Visiting Windsor Castle from London in one day is highly recommended. The small town of Windsor is only about 40 minutes from London. This magnificent castle is one of the current residences of British royalty, and visiting this castle and the small town of Windsor where it is located is highly recommended.
I do recommend taking into account the opening hours of the castle, since there are certain dates on which access to certain areas is closed, such as the state apartments, which is really the part of the castle that I liked the most.
The visit to the castle lasts 2 or 3 hours, so you can combine it with a walk through the town of Windsor or even go to Eton College, or take advantage and visit Stonehenge or Bath on the same day with an organized tour.
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What will you find in this article?
- Visit Windsor Castle from London
- Option 1: Visit Windsor Castle with an organized tour
- Option 2: Visit Windsor Castle on your own
- Buy tickets for Windsor Castle
- Visiting Windsor Castle with the London Pass sightseeing pass
- How to get to Windsor Castle
- What to see in Windsor
- Windsor Castle
- Visit Eton and the famous Eton College
- Hotels in Windsor
Visit Windsor Castle from London
It is possible to visit Windsor Castle on an organized tour with transfers from London included, or on your own by arriving in Windsor from London by train.
Option 1: Visit Windsor Castle with an organized tour
The best thing about visiting Windsor Castle from London with an organized tour is that they include transportation from central London, not having to worry about train schedules, and it’s also the best way to make the most of the day as they usually combine the visit to Windsor Castle with other destinations.
Recommended organized tours to visit Windsor Castle:
- Windsor Castle Only: This option is ideal if you don’t want to visit another city in England, but want the ease of going to Windsor with transfers included. It also includes a typical British fish and chips to eat.
- Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath: If you want to spend the day out, Bath is without a doubt one of the cities that I would recommend as number 1 on my list, as it is one of the most beautiful that I have visited in England. Along the way you will pass by Stonehenge, the perfect excuse to also see this famous monument.
- Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford: AIf you feel like visiting the famous city of Oxford, then you can combine a visit to Windsor with the beautiful city of Oxford taking the opportunity to see Stonehenge as well. This excursion is also available with a Spanish guide.
Option 2: Visit Windsor Castle on your own
Windsor is outside the London Transport Zones , so you need to buy a train ticket and it is not possible to use the Oyster Card or London Travelcard. In Windsor there are two railway stations, “Windsor and Eton Riverside” and “Windsor and Eton Central”. The “Windsor and Eton Central” train station is the most centrally located, and therefore the closest to Windsor Castle and the center of Windsor, but from the other station it is also possible to walk to the center without problems.
To go on your own you will need to buy train tickets and I recommend buying the entrance to Windsor Castle in advance, since there can be up to an hour wait in high season to buy tickets, but with tickets already purchased you will enter much faster.
Buy tickets for Windsor Castle
By buying the entrance to the castle in advance online, you will be able to avoid the queues (when you enter through the “pre’paid tickets” area) and you will get cheaper tickets than those bought at the box office.
Buying tickets at the Windsor Castle box office in high season is something that I definitely do not recommend, as there can be more than an hour wait.
Visit Windsor Castle with the London Pass sightseeing pass
The London Pass sightseeing pass includes entry to Windsor Castle plus train transport from central London to Windsor. With the London Pass you can also skip the queues when you arrive at Windsor Castle.
The London Pass includes the train journey to Windsor and Eton Central from Paddington station changing at Slough, as explained in the next point (Train Journey). To do this, it is only necessary to show the London Pass at Paddington railway station (going to Windsor) and in Windsor (going back to Paddington) when passing the barrier and boarding the train.
How to get to Windsor Castle
1. Train ride:
- From Waterloo Station South West Trains runs a direct train to Windsor and Eton Riverside. This journey takes 1 hour. From Windsor and Eton riverside train station you can take a bus to Legoland , one of the best places to visit in London with children .
- From Paddington station the First Great Western train company goes to Windsor and Eton Central station, but you will have to change trains at Slough station. This journey takes about 35 minutes in total, 20 minutes from Paddington to Slough and then a further 15 minutes from Slough to Windsor.
Train tickets are much cheaper if you buy them online in advance on the website: The Train Line . Here we explain how to buy train tickets online in advance step by step: Buy train tickets .
2. Bus ride:
Getting to the city of Windsor from central London by bus is quite complicated, as you usually have to combine several buses to get there and in my opinion it is preferable to go by train. The First Line Direct bus company runs a route called Greenlines from Hammersmith to Windsor and Legoland .
What to see in Windsor
Obviously, Windsor Castle is probably the biggest attraction in Windsor in England, and it is not surprising, since it is one of the most famous castles in the world, and one of the most beautiful that we have been lucky enough to visit (in my opinion!).
The Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle is generally held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 11am, although exceptions can sometimes occur. To see the Changing of the Guard properly, it is advisable to see it from the inside, so it is necessary to have a ticket, unlike the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace .
