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Windsor Castle

from £0 per person

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Established in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, it has been remodelled by successive kings and queens, including Henry II, Charles II and George IV. Today The Queen spends most of her private weekends at the Castle, which is also used regularly for ceremonial and State occasions.

Windsor Castle offers an extraordinarily rich and varied day out, all on one site. A visit to the Castle includes the magnificent State Apartments, which are furnished with some of the finest treasures from the Royal Collection. Among the masterpieces are paintings by Holbein, Rubens and Van Dyck, fine English and French furniture, and the tiny treasures of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. During the winter months, the sumptuous private apartments created by George IV – the Semi-State Rooms –are added to the visitor route. Your admission also includes St George’s Chapel. Set within the Castle Precincts, this is one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in England. Ten monarchs are buried here, including Henry VIII and Charles I.

Please Note: Queen Mary's Dolls' House is currently closed for planned improvement works.

IMPORTANT: Please note that when the state apartments are closed to the public, you will not be able to purchase tickets for the castle only. Please check the calendar for the next available date.

Important: During admission to the attraction, all visitors will pass through airport-style security checks. Visitors should arrive with one small bag where possible to ensure an efficient entry process.

Please note that 100% cancellation fees apply for this ticket. No refunds are available after booking is made.

Windsor Castle has been the home of 39 monarchs, and the appearance of the State Apartments today reflects the changing tastes of the Castle’s royal occupants, particularly Charles II (r.1660-85) and George IV (r.1820-30).


Charles II set out to rival the achievements of his cousin, Louis XIV, at Versailles in France. He modernised the Castle’s interiors, which became the grandest State Apartments in England, with painted ceilings by Antonio Verrio and carvings by Grinling Gibbons.


With his architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville, George IV gave the State Apartments a new grand entrance and staircase, and he added the colossal Waterloo Chamber, celebrating the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815.


The State Apartments are furnished with some of the finest works of art from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens andCanaletto. Many of the works of art are still in the historic settings for which they were first collected or commissioned by the Kings and Queens who have lived at Windsor.


On 20 November 1992 a fire destroyed or damaged more than 100 rooms at the Castle. Four thousand gallons of water a minute were used against the blaze at the fire’s height, the equivalent of the entire weight of Niagara Falls descending on the Castle for two seconds. The restoration of the Castle, particularly St George’s Hall and the Grand Reception Room, is a testament to the extraordinary skills of some of the finest craftsmen in Europe.

Today Windsor's State Apartmentsare frequently used by members of the Royal Family for events in support of organisations of which they are patrons.

Among the highlights of a visit to Windsor is Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, the largest, most beautiful and most famous dolls’ house in the world. Built for Queen Mary by the leading British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1921 and 1924, this most magical of residences is a perfect replica in miniature of an aristocratic home.

The house is filled with thousands of objects made by leading artists, designers and craftsmen, nearly all on the tiny scale of 1:12. From life below stairs to the high-society setting of the saloon and dining room, no detail was forgotten. Among the most striking features of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House are the library, bursting with original works by the top literary names of the day, a fully stocked wine cellar and a garden created by Gertrude Jekyll. The Dolls’ House even includes electricity, running hot and cold water, working lifts and flushing lavatories.

In the adjoining display two remarkable French dolls, France and Marianne, are shown with part of their extensive wardrobe of clothes and accessories. They were presented to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth for their daughters, the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose, by the French Government during the 1938 State Visit to France. The dolls’ clothes and accessories were designed and made by the leading Parisian fashion houses, including Worth, Lanvin, Cartier, Hermès and Vuitton.

Currently there's work being undertaken and this area is therefore closed until further notice.

One of the best times of the year to visit Windsor Castle is when the spectacular private apartments created for George IV are open. These Semi-State Rooms are among the most richly decorated interiors in the Castle and are used by TheQueen for official entertaining. During the winter months these additional 5 rooms are open. Please be aware the Semi-State Rooms will not be open when the State Apartments are closed.

George IV had a well-developed love of fine objects and a taste for the theatrical.With his architect, Sir Jeffry Wyatville, he completely remodelled the Castle’s exterior during the 1820s, giving it the romantic and picturesque appearance seen today. He also decided to create a new suite of private rooms on the sunnier east and south sides of the Castle. This was George IV’s last and greatest commission, and one of the most lavish and costly interior decoration schemes ever carried out in England.

Always over budget, the project was only just completed at the time of King’s death in 1830. Among the many designers and craftsmen employed on the scheme was the 15-year-old AWN Pugin, who worked for the principal furniture suppliers, Morel and Seddon. The Semi-State Rooms also contain some of the finest surviving 18th-century English and French works of art from Carlton House, George IV’s former London residence.

The Semi-State Rooms were severely damaged by the fire of 1992, although, by good fortune, their contents had been moved elsewhere at the time. They were completely restored to their 19th-century appearance using the original designs supplied to George IV.

Safety & Security

For safety and security reasons, a one-way system operates along the visitor route.

On arrival, you and your belongings will be subject to airport-style security checks. Please try to bring as little as possible with you as it will help you to get through security screening more quickly.

