Visiting Windsor Castle

What to see at Windsor Castle, how long to stay, best time to visit, tickets and tours

Windsor Castle
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Windsor Castle is one of three official residences of the Crown and has been home to the Sovereign for over 900 years.

The Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world and the oldest in continuous occupation. The imposing towers and battlements of the Castle loom large from every approach to the town, creating one of the world's most spectacular skylines.

What strikes many people used to visiting historic ruins or attractions with a 'preservation' or museum like atmosphere is that Windsor Castle is in pristine condition and fully working.

There are around 150 people for whom Windsor Castle is their home. Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was often in residence many weekends in her lifetime.

On this page we discuss your ticket options as well as how long you will need and details of what you will see at Windsor Castle including the Changing of the Guard. Please note St George's Chapel is shut to visitors on Sundays.

BOOK TICKETS   Ticket information   Opening times   Location   Visit length & queues   Entry, exits and security   Audio guides   Changing of the Guard   State Apartments   St George's Chapel   Windsor Castle with an attraction pass/promotion   Windsor Castle tours   FAQ   Other royal palaces in London  

In May 2018, Windsor Castle became the focus of the world, with the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel. With their subsequent horse drawn carriage tour around Windsor and through Windsor Great Park, this Windsor Royal wedding made Windsor Castle a must see destination for a whole new generation.

Windsor Castle tours remain ever-popular and good value if you want to combine into a top day out with somewhere like Stonehenge or Bath. There are loads of options to choose from.

Want even more Royal days out in London? See our page Royal Palaces and Castles in London for highlights of the best.

Windsor Castle tickets


Windsor Castle

Book with confidence through Visit Britain - The Official Shop of the British Tourist Board

• Luxurious State Apartments • St. George's Chapel, burial place of Henry VIII • Queen Mary's ornate Dolls' House • Changing of the Guard ceremony in summer

Windsor Castle - tickets 2024

Cheapest Windsor Castle tickets

To get yourself the cheapest Windsor Castle tickets you need to book online in advance. You will save yourself £2 per person this way.

There is a young person rate for 18-24 year olds, as well as a child price type for 5-17 year olds inclusive. Under 5s remain free and un-ticketed.

Families qualify for a family discount to bookings of at least 1 adult and 2 children.

You can save substantially if you are a group of 15 or more.

Book in advance Windsor Castle to save money and queuing time

Whilst you can buy tickets on the day for ultimate flexibility, you will save money of you book in advance an ensure a smoother entry.

Windsor Castle gets very busy, particularly at peak times so it is strongly recommended to book in advance.

Tickets like the ones from the banner above (through Visit Britain) give you an instant confirmation so you can then download the eTicket on your mobile.

We are not aware of any discounted tickets available to visitors priced below that of the prices of the advance tickets. However some providers are selling the tickets for more than others - so do check first. Where we can, we always try to offer the lowest possible ticket provider.

Windsor Castle - opening times and when to visit 2024

1 March - 31 October

Open Thursday - Monday. Timed admission slots - every 30 mins
First entry 10.00, last entry 16.00, closes 17.15

1 November to 28 February

Open Thursday - Monday. Timed admission slots - every 30 mins
First entry 10.00, last entry 15.00, closes 16.15

Changing of the Guard and closures

Changing of the Guard happens between 11am and 11.30am also adding to the morning rush. Many of the coach tours will commonly stay until around midday departing after the Changing of the Guard.

On Sundays St George's is closed for religious services. Access to the Chapel may be limited after 13.30, particularly on Saturdays. It is recommended to arrive early to avoid missing out.

Lastly, the castle may close for state visits and special occasions so do consult the Windsor Castle official website. This also states the days during the winter when Changing of the Guard takes place and seasonable closing times.

It follows that if you're an independent visitor during the summer months, a good strategy is to visit the other attractions of Windsor & Eton during the morning and visit the castle after lunch. Visitor numbers are also much higher at weekends than during the week (and as such tickets for these peak times are now a little more expensive).

Windsor Castle location

Windsor Castle is very easy to find. Coming out from Windsor and Eton Central Station, or Windsor and Eton Riverside Station, the castle walls can be seen in front of you. The main entrance to Windsor Castle is at the top of Castle Hill, on the right. The address of Windsor Castle is Castle Hill, Windsor, SL4 1PD. Check Windsor Castle map location.

How long your visit will take and queues

During the winter months when there are no queues, the average visitor will take 90 minutes to two hours in the Castle, although the official Windsor Castle website suggest three hours or more.

At peak times during the summer there are often long queues to the entrance of the State Apartments.

Entrance, exits and security at Windsor Castle

Inside Windsor Castle
Inside Windsor Castle

On paying your admission you pass through airline style security where bags are put through an x-ray machine and you empty your pockets and pass through a detector door. Once through the security you pick up your audio phone at the kiosk opposite.

There is an information desk, toilets and gift shop here too. By the audio kiosk is a sign that details the times of the guided tours that day. It is from here these tours start.

Please note, the exit is from the main Windsor Castle Henry VII Gate, not the entrance with the ticket desks.

