Windsor Castle Tour

A Windsor Castle tour is a must - there is so much to see and do! Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, and is also one of the official residences of the Queen. Built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, it has been he home of 39 British monarchs.

If you decide to take this tour, you may like to consider arriving after 11:30 a.m., as the Admission Center is at its busiest between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Highlights of a Windsor Castle tour include the State Apartments, the Drawings Gallery, Queen Marys Doll House and St. George's Chapel. A complimentary audio tour will guide you around the castle and lasts 1 1/2 hours. There are also guided tours of the Precincts, which are included in the admission price. They depart at half-hourly intervals from the Courtyard and last 30 minutes - look out for the poster advertising tour times adjacent to the building from which audio tours are issued.

St. George's Chapel closes at 4:00 p.m., although visitors can attend evensong at 5:15 p.m., if they wish.

Like Buckingham Palace, a Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place at Windsor Castle daily. The ceremony usually takes place at 11:00 a.m. within the Castle grounds daily from April until the end of July and on alternative days for the rest of the year, weather permitting.

One of the best times of the year to take a Windsor Castle tour is between October and March, when the spectacular private apartments created for King George IV are open. The Queen uses these Semi-State Roos for official entertaining. Something to remember is that babies' strollers can't be taken into the State Apartments. However, you can borrow baby carriers and hip seats free-of-charge.

My favorite part of the Windsor Castle tour is a chance to admire Queen Marys Doll House, probably the most famous Doll House in the world. It was built for Queen Mary by the leading British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1921 and 1924, and is a perfect replica in miniature of an aristocratic home - truly beautiful!

St. George's Chapel is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. It is closed to visitors on Sundays, as services are held throughout the day. Worshippers are welcome to attend the services.

Top Tips:

  • Make sure you book at Expedia for your best ticket choices.
  • The Castle is at the top of a steep hill, and the visitor route covers long distances - it is best the wear comfortable shoes.
  • Windsor Royal Shopping Centre is located opposite Windsor Castle in the grade II listed Victorian Railway Station, built in 1851. Many of the original features remain and can be seen when visiting over 40 stores, a range of restaurants, cafes and bars, and an art and craft market that is open 7 days a week.
  • The nearest train station is Windsor and Eton Central - a 3-minute walk to the castle. This is a mainline station starting at either Paddington or Waterloo. The Paddington train is quicker taking around 25 minutes, but you will need to change at Slough. The Waterloo train is direct but slower, taking around 50 to 55 minutes and will stop at the Windsor and Eton Riverside station. It is a 4-minute walk from here to the castle.

A Windsor Castle tour will be a memorable one, but if you want something special for your day, you can pay for a 45-minute tour of the iconic Round Tower. This is only available during the summer months but once you have conquered the 200 steps to the top, the views across the Thames Valley to the London skyline will be worh it - not for the faint-hearted or those with vertigo!

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