Admission to Windsor Castle includes access to different sites, including:
- State Apartments: The State Apartments at Windsor Castle are the rooms used by the royal family for official events. This area is not open to the public all year.
- Semi-State Rooms: Private apartments that were created for King George IV. This area is not open to the public all year.
- Queen Mary’s Doll House: The largest and most famous doll house in the world. It is a replica of an aristocratic house that was created in 1920 for Queen Mary by Edwin Lutyens.
- St George’s Chapel: Within the grounds of Windsor Castle is St George’s Chapel, considered one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in the United Kingdom. 10 kings are buried here, including Charles I and Henry VIII, and it is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding took place in May 2018.
- Free tour: Upon entering the grounds of Windsor Castle you will see that every so often the “Castle Precincts” Tour departs, a free 30-minute tour.
Windsor Castle 2019 opening hours:
The opening hours to the public of Windsor Castle are as follows for the year 2019:
- January 1 – February 28, 2019: 10.00 am – 4.15 pm
- March 1 to October 31, 2019: 10.00 am – 5.15 pm.
- November 1 – December 31, 2019: 10.00 am – 4.15 pm
The semi-state rooms are only open to the public during the winter months. In 2019, they will open to the public until February 18, 2019 and will reopen to the public on September 28, 2019 until the end of March 2019.
- March 8, 2019 – El Castillo will close at 4 pm.
- March 22, 2019 – Closed.
- March 29, 2019 – El Castillo will close at 4 pm.
- April 2, 2019 – El Castillo will close at 1 pm.
- 18 – 19 April 2019 – Closed.
- April 21, 2019 – El Castillo will open at 1 pm.
- April 28, 2019 – El Castillo will close at 1 pm.
- May 3, 2019 – Closed.
- May 14, 2019 – El Castillo will close at 4 pm.
- May 18, 2019 – Closed.
- June 17, 2019 – Closed.
- June 27, 2019 – El Castillo will close at 4 pm.
- July 3, 2019 – El Castillo will close at 4 pm.
- September 7, 2019 – El Castillo will close at 4 pm.
- October 2, 2019 – El Castillo will close at 4 pm.
- October 3, 2019 – El Castillo will close at 4 pm.
Dates the State Apartments will be closed to the public:
- March 22, 2019 – State Apartments and Semi-State Rooms closed.
- May 2, 2019 – State Apartments closed.
- May 16, 2019 – State Apartments closed.
- June 14, 2019 – State Apartments closed.
- June 16, 2019 – State Apartments closed.
- June 18, 2019 – State Apartments closed.
* I recommend checking the dates on the official website , as the State Apartments and Semi-State Rooms may be closed to the public with just a few days’ notice.
The small town of Windsor is charming, and walking through its streets is something you should not miss if you are going to visit Windsor Castle. You can take a hop-on , hop-off tour of Windsor . which makes a circular route around Windsor, with stops at Windsor train stations and Eton College, also passing through “The Long Walk”, one of the key points of Windsor, a long avenue from which you can get views impressive views of Windsor Castle (See photo).
In the city of Windsor there are some points of interest that we must mention, in addition to the commercial center of the city:
- Alexandra Park
- Queen Victoria Statue
- The Long Walk
- Theater Royal Windsor
3. Visit Eton and the famous Eton College
From Windsor you can walk to the small Eton, and for this we must cross the River Thames by Eton Bridge. The town of Eton is quite small, but it is much quieter than Windsor as there are fewer tourists. The main street is full of shops and boutiques, as well as typical British restaurants and pubs.
One of the biggest attractions in the town of Eton is undoubtedly the prestigious Eton College, the prestigious boys’ school attended by 18 British Prime Ministers as well as Princes William and Harry.
From May to September you can visit Eton College every Friday by joining a 1.5 hour tour of the highlights of Eton College, including College Hall, College Chapel and the Eton Life Museum.
Times to visit Eton College: As it is a college, the dates to visit it are very limited. Every Friday from May 4 to September 7, at 2 pm and 4 pm. It is necessary to book online , although if you arrive at least 15 minutes before you can join the tour if you did not have a reserved place as long as there is room. The Tour costs £10 per person.
In Windsor we also find Legoland, one of the most famous theme parks in England and without a doubt a fantastic place to visit with children. Legoland is located less than 15 minutes’ drive from central Windsor, and the #600 bus runs the central Windsor – Legoland route.
Hotels in London
Legoland has two themed hotels that are worth considering if you go with children, you can see more information here: Legoland Windsor .
And in addition to the Legoland hotels, some hotels and bed and breakfasts that are well located and with good reviews are:
- Park Farm Bed and Breakfast : Located between Legoland and the city of Windsor, for the experience of staying in an authentic British bed and breakfast.
- The Rutlands Beds and Breakfasts
- The Duke´s Retreat : Hotel in the center of Windsor
- Sir Christopher Wren Hotel Spa : Spa hotel located near Eton Riverside railway station overlooking the Thames.