Windsor CastleWindsor, Berkshire
History of Windsor Castle
Queen Victoria's royal residence was Windsor Castle and she spent most of her time here. Amongst the Queen, a wide range of other royalty lived here. Henry I, Henry II, Henry III and Edward III lived here through the 12th century. Henry I was the first king to use Windsor Castle as a royal residence and Edward III was the king who left the most mark on the royal palace in the 14th century. Henry V, Henry VII and Henry VIII continued to live in Windsor Castle in the 15th century and hosted diplomatic events to regular extravagant feasts!
Although not every king liked the Royal Windsor Palace, Edward VI disliked Windsor and simplified events that were held there. James I used Windsor for a hunting base and Charles I paid more attention to the aesthetic aspects of the castle, as he was a great connoisseur of art. Charles II really appreciated Windsor Castle during the late summers and autumn, they would hunt there as well as hold horse races.
The Windsor Castle we all know and love today is mostly associated with George IV's reign, who furnished the State Apartments with the grand demeanour that it is now. Updating the gardens surrounding the castle too with raised walks, statues and vases. However, King Edward VII, Queen Victoria's successor wasn't a fan of the sombre and cluttered interiors she left and created new guest suites and royal apartments. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth considered Windsor Castle to be their home. During WW2 they remained at Buckingham Palace when the London bombardments occurred, but would join their children in the evenings and weekends. Queen Elizabeth II spends her private weekends at Windsor and takes up an official residence over Easter for a month.
Things to See and Do
If you're a lover of art, you can visit the historic rooms built for Charles II and Queen Catherine and gaze at the mythical paintings above you. As well as Queen Mary's Doll House, a mini house filled with tiny books, and furniture and even has working electricity and running water!
On the free family audio tour meet Horace, a timeless tutor and Tommy, his pupil. They’ll be your trusted guides. Meet their many magical peers who also call the Castle home, including Gilbert the Grotesque, Tipu Tiger and Cyril the ‘Page of the Back Stairs’ on a tour aimed at children between 7 to 11. Plus a top tip: the Changing of the Guard takes place on alternate days throughout the year and if you can catch it, would be quite a sight!
Food & Drink
With so many things to discover and a huge castle to explore, it makes for the perfect day out with the kids! As you venture through British history, whether it's the 13th century, 16th century or 19th century!
- See the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world
- Follow the free audio tour and meet characters like Gilbert the Grotesque!
- Try and catch the Changing of the Guard
1st March - 31st October
Monday to Sunday 09:30 - 17:30
1st November - 28th February
Monday to Sunday 09:45 - 16:15
The Castle is closed on 14th April, 25th & 26th December and during Royal visits. Closures can happen, so please double check to ensure the Castle is not closed when you plan to visit.
Pricing & Tickets
Kids (5-16): £12.30
Seniors (60+): £19.30
Family (2 adults, 3 kids): £54.70
Book in advance for cheapest tickets
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Yes, there is parking nearby.