Some items, such as large items of baggage, backpacks, pushchairs, pen-knives and scissors will have to be checked in and reclaimed at the end of the visit. Please find the full list here.

Your assistance will enable us to move you through the security area as quickly as possible. Please remove all metal objects from your pockets before going through the security arch and pack cameras, phones, keys and wallets in your bag before placing the bag through the security scanner.

You may carry handbags and use pacemakers, hearing aids and other electrical or electronic equipment needed for health reasons. Please approach a Warden if you have any concerns or require assistance.

Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted.

As Windsor Castle is a working royal palace, security and opening arrangements may be subject to change at short notice.

Photography and filming including the use of wearable devices are not permitted inside the State Apartments, the Semi-State Rooms or St George's Chapel. Photography and filming for non-commercial purposes are welcomed in the outside areas of the Castle Precincts. Please ask a Warden to point out the most picturesque views of the Castle and surrounding area.

No parts of Windsor Castle may be used as the setting for wedding photography.

In consideration of other visitors, mobile phones must be switched off inside the State Apartments and St George’s Chapel.

Access

Windsor Castle is fully accessible and welcome visitors with different access requirements. For visitors with disabilities an accompanying companion is admitted free of charge.

All visitors should be aware that the Castle is situated at the top of a steep hill and there are long distances that have to be covered on site.

Manual wheelchairs are available to borrow free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis for the duration of a visit. Mobility scooters can be used in the precinct areas, and are permitted inside the Castle provided they are compatible with the lifts.

The lift giving access to the State Apartments measures 114cm in depth by 94cm in width and has a weight limit of 500kg.

The lift giving access to the Semi-State Rooms measures 120cm in depth by 80cm in width and has a weight limit of 630kg.

St George's Chapel is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England and is particularly noted for its magnificent stone fan vaulting. It is the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter, the senior order of British Chivalry established in 1348 by Edward III.


Within the chapel are the tombs of ten sovereigns, including Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, and Charles I. At least three services take place every day. The chapel is closed to visitors on Sundays, but all are welcome to attend any of the services.

Please notethat Monday - Saturday the Chapelcloses at 16:15 (last entry 16:00) in orderto prepare for the evening service at 17:15 (doors open at 17:00).

St. George’s Chapel is closed to visitors on Sundays as services are held throughout the day. Worshippers are welcome to attend the services. These occur at the following times:

08:30 – Holy Communion

10:45 – Mattins and Sermon

12:00 – Sung Eucharist

17:15 – Evensong

Ticket Information

Opening Dates:Open year-round excluding 25-26 December each year. Please note that the Semi-State Rooms are only open during the winter months between September and March. St. George’s Chapel is closed to visitors on Sundays as services are held throughout the day. Worshippers are welcome to attend the services. As a working royal palace, the Castle is used frequently by The Queen for State ceremonies and official entertaining, and closures can occasionally occur at short notice. Please ensure you check the Royal Collection Trust website for the latest closed dates before your visit. Please note this voucher is not valid when the State Apartments and/or Castle is closed.

Opening Times:March to October - Open daily 09:30 -17:15 (last admission 16:00), November to February - Open daily 09:45 - 16:15 (last admission 15:00).

Early closures of the Castle are scheduled for: 10th and12th December, 7 until 18 January, 18 and 29 April, and 3rd May. Please check exact closing times with the Castle for your chosen day (last admissions can be from as early as 12pm on these dates.)

Duration:A typical visit lasts 2-3 hours approx.

Address:Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1NJ.

Transport:Nearest Train Stations are Windsor & Eton Central or Windsor & Eton Riverside from London Waterloo or London Paddington. By Road: M4 to Exit 6. M3 to Exit 3. There is no visitor car parking at the Castle, so visitors are advised to use public car parks in the town centre.

Additional Information:

  • A valid form of ID is required upon arrival when purchasing a Senior ticket for over 60 years or Student ticket (International Student or NUS identity card).
  • Windsor Castle is fully accessible and welcomes visitors with different access requirements.
  • For visitors with disabilities an accompanying companion is admitted free of charge.
  • All visitors should be aware that the Castle is situated at the top of a steep hill and there are long distances that have to be covered on site.
  • Manual wheelchairs are available to borrow free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis for the duration of a visit.
  • Mobility scooters can be used in the precinct areas, and are permitted inside the Castle provided they are compatible with the lifts.
  • The lift giving access to the State Apartments measures 114cm in depth by 94cm in width and has a weight limit of 500kg.
  • The lift giving access to the Semi-State Rooms (open during winter) measures 120cm in depth by 80cm in width and has a weight limit of 630kg.
  • Children/Under 17s under the age of 12 years must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 17.
  • Children under 5 years receive free entry.
  • For safety reasons, you may be required to deposit all baggage and other items into the security cloakrooms during your visit.
  • The use of photographic, film and video equipment is not permitted inside the Castle.

Important:During admission to the attraction, all visitors will pass through airport-style security checks. Visitors should arrive with one small bag where possible to ensure an efficient entry process.

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