Windsor Castle Day Trip

Enjoy a day trip to Windsor Castle

Overlooking Windsor Castle
Overlooking Windsor Castle cc licensed photo by Karen Roe

A day trip to Windsor Castle will fill your day with an abundance of photo opportunities and a fascinating lesson in medieval history. There is so much history behind this castle that we can only touch the surface here.

Windsor Castle is the largest castle in the world today still occupied as a residence. An official residence to the Queen, this 900 plus year old castle continues as a full working palace and covers an area of 26 acres.

The castle was first built after the Norman invasion in order to maintain Norman dominance along the western outskirts of London. It also overlooked and protected a strategic part of the River Thames, having a mote and bailey. Originally constructed of wood by William the Conqueror, the castle later became a residence for King Henry l. During the later half of the 12th century his grandson, Henry II gradually rebuilt the castle with stone to improve its fortification. He also converted the inside of the castle into an elaborate palace. In the 13th century Henry lll made even more improvements followed by Edward III who rebuilt much of that same palace with even more extravagance. Over the following centuries subsequent Kings have each added their own interesting touches and improvements to the castle.

Windsor Castle has served as a home and fortress for Monarchs for nearly a millennium. It has stood up to invasions during the First Barons' War in the early 13th century and during the civil war in the 15th century it served as headquarters to Parliamentary military forces. As recently as the Second World War the castle provided protection to the Royal Family from bombing campaigns.

In spite of its resilience in times of war, Windsor Castle almost succumbed to a terrible fire that swept over the building in 1992 destroying all but the outer shell of a number of rooms. The fire started by a spotlight coming into contact with curtains inside the Queen's Private Chapel and quickly spread up into the roof of the palace. The damaged rooms were all painstakingly restored, a project that took five years to complete.

One of the amazing and very interesting highlights of a visit to Windsor Castle is Queen Mary's Doll house. This is definitely not your average doll house. It is the largest most elegant and famous doll house in the world. Built for Queen Mary by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1921-1924 This scaled-down replica is an impeccable likeness to an aristocratic home, with features such as a fully stocked wine cellar a library a garden, electricity, running water both hot and cold, flushing toilets and elevators that work. In an adjacent display you will see two beautiful French dolls, France and Marianne with part of their wardrobe of clothes and adornments that were designed and made by Parisian fashion houses for Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret rose the daughters of King George Vl and Queen Elizabeth.

Windsor Castle is only a short distance from Legoland so you may want to combine the two into a single day trip, however, it is easy to spend a full day exploring either one.

Windsor Castle is open most days of the year for visitors and tours from 9:45am to 5:15pm except until 4:15pm from November to February.

For more information about Windsor Castle including hours and admission charges visit their official website linked above.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes.

Windsor Castle Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 5:15 PM
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:15 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:15 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:15 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:15 PM

Address: Windsor SL4 1NJ, UK

Phone: 0303 123 7334

Official Website: Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle Reviews

Rated 4.7 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating Visited Windsor Castle on Father’s Day with the family, and it was an unforgettable experience. We bought tickets at the door and were immediately met with kindness and care from every staff member. The castle itself is stunning and exceptionally well-organized. Shortly after leaving the front desk, we joined a tour led by Lorna, who was just beginning her session. She was fantastic, sharing captivating stories about the kings and queens and explaining the castle's rich history and architecture. The tour was incredibly informative and engaging. Overall, we had a fantastic time and will definitely be returning. Highly recommend!
psitolpj31 - 3 weeks ago

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5 Star Rating My favourite castle in the UK. 100% worth visiting and better book in advance. If you want to avoid crowds better visit on working days. It's easy to reach the place by train from London. Also check that the chapel is working as it's a huge part of the experience. The main part of the castle is also marvellous. You will also have a chance to spot the change of the king's guard.
Gleb Zhuravlev - a month ago

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5 Star Rating What a wonderful and beautiful place. We were on very limited time, so we just visited St George's Chapel and the long walk. The architecture was magnificent, and the history of the building was provided via free headset. We will return to the castle and see more.
Heather Laird-ruocco - a month ago

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5 Star Rating Absolutely brilliant place to visit. Very well organised. Headsets and handset to guide you and pointing out most interesting to view. Lovely surroundings, plenty of shops and facilities.
Jacqueline Wilkinson - a week ago

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5 Star Rating The finest castle in the UK. A must see. Always busy, so worth booking in advance. Allow at least two hours, but easily double that if you take your time. If you want to see the dolls house, get there early, or you will queue for a long time.
Alec - a week ago

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Tube and National Rail Line Nearest Station Walking Time
District, Circle, Hammersmith and City, and Bakerloo LinesPaddington Station4 MInutes

How to get to Windsor Castle by Tube and National Rail

From Paddington Station Purchase a National Rail Ticket for the First Great Western Line to Windsor and Eton Central Station. There will be a transfer between trains at Slough Station. Total time on the train including the transfer varies between 26 and 50 minutes depending on which train you catch.

When you arrive at Windsor and Eton Central Station take the Windsor Castle (east) exit and walk south on Thames St. then left on Castle Hill to get to the visitor entrance.

Use the National Rail Journey Planner to get details and departure times for you trip.

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