castle is open to visitors all year around.
However, the timings vary through the months.
|Tourist Season||Opening time||Closing time|
|Nov 1- Feb 28||10 am||4.15 pm|
(last entry at 3 pm)
|Mar 1-Oct 31||10 am||5.15 pm|
(last entry at 4 pm)
Entrance to the State Apartments and Queen Mary’s Doll’s House close 30 minutes after the last admission.
On 11 and 12 October and 25 and 26 December, Windsor Castle remains closed (or the timings are altered).
The State Apartments remain closed on 2 Nov, and between 7 Jan to 18 Jan.
St. George’s Chapel timings
St. George’s Chapel inside Windsor Castle closes at 4 pm but visitors can attend the EvenSong service at 5.15 pm.
The Chapel is usually closed for visitors on Sundays as services are held throughout the day.
The services lined up for Sunday are –
|8.30 am||Holy Communion|
|10.45 am||Mattins and Sermon|
|12 pm||Sung Eucharist|
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Best time to visit Windsor Castle
Even though the Windsor Castle opens at 10 am, we don’t recommend you land up early because that’s when most of the coach tours arrive.
The best time to reach Windsor Castle is between 11 and 11.30 am.
By delaying your trip by an hour, you can avoid a big crowd.
Most of the tourists who opt for the coach tour leave after the change of guard, which happens between 11 and 11.30 am.
While the change of guard is happening, nobody can exit the Castle.
That’s why when it ends, there is an avalanche of tourists heading towards their buses.
How long does Windsor Castle take?
In winters, since the queues aren’t long, a tour of Windsor Castle takes around two hours.
In summers, the queues are slightly long at most of the places.
Therefore, the Windsor Castle tour ends up being 3 hours long in summer.
When you buy your Windor Castle tickets online, you save on waiting time.
Windsor Castle ticket price
Windsor Castle admission ticket prices are reasonable and the experience memorable.
The highest price is reserved for the adult tourists 17 years and above, who end up paying 21.20 Pounds.
Kids under 17 years of age pay only 12.30 Pounds per head.
Kids below 5 years of age walk in free.
Price of Windsor Castle Entry Tickets
|Type of visitors||Age||Ticket price|
|Adult||17+ years||23.50 Pounds|
|Seniors||61+ years||21.20 Pounds|
|Child||5 to 16 years||13.50 Pounds|
|Student (with ID)||up to 99 years||21.20 Pounds|
When the State Apartments are closed* to the public, the ticket prices are reduced by more than 30%.
*State Apartments remain closed on 2 Nov, and from 7 Jan to 18 Jan.
Windsor Castle tickets
If you like to travel at your own pace, you have two options while booking your Windsor Castle tickets.
You can buy only the Windsor Castle admission tickets and manage the transport (from London to the Castle) on your own.
Or you can book a tour which includes both the Windsor Castle entry and the transport from London and back.
We describe both the ticket options.
Both the Windsor Castle online tickets provided below are delivered to your inbox within five minutes of the purchase.
Which means you can show the ticket in your email, exchange it for a paper ticket (at the venue) and enter the Castle.
Yes, no printouts needed!
These tickets can be canceled 24 hours before your visit for a full refund.
1. Windsor Castle entry ticket
This ticket provides admission to the Windsor Castle.
With this ticket, you can also visit the State Apartments, and St. George’s Chapel.
The Windsor Castle audio guide is very useful for tourists without a guide. It is available in Spanish, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian.
Since a lot of walking is involved, we recommend comfortable shoes.
Adult ticket (17+ years): 23.50 Pounds
Seniors ticket (61+ years): 21.20 Pounds
Child ticket (5 to 16 years): 13.50 Pounds
Student ticket (with ID): 21.20 Pounds
2. Windsor Castle tickets + Transport from London
This ticket gets you everything that’s mentioned in the previous ticket (explained above) plus transport in an air-conditioned luxury coach, from London and back.
Many tourists prefer this because Windsor Castle is 35 Kms (22 Miles) from central London.
The luxury coach departs from London’s Victoria Coach Station at 7.45 am and returns around 1.30 pm.
This tour is available only on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
Adult ticket (17 to 64 years): 64 Pounds
Seniors ticket (65+ years): 61 Pounds
Child ticket (3 to 16 years): 54 Pounds
Student’s ticket (with valid ID): 61 Pounds
Windsor Castle guided tours
These guided tours are popular for three reasons –
1) Guided tours of Windsor Castle tend to be combo tours. As a result, one gets to see more attractions at a discounted price
2) They include transportation by luxury coach
3) The tour guides take you on the shortest route, show you the must-sees, narrate stories and anecdotes thus making the tour memorable
Check out the three best guided tours involving Windsor Castle.
1. Windsor Castle, Bath, and Stonehenge tour
This 11-hour tour is one of the best ways to see the famed English countryside.
Boarding starts at 7.30 am from 164, Buckingham Palace Road and the first stop is the Windsor Castle, the English Queen’s favorite residence.
You also get to visit St George’s Chapel.