Multimedia tours and photography at Windsor Castle

Multimedia guides

A multimedia guide is part of the admission price, available in ten languages.

The tour is introduced by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and provides a lively commentary through the castle.

There is also a separate family multimedia guide for children aged 7-11, available in English.

You simply key in the number of the room or place you are in and a full commentary is given. There are many optional commentaries within some commentaries that go into great detail about individual items.

There are separate guides for those with hearing or sight loss.

In person guided tours

There are also classic guided tours that leave regularly from near the entrance on a schedule, and last around thirty minutes.


No photography or video recording is allowed within the State Apartments or St George's Chapel. Eating and drinking are not permitted in the State Apartments or St George's Chapel. You will be asked to place drinks and food in closed bags before being admitted to the castle. You can purchase bottled water at the Courtyard Shop at the beginning of your visit.

Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle Changing of the Guard
Windsor Castle Changing of the Guard

Many visitors like to time their visit so they can view the Changing of the Guard. This is very similar to that practiced in central London at Buckingham Palace or Horse Guards.

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

If you're not visiting the Castle you can still see the band marching through the town around 11am. The barracks is about 500m from the castle, the band passes the Guildhall and Old Town before turning into the castle at Queen Victoria's statue.

If you're in the Castle, congregate in the parade ground by the main exit in front of St George's Chapel.

The whole thing takes around thirty minutes here.

State Apartments, Windsor Castle

Most people after getting their introductions and briefings about the castle on their tour will make their way past the moat of the Round Tower (not open to the public) up to the north terrace. It is here that the entrance to the State Apartments is situated.

From the north terrace you gaze down to Windsor town below and get far reaching views of the surrounding countryside. Windsor town looks much smaller from up here.

2019 restoration and opening of the State Entrance Hall

In 2019 Windsor Castle went through an extended period of restoration of the inner Hall, formerly closed to the public. The Inner Hall (closed by Queen Victoria) leads visitors to the State Entrance Hall, where guests of the Crown are welcomed to Windsor, a magnificent welcoming area.

From the Inner Hall Visitors can visit the State Apartments, Semi-State Rooms and Queen Mary's Dolls' House. The Dolls' House is precisely what you'd expect, a single miniature dolls' house suitable for royalty complete with miniature crown jewels.

Much of the southern part of the State Apartments was destroyed by fire in 1992 and has been restored. Arguably your experience is much the better for it; some of the rooms that were beginning to look faded and antique now really do bring alive what the original rooms would have looked like on completion.

Such are the treasures that you can perhaps look at an obscure painting only to realise that your are inches from an original Rubens when looking at the information on it.

St George's Chapel

St George's Chapel Windsor Castle
St George's Chapel

St George's Chapel is a working church with services every day. St. George's Chapel is open daily but closed to visitors on Sundays as services are held throughout the day. Worshipers are welcome to attend the services. The church also closes earlier than the rest of the castle to prepare for the evening service.

If you're entering the castle from early afternoon onwards it is worth making St George's your first port of call.

More recently, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding was held in St George's Chapel. Another Royal wedding at Windsor followed shortly afterwards when Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank tied the knot in St George's Chapel.

Also within the chapel are the tombs of ten sovereigns, including Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, and Charles I. The Gothic architecture is particularly impressive, particularly the roof.

Perhaps most fascinating and differentiating the chapel from similar churches and abbeys is the Order of the Garter, the world's oldest national order of knighthood in continuous existence, with a history stretching back to King Edward III in medieval times.

Membership of the Order is extremely limited and includes the monarch of the United Kingdom, the Prince of Wales and not more than twenty-four companion members. St George's is home to the Order, as St. George is patron saint and also patron saint of soldiers and also of England. Members are each assigned a stall in the chapel choir above which his or her heraldic devices are displayed.

Windsor Castle & London's attraction passes and promotions

Included: The London Pass - Windsor Castle is supported by London's most popular attraction pass, (with over 90 top London attractions).

Other top attractions on the London Pass list include Tower of London, Tower Bridge, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Big Bus, St Paul's Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace, London Bridge Experience, Madame Tussauds, Chessington World of Adventures, London Zoo, The View from the Shard, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace & Gardens plus many more! The London Pass offers incredible savings over buying individual attraction tickets.

For full details follow the banner link below.

Not included: Railways 2 for 1 Promotion - The railways 2 for 1 entrance promotion is not valid at Windsor Castle.

The London Pass


The Londpon Pass

The more you visit, the more you save

• Access 90+ London attractions including Tower of London, London Eye, Madame Tussauds, London Zoo, Chessington World of Adventures, London Bridge Experience, Thames River Cruise, Tower Bridge, St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, The View from Shard, Windsor Castle, Big Bus, and many more...
• 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 day passes available.

Windsor Castle tours

There are many different tours visiting Windsor Castle, just a couple of them are half day tours only to the castle, not including another attraction.

However, because Windsor is relatively close to London many tours have Windsor Castle as part of a day long tour, including other attractions such as The London Eye, Hampton Court, Buckingham Palace or further afield, Stonehenge.

