Windsor Castle is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting England. It's the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and is one of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen. If you're planning a visit to Windsor Castle, here's everything you need to know to make the most of your trip.
Location and How to Get There
Windsor Castle is located in the town of Windsor, about 20 miles west of London. The castle is easily accessible by train from London Waterloo or London Paddington stations. Visitors can also take a direct bus from Victoria Coach Station or a direct train from Heathrow Airport.
Admission and Ticket Information
Tickets to Windsor Castle can be purchased online in advance or at the ticket office located at the entrance to the castle. Prices vary depending on the type of ticket you purchase, with options for standard tickets, family tickets, and audio guides. Visitors can also purchase a combined ticket for the castle and other nearby attractions, such as Hampton Court Palace or Kew Gardens.
Visitors can explore the State Apartments, which include the Grand Reception Room, the Waterloo Chamber, and the St. George's Hall. The castle also houses a significant art collection, including works by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Canaletto.
Changing of the Guard Ceremony
The Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place at Windsor Castle on alternate days from April through July and on alternate days from August through March, weather permitting. The ceremony involves a guard change at the castle, and it's a colorful display of pageantry and music. Visitors should arrive early to secure a good spot to view the ceremony, as it can get crowded quickly.
St. George's Chapel
St. George's Chapel is located within the grounds of Windsor Castle and is one of the most significant royal chapels in England. The chapel has been the site of many royal weddings, including the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018. Visitors can explore the chapel and marvel at the stunning architecture and impressive stained-glass windows.
Tips for a Smooth Visit
To make the most of your visit to Windsor Castle, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Plan ahead: Windsor Castle can get very busy, so it's a good idea to plan your visit in advance. Check the castle's website for information on opening times, ticket prices, and any special events or closures.
Arrive early: To avoid long lines and crowds, consider arriving early in the day. This will also give you plenty of time to explore the castle and its many attractions.
Dress appropriately: Windsor Castle is a historic attraction, so it's important to dress appropriately for the occasion. Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers, as some areas of the castle can be quite chilly.
Be respectful: Windsor Castle is an active royal residence, so it's important to be respectful of the surroundings and any royal protocols. Photography is not allowed in certain areas of the castle, so be sure to follow the rules and regulations.
Windsor Castle is a true gem of English heritage and a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the UK. With its stunning architecture, rich history, and royal significance, it's a place you won't soon forget. By following these tips, you can make the most of your visit and enjoy a smooth and unforgettable trip to one of England's most iconic attractions.