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.