When planning your trip to London you need to take the trip to see Windsor Castle. You should allow for at least a half day. Everyone loves a good castle so why not go to the oldest one in the world? I promise it’s worth the 30 minute train ride. Stay tuned for how to best explore Windsor Castle! If you’re looking for other things to do in London check out this post, this post and this one about where to get the best views in London!
Taking a train is the easiest way to get to Windsor. If you’re already in the city just take the tube to Paddington Station. From there you’ll need to buy about a £10-15 train ticket to Windsor Central station. You’ll have to change over in Slough but it’s incredibly easy, just cross the platform. If you’ve bought the London Pass (which I highly recommend) you won’t need to buy a train ticket.
When to go:
Between fall and spring are the best times to go as all of the attractions at Windsor will be open. Additionally, the changing of the guards only takes place on Monday, Wednesday or Friday and that’s a must see. Sunday would be the only day to not go to the castle as there are no guard changes and the Chapel are closed. Be sure to check the opening and closing times as they change depending on the season!
Adult tickets are £20.50 (included in the London Pass if you’ve purchased that). A complimentary audio guide is included as well as a 30 minute Precinct tour if that interests you. There is security at Windsor Castle so be sure to pack light and don’t bring anything that wouldn’t be allowed in. If you have a large backpack you might need to check it at the coat closet. Most notably, you definitely need to wear comfortable walking shoes as most of the grounds are on an incline.
Why You Should Go:
Windsor Castle is the mother of all castles. Windsor is over 900 years old and is a full 13 acres of working palace. This is the place to envelop yourself in a piece of British history. Strolling through its massive walls makes it easy to imagine the castle as it was back in 1100A.D. Everywhere you turn is picture perfect. From the manicured lawns, to the stunning State Apartments, to St. George’s Chapel which sits in the middle of the massive grounds.
The Queen herself resides at the castle most weekends and is there for a whole month during Easter. There are many times throughout the year when the Queen is in residence and all you have to do is check the flag atop the round tower. If the flag is flying, she’s in town! Even if the Queen isn’t around to catch a glimpse of in the windows allow yourself 2-3 hours to fully explore all the attractions.
Changing of the Guards:
Watch the changing of the guard at Windsor Castle rather than at Buckingham Palace. The 30 minute (11 AM) ceremony isn’t as extravagant but the process is exactly the same and you’ll fight less to get a better view. After the ceremony is your chance to try and crack a smile on the new guards face. Best of luck!
Home to some of the most beautiful and breathtaking art from the Royal Collection. If you’d like to see the amazing works of Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto be sure to check the calendar before you visit as they are periodically closed for events.
These are only open from September to March as they are used for official entertaining in the summer months. Not only will you get to walk in the same spots as old British Royalty but present royalty as well!
Queen Mary’s Dollhouse
This particular exhibit I didn’t get a chance to check out and after reading up, I wish I had! Queen Mary’s Doll’s House is the largest doll house in the world. There are thousands of items in the doll house to take a peek at, including a wine cellar! Though not nearly as old as the rest of the castle (built in the 1920’s) it’s still worth a stroll through.
St. George’s Chapel
You can’t miss this stunning Gothic chapel in the middle of Windsor Castle. Anyone interested in history will be thrilled to know that Henry VIII and Charles I are buried here, along with 8 other Monarchs. In addition to being an extravagant burial ground, St. George’s is home to the Order of the Garter which was established in 1348. Can you believe that? The Chapel is closed on Sundays but, if you plan on attending services you can still sneak in. Definitely be mindful of that when planning your visit. You won’t want to miss this.
When it comes time to leave your new dream home, head down the hill into the equally charming town of Windsor. Grab a bite to eat with the stone facade of the castle watching over you. If you can’t wait to eat you can request re-admission from any of the interior shops. The surrounding town is stunningly beautiful and has an ample amount of cafes, restaurants and shops so
Question of the Day: Have you been to Windsor or will you to go to Windsor Castle?
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