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The Best Way To Travel To Windsor From Central London?

Like nearly all journeys using public transport in and around London there is no universal “best” way of getting from A to B.
There is the cheapest, the fastest but seldom an option that wins on all counts.
In the case of getting out to Windsor, perhaps the single most important factor is where you are staying in Central London.
The train from London Paddington to Windsor is probably the most popular option but there is little point in crossing London to Paddington if you are staying in Kensington, Victoria or County Hall where alternative direct public transport to Windsor terminates or passes through.
Note: Windsor is outside the London public transport area so you cannot use Oyster or Travelcards to get to Windsor. Nearest point valid for Oyster/Travelcard is Heathrow Airport.
To my knowledge there is no left luggage facilities available anywhere in Windsor or Eton.
Fares quoted below are for 2012.

  • Paddington to Windsor Train Via Slough (Off Peak Day Return £9.50 – journey time around 30 mins) – perhaps the most popular option, but getting to Paddington from some hotel districts may take 20 minutes or more. Have to change trains at Slough where a feeder train runs a shuttle over to Windsor. Station exit is opposite castle.
  • Waterloo to Windsor Train (Off Peak day return £10.60 – journey time around 50 mins) people in the Victoria nad Kensington area can pick up this train by getting a connectiong train or tube to Clapham Junction or Richmond. Although the fare is slightly more than the Paddington option you can buy a combined ticket for both train and Windsor Castle saving £2.90 on Windsor Castle admission making it cheaper overall. The train terminates at Windsor Riverside station, a 5 minute walk from the castle.
  • Victoria to Windsor Green Line Bus (Off Peak Day Return £10.00 – journey time 80 mins)  – the bus runs through Kensington High Street, Olympia and Hammersmith before going on the motorway to Windsor. Many of those staying in a Kensington hotel will be able to walk to a bus stop. Double decker bus with free wi-fi. Stops outside Windsor Castle and also goes to Legoland.
  • Heathrow Airport to Windsor Local Bus – From in front of Terminal 5 arrivals, the number 71 bus takes 45 minutes to stop outside Windsor Castle. There are other buses available including one to Eton. You can get a day ticket if you want to go beyond Windsor itself and visit Runnymede, the Queen’s farm Shop or other attractions outside the town of Windsor.

Windsor Overview – Briefing on what Windsor has to offer
Windsor Tours From London – Take a guided tour to Windsor from London

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  • michelle

    Best way to get to Windsor Castle and Windsor from the Angel Station and return?

    • Bob

      Most people take the train from Paddington

      There is a slower train from London Waterloo to Windsor and you can buy a ticket bundled with Windsor Castle admission that saves a little money

  • Carolyn Frodsham

    Best way to get to Windsor Castle and Windsor from the Park Plaza Victoria Hotel and return.

    • Bob

      Personally I would walk over to Victoria Coach Station and get the Green Line Bus that runs about every hour and stops outside Windsor Castle.

  • Wildflower

    We are landing at Heathrow around 11:45 am (on a Monday) and are considering visiting Windsor Castle before heading to our hotel in the Olympia section of London. If we take a bus from Heathrow to Windsor we need to store luggage plus return to Heathrow to get transportation to our hotel. Is there a better way to do this? If we just go to hotel and catch Green Line bus to Windsor we’re afraid we won’t have enough time at castle. Is there any way we can go to Windsor with our luggage and then directly to our hotel? We really want to visit Windsor Castle but only have one full day in London and the next morning before heading to Dover for a cruise. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    • Bob

      If your flight is on time you should be out of customs/luggage retrieval by around 1 p.m.
      You really need to be at Windsor Castle at the latest 3 p.m. in order to have an full unhurried look at the castle.
      This would preclude the option of going to your hotel, then out again to Windsor.

      You don’t say which Terminal you are flying into but the public buses from Heathrow to Windsor from Terminal 5.
      If you are using any other terminal, allow 30 minutes to get over to Terminal 5.
      The buses take about 45 minutes to Windsor, so as long as your flight is not late this is an option.
      The problem here is what to do with your luggage. The only real viable option is to put your luggage into left luggage at Heathrow, (each terminal has one).
      Left luggage is expensive. 5 GBP per bag up to 4 hours, 8.50 GBP per bag 4 to 24 hours.

      I would suggest you look at the Windsor taxi facility at the web page below.
      Presumably to save a little money you could just use Five Star cars who run this facility for the Heathrow to Windsor leg and their left luggage facility they offer at Windsor for customers only and take the Green Line bus to your hotel which the bus passes.

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