The next stop is Bath, where besides roaming the city you will also see Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge. When in Bath, you also explore the Roman Baths.
The last stop is Stonehenge, a topic of long-standing public debate.
Cancellations are possible up to 24 hours before your visit date.
Adult ticket (17 to 59 years): 109 Pounds
Seniors ticket (60+ years): 106 Pounds
Child ticket (5 to 16 years): 99 Pounds
Student ticket (with valid ID): 99 Pounds
2. Windsor, Oxford and Stonehenge tour
If you book this tour, you will visit three of the best tourist spots just outside of London – Windsor, Oxford, and Stonehenge.
You are expected to report for this 10-hour-long tour at 8 am in Central London. The departure is at 8.30 am.
Windsor Castle is the first stop, where you explore the Castle, the State Apartments, Queen Mary’s Doll’s House and St. George’s Chapel.
The next stop is Stonehenge, after which the group stops for lunch (which is part of the package).
The final stop is the University town of Oxford.
The tour finishes in London around 7.15 pm.
Adult ticket (17 to 59 years): 102 Pounds
Seniors ticket (60+ years): 97 Pounds
Student ticket (18 to 25 years): 97 Pounds
Child ticket (3 to 16 years): 92 Pounds
3. Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Bath and Lacock tour
This tour lasts 12 hours and 30 minutes and starts from Gate No. 19-20, Victoria Coach Station.
We won’t recommend this tour if you are traveling with kids below 10 years or if you are traveling with seniors.
The first stop is Windsor Castle, which is followed by a visit to Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain.
Next, the group stops for lunch at a small village called Lacock. This village is known for its exotic beauty which is why it features in many Movies, including the Harry Potter series.
The last stop for the day is yet another town called Bath. In Bath, you will visit Bath Abbey and romantic Pulteney Bridge over the river Avon.
Adult ticket (17 to 59 years): 112 Pounds
Seniors ticket (60+ years): 109 Pounds
Child ticket (3 to 16 years): 102 Pounds
Students ticket (with Valid ID): 109 Pounds
Windsor Castle’s Changing of Guard
‘Changing of Guard’ is one of the highlights of visiting Windsor Castle.
The Ceremony takes place in the morning from 10.30 am to 11.30 am, wherein the guards march back to Windsor Castle from Victoria Barracks.
The guards start their march from Victoria Barracks on Sheet Street, up the High Street and into Windsor Castle.
This ceremony takes place in the lower ward of the Castle, outside the Guard Room.
For the best view, you must be stationed on Windsor High Street or on the Corn Exchange under Windsor Guildhall.
During the ceremony, Traffic Wardens and Police control traffic so movement is restricted.
Windsor Castle’s Change of guards, doesn’t take place on a Sunday.
Windsor Castle map
Since Windsor Castle is a massive tour, it is important to have a map to avoid any inconvenience.
You don’t need to buy one if you have booked a Windsor Castle guided tour for it will then be your guide’s responsibility to provide you a map.
However, if you haven’t booked a guided tour, we recommend you take a print out of the map below.
Windsor Castle Vs Buckingham Palace
Both Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace are equally wonderful and if you are in London, missing one for the other isn’t advisable.
They both offer a totally different experience to the visitor. We try and put it below in perspective.
|Windsor Castle||Buckingham Palace|
|Windsor Castle is in Berkshire, 40 Kms (25 Miles) from Central London.||Buckingham Palace is within the city of London – it is 3 minutes brisk walk from Central London.|
|Windsor Castle was built in the 11th century making it a 1000 year old structure.||Principal facade of Buckingham Palace (what you now see) was completed in 1850 making it a 170 year old building.|
|Windsor Castle is open to visitors all through the year.||The Palace allows visitors only from late July to late September – when the Queen is not in residence. However, the Queen’s Gallery and The Royal Mews are open through the year.|
|The Changing of the Guard happens from 10.30 am to 11.30 am. The guards march from Victoria Barracks to Windsor Castle.||Changing of the Guard ceremony happens all through the year outside the Palace at 10:45 and lasts for 45 minutes.|
|Windsor Castle is the royal residence in English county of Berkshire.||Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative HQ of the monarch of the United Kingdom.|
|At 23.50 Pounds for an adult, the Windsor Castle entry tickets are cheaper. Buy Tickets||When it is open, the Buckingham Palace State Rooms entry ticket is slightly costlier at 27 Pounds for an adult. Buy Tickets|
Unfortunately, there isn’t any good combo tour ticket for visiting both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
Windsor Castle FAQs
Tourists visiting Windsor Castle have a lot of questions.
However, these are the most asked questions on Windsor Castle.
William, the Conqueror built the Windsor Castle.
He chose the site because it was easily accessible from London.
Henry II included Special Royal Apartments and upgraded the walls from Timber to Stone which took 60 years.
Edward III also renovated it by spending around £50,000.
It was built in the 11th century. It took 16 years to build.
Reigning Monarch owns the Windsor Castle, which is currently Queen Elizabeth II.
She prefers to spend her private weekends at the Windsor Castle.
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