Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the official residence of her majesty the Queen

The London Pass London Pass Benefits: Access to Windsor Castle with The London Pass Normally £22.50 - Included with London Pass

No trip to London is complete without a visit to the Queen's favourite weekend residence. Discover the history of this iconic building and watch the Changing the Guard at the historic Windsor Castle.

Entry into Windsor Castle is included in The London Pass®

- Pay nothing at the door – simply show your pass.
- Explore the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.
- Watch the Changing the Guard: a long-standing royal tradition.

 

Pass Perks

London Pass holders get a free self-guided multimedia tour that lasts around 2 hours.



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- Windsor Castle history

- Windsor Castle highlights

- Windsor Castle facts

- What's On

- Know before you go

- How to get there



Windsor Castle history
 

For over 1,000 years, Windsor Castle has been the English royal residence. This stunning castle, presiding over 5.3 hectares/13 acres of land, is the largest and oldest occupied Castle in the world. With its breathtaking courts, circular tower and vast surrounding flatlands, it’s unsurprising that Windsor Castle is the place Her Majesty the Queen chooses to spend most of her private weekends.

William the Conqueror first made this vast space after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, crafting the castle out of wood in what was known as a motte-and-bailey style. The Castle served as an excellent watchtower over the River Thames and Windsor Forest. Henry I was the first monarch to use the Castle as a home. But various alterations to the site have since been made by his royal successors, including the addition of the beguiling Round Tower and a stone keep by Henry II. Perhaps no monarch worked on the Castle as extensively as Edward III, however, who spent a vast amount of money on adding and improving it during his reign.

As well as private apartments for monarchs and visitors, the Castle contains an upper ward, which houses the royal library. This room contains priceless works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, to name but a few. However, when a fire broke out across the Castle in November 1992, a few works were sadly destroyed or damaged, along with more than 100 rooms. These rooms were restored in 1997 at a cost of almost £40 million

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Windsor Castle highlights
 

  • Catch the traditional military parade and Changing the Guard up the high street and into the castle up to the Lower Ward.
  • The State Apartments pay homage to the differing tastes of the royal occupants from lavish furnishings and treasures from the Royal Collection. Don't miss masterpieces by Rubens, Holbein, Brueghel and Van Dyck.
  • See Queen Mary’s Dolls' House. Built by the leading architect Sir Edwin Lutyens for Queen Mary in the early 1920s, this dollhouse is the largest and most intricate in the world.

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Windsor Castle facts  

  • During the Blitz in World War II, the windows of Windsor Castle were blacked out and the royal bedrooms were strengthened in case the castle was bombed.
  • St George’s Chapel is deemed one of the most beautiful and impressive buildings in England and is the burial place of 10 monarchs.
  • The Long Walk, a paved avenue of trees, runs south of the castle for three long miles in a straight line.
  • The exclusive and renowned school Eton College (where Prince William and Harry were educated) is situated about half a mile from the castle.
  • As of 2006, around 500 people were living and working in the castle.

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What’s On

Changing the Guard

Catch the traditional military parade and Changing the Guard up the high street and into the castle to the Lower Ward. The ceremony lasts 30 minutes and starts at 11:00 (but you can catch the march up the hill at 10:50). Weather permitting, they’ll be accompanied by a band. The Guard March takes place all year round on alternate days from August to March and daily during April, May, June and July (apart from Sundays).

State Apartments


Home to over 39 monarchs, Windsor Castle’s décor has varied hugely over the centuries. The State Apartments pay homage to the differing tastes of the royal occupants from lavish furnishings and treasures from the Royal Collection, including masterpieces by Rubens, Holbein, Brueghel and Van Dyck.

Queen Mary’s Dolls' House

Built by the leading architect Sir Edwin Lutyens for Queen Mary in the early 1920s, this dollhouse is the largest and most intricate in the world. The scale is tiny, at 1:12, and the house is filled with one-off specially commissioned pieces from leading artists and craftsmen. Observe the minute detail of the library, wine cellar and marvel at the facilities, including running water and electricity.

St George’s Chapel

This Gothic masterpiece is one of the finest examples of its style of architecture in the country. It is the home of the Order of the Garter, established in 1348, and houses the tombs of ten sovereigns including Henry VIII.

Open Monday – Saturday: The Chapel closes at 16:15 (last entry 16:00) in order to prepare for the evening service at 17:15 (doors open at 17:00).

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Know before you go
 

  • The Changing the Guard schedule is set by the British Army. Check the Royal Collection's website for the latest information and updates.  
  • The winter months see the State Apartments beautifully decorated for Christmas, making this a great time to visit.
  • Visiting with children? Pick up a brand new multimedia guide to help little ones get the most from their visit to the Castle (available in many different languages). A family tour led by Scorch the dragon is also sure to delight younger members of the family.
  • Windsor Castle operates security checks upon entry, please arrive with as few bags and bulky items as possible.
  • Please check Closures & Notices for changes to opening hours and closure dates.  

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Make the most of your London Pass 

- Windsor Castle can get busy during the mornings. Visit after 14.00 to avoid queues and a better experience. 

For more things to do in London, check out The London Pass® Blog.

 

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How to get there

  • Travel by train, to and from Windsor Castle, is included with both London Pass and London Pass + Travel packages. 
  • Travel from London Paddington after 12.30 only, board a train for Slough and change at Slough for a train to Windsor & Eton Central.  
  • Show your London Pass to the ticket controller at the ticket barrier at London Paddington and they will let you through. 
  • Travel is free of charge and included in the price of the pass. 
  • Do not use your Oyster Travelcard (if you have one) at the barrier as this will affect your credit. 

Please note: You must take the same return journey back from Windsor to Paddington Station via Slough or else you may be charged on your Oyster Card.

For more things to do in London, check out The London Pass® Blog.

See the full list of attractions 

 

Excellent Couldn't have been better. It made for a most enjoyable visit . I would recommend it to anyone, especially first-time visitors.
Kjersti Board from United States

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Getting to Windsor Castle

Getting to Windsor Castle

  • Windsor Castle Windsor Berkshire SL4 1NJ
  • Closest Underground Station Windsor Train Station

Opening Times

March - October
Monday 09.30 - 17.15
Tuesday 09.30 - 17.15
Wednesday 09.30 - 17.15
Thursday 09.30 - 17.15
Friday 09.30 - 17.15
Saturday 09.30 - 17.15
Sunday 09.30 - 17.15
Last Admission: 16.00
November - February
Monday 09.45 - 16.15
Tuesday 09.45 - 16.15
Wednesday 09.45 - 16.15
Thursday 09.45 - 16.15
Friday 09.45 - 16.15
Saturday 09.45 - 16.15
Sunday 09.45 - 16.15
Last Admission: 15.00

Closed:

Please check our Closure & Notices page for changes in opening hours and closure dates.

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