Visiting Windsor Castle:
After a tiring Day of walking around London we decided to take our next trip out of the city. We heard that visiting Windsor Castle is a must to see, but is a bit of a commute from London being 23 miles west of London. For our other adventures, please click here.
Best Time to go visiting Windsor Castle – when visiting Windsor Castle, please take note that it opens to the public at 9:45 am every day including Sunday. This is the time that most packaged tours arrive at Windsor Castle along with independent visitors wanting to make Windsor Castle their first stop. So to avoid the crowd and to have more rest, we decided to go early afternoon. We missed seeing the Changing of the Guards, which was supposedly one of the highlights when visiting Windsor Castle. The ceremony starts at 11am and lasts for about 45 minutes which is why Packaged Tours arrives early at 9:45-10 am. This gives Tourists ample time to see Windsor Castle and the Changing of Guards at the end of their Tour. We wanted to have the freedom of being able to roam on our own without worrying about a group so we didn’t opt in for the Packaged tours. Visiting Windsor Castle was such an amazing experience.
How to Get to Windsor Castle from London – From our hotel we took Overground train to Clapham Junction for 30 minutes, change train from Clapham Junction to Windsor/Eton Riverside and walk for about 10 minutes to get to Windsor Castle. It took us almost 2 hours of travel time but it was a great way to see the English countryside and enjoy the scenery. There might be faster ways to get to Windsor Castle but at that time we weren’t familiar with the place and getting lost was the best way to explore and get to know more of the city.
Tickets when visiting Windsor Castle – Just like the London Eye there’s a long line up to get inside the Windsor Castle and the only way to skip the line is if you have a London Pass or if you’ve purchased a Day Tour which also includes a trip to the Stonehenge and Bath. (For shorter line ups Winter time is the ideal time to visit.) You also go through an Airport like Security Check before entering Windsor Castle. An Audio Tour and Guide Book is included with the Admission(£20/adult) which gave us the freedom to explore the Castle and learn more about its history on our own.
What to Expect when visiting Windsor Castle – There are places in the Castle where Food/Drink and Cameras are not allowed and cellphones had to be turned off but for the most part we were able to use our Camera. You will be asked to place food and drinks in closed bags before entering the State Apartments. We started our tour of the Windsor Castle from the Courtyard where we were given the Multimedia tour handsets which offers a General Tour, a Family Multimedia Tour and a Tour for Blind and Partially Sighted Visitors. You are able to chose which experience you want and for which language. The languages available for the multimedia tour were English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian and Mandarin.
From the Courtyard we headed up the Castle Hill and the Jubilee Garden before entering inside Windsor Castle through St. George’s Gate. Once inside you go through the halls of various towers about 20 in total. There are some areas inside Windsor Castle which are open only on certain months of the year. For example the North Terrace (East End) is open only during August and September months.
We wanted a more relax day of exploration, and ended up not having enough time to see the Stonehenge and more of the English Country Side. It was a learning experience and next time we visit we will definitely book a hotel by the countryside to be able to explore more. The long commute to the Windsor Castle from our Hotel made it a little difficult to see more of the countryside. Make sure you give yourself at least 2-3 hours when visiting Windsor Castle to see it in full without rushing.
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