FAQs on Windsor Castle

Q. Where is Windsor Castle?

A. Windsor Castle is situated in Berkshire in the South of England. It is in the town of Windsor which is twinned with Eton by the River Thames. The average journey times from London are around 60-90 minutes by coach and around an hour by train.


Q. How to get to Windsor Castle?

A. You can use one of the many tour operators from London and have all your travel needs taken care of for you. You can also travel independently from London by train using either Paddington or Waterloo main line stations to Windsor.


Q. How old is Windsor Castle?

A. Windsor Castle can be traced back to the 11th century with building work starting on the Castle around 1070.


Q. Who lives in Windsor Castle?

A. Windsor Castle has always been a working palace. Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II used Windsor Castle as her private home where she would usually spend the weekend and as an official Royal residence. There are also the staff living at Windsor Castle which includes the titular head of the Castle community, the Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle; the Dean of Windsor, Military Knights of Windsor, housekeepers and soldiers. There are roughly 150 people living at the Castle itself.


Q. Who owns Windsor Castle?

A. Windsor Castle is owned by the state/crown and belongs to the reigning monarch by virtue of their position.

Other royal palaces in and around London

Other royal palaces and castles in and around London include:

Tower of London: Founded by William the Conqueror in 1066-7 and enlarged and modified by successive sovereigns, today the Tower of London is one of the world's most famous and spectacular fortresses. In its time it has been a royal palace, a fortress, a prison, an armoury, a treasury and an astronomical observatory. The Tower of London now displays the Crown Jewels.

Buckingham Palace: has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837. Today it is the administrative headquarters of the Crown and is the main venue for the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Kew Palace (with Kew Gardens) Open from March - September, Kew Palace, once the home of George III and Queen Charlotte, requires a valid ticket for Kew Gardens to enter. See the Great Pagoda (which can be climbed with a separate ticket), Queen Charlotte's Cottage and the Palace itself with Royal Kitchens.

Hampton Court Palace Henry VIII's place, and also a top day out for adults and kids alike. Don't forget the fabulous maze, as well as demonstrations, talks, etc. Proper 'Living History.'

Kensington Palace: A rich royal history. Kensington Palace can boast of being the birth place of Queen Victoria and the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, not to mention being the home of a host of Georgian monarchs and royalty including Princess Diana who have all left their mark on this impressive Palace. Explore the vast state apartments which contain an array of beautiful paintings and sculptures.

Royal palaces in London - more information


Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Windsor Castle - all included with London Pass

The London Pass can save you £££'s on walk-up entry prices for over 90 of London's top attractions.

Included in the pass are the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle, Kew Palace & Gardens, The King's Gallery, and Hampton Court Palace.

Other top attractions on the London Pass list include the London Eye, Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, London Bridge Experience, Big Bus, Madame Tussauds, Chessington World of Adventures, London Zoo, The View from the Shard, Westminster Abbey, plus many more! The London Pass offers incredible savings over buying individual attraction tickets.

The London Pass


The Londpon Pass

The more you visit, the more you save

• Access 90+ London attractions including Tower of London, London Eye, Madame Tussauds, London Zoo, Chessington World of Adventures, London Bridge Experience, Thames River Cruise, Tower Bridge, St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, The View from Shard, Windsor Castle, Big Bus, and many more...
• 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 day passes available.



Stonehenge Morning Half Day Tour - from £65
Windsor Castle Windsor Morning & Afternoon Tours - from £70
Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (inc Lunch, no adm Roman Baths) - from £99
Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (no Lunch, inc adm Roman Baths) - from £92
Windsor, Stonehenge & Salisbury - from £85
Windsor & Bath Day Tour - from £85
Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (Small Group - Max 16 people) - from £156.60
Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge admission only) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - from £88
Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge & Baths adm) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - from £116
Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge & Jane Austen Centre) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - from £118
Stonehenge & Windsor (featuring extended time at Windsor) - from £85
Stonehenge & Avebury - from £114
Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford - from £79
Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - from £128
Stonehenge, Glastonbury & Avebury (Small Group) - from £156.60
Bath, Cotswolds, Stonehenge & Avebury (Small Group) - from £156.60


Beatles Liverpool Day Tour - £198
Day Trip to Paris - from £259
Day Trip to Edinburgh - from £225


2-day Windsor, Stonehenge, Bath & Oxford - from £349
3-day Stonehenge, Glastonbury, Bath & SW - from £275
5-day Peak District, Wales & Yorkshire- from £425
2-day private Stonehenge, Bath, Cotswolds & Oxford - from £650
Budget 3 days in Paris - from £289 (not currently available)
Luxury 2 & 3 days in Paris - from £399 (not currently available)
2-day Edinburgh - from £312
3-day Edinburgh & Scotland Weekend - from £379 (not currently available)
3-day Edinburgh & Scotland Anytime - from £999
6-12-day tours of Great Britain and Ireland - from £1425

Every effort is made to keep all our information correct and the advertised prices up to date. We endeavour to be as accurate a source of information as possible but Travellers Toolkits cannot be held responsible for any price differential between our stated prices and those of the companies supplying the product or accuracy of information provided on our sites.