04 Apr 2022

How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Windsor Castle

With such a rich past to its name, it is no surprise that London has plenty for history buffs to enjoy. In this article, I will focus on the best places to explore when you visit Windsor Castle.

Although Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s most famous residence, Windsor Castle is one of the monarch’s private residences. Located in Berkshire, it provides an ideal escape from the English capital. This location is also great for those on a shorter visit to the capital, as you can easily get to Windsor Castle from London!

As England’s current and arguably most famous monarch, it should come as no surprise that Elizabeth II’s private residence attracts plenty of visitors each year. Keep reading to uncover how to make the most of your day when you visit Windsor Castle.

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When is the best time to explore Windsor Castle?

With the Queen’s Jubilee approaching in June, there has never been a better time to visit! Visiting in the run-up to the Queen’s Jubilee is the best way to get into the spirit of such a wonderful occasion. Best of all, as we’ve already covered, Windsor Castle’s location makes it an ideal excursion on your next trip to London!

There really is no bad time to visit Windsor Castle. While it is certainly cheaper to visit Windsor Castle outside of the summer months, this does not mean that visiting in the summer is bad by any means. Indeed, walking around the castle during the summer is a very pleasant experience. Everything looks better when bathed in sunlight, and the grounds of a royal castle are no different!

See Queen Mary’s doll house

A doll house with three floors (only two of them fully visible), set on top of a checkered black and white table.
Queen Mary’s doll house is one of the more unique sights at Windsor Castle

Yes, you read that correctly. There really is a doll house that you can see at Windsor Castle! It was built between 1921 and 1924 for Queen Mary, who was the wife of George V. With such a high-ranking client, it should be no surprise that the doll house includes contributions from over 1,500 of the finest creative geniuses of the time. No detail was forgotten, and the end result will be sure to stay with you long after your visit to the castle has come to an end.

King George V’s cousin, Princess Marie Louise, was a childhood friend of Queen Mary. It was her idea to create the doll house for her dearly beloved friend. She reasoned that, as the queen loved small decorative items, the doll house would be the perfect gift for her.

It was decided that the house would be shown at the Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924. To this end, the doll house was displayed as a fine example of British craftsmanship. The house was displayed at Wembley for seven months and was visited by over 1.5 million people. It was then moved to Windsor Castle in 1925 where it remains to this day.

Explore the State Apartments

The State Apartments are the private residences in Windsor Castle that are used by the Queen and the royal family today. As such, it should come as no surprise that they are the setting for many important events. These include official visits by heads of state from other countries.

As the State Apartments play an important role in the duties of the royal family, it is only fitting that they are decorated to the highest possible standard. First impressions are the most vital of all, so it should be no surprise that the Grand Reception Room is one of the most tastefully-decorated rooms in the house. Despite being severely damaged in the fire of 1992, the Reception Room has since been restored to its former glory.

It’s not just the Grand Reception Room that is incredibly well-decorated, however. The State Apartments are furnished with some of the finest works of art from the Royal Collection. Whether or not you have an appreciation for art, the works on display will be sure to take your breath away.

Try as we might, we can’t do the State Apartments justice just by telling you about them. In order to truly appreciate them properly, we would highly encourage you to visit the State Apartments for yourself.

Visit St George’s Chapel

A large off-white/brownish building with many windows and an arched entrance, with a grass lawn in front of it.
St George’s Chapel has been the site of numerous important events

Located within the grounds of Windsor Castle is one of the most famous chapels in England. St George’s Chapel was constructed in 1475 under Edward IV and has become important to the Royal Family. With its name taken from the patron saint of England, this is perhaps not a surprise.

Among its uses for the Royal Family, St George’s Chapel has been the location of many royal weddings. Most recently, this has included the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. As well as this, the chapel is the home of the Order of the Garter, which is the senior order of British Chivalry established in 1348 by Edward III. Finally, St George’s Chapel is the final resting place of 10 monarchs, including Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, and Charles I.

When the castle is open, the Chapel will close at 16:15 to prepare for the evening church service at 17:15. You can enter the Chapel from 5 pm. As well as this, St George’s Chapel is closed to visitors on Sundays as services are held throughout the day. These services are open to the public.

Visit the Moat Room

No visit to Windsor Castle would be complete without learning about the history of the castle itself. While that may sound like an incredibly tall order given the castle’s vast history, this is not the case. The Moat Room brings Windsor Castle to life for tourists. It allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the history of this magnificent building.

To better showcase the history of Windsor Castle, the Moat Room features a bronze model of Windsor Castle in 1377. As well as this, the Moat Room features a timeline that is illustrated with reigning monarchs along the length of the room. This timeline provides further context for the history of Windsor Castle.

Witness the Changing of the Guard

A group of guards in red jackets each playing instruments and walking away from a large brown-brick building with an arch built into it
The Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle is an incredible sight to witness

The Changing of the Guard is easily one of the most recognisable ceremonies in the world. It serves a dual purpose. Not only does it look spectacular, but it also marks the changing of the two groups of guards on duty at Windsor Castle. The privilege of guarding the monarch traditionally belongs to the household troops. These are better known as the guards – hence the name of the ceremony. The guards have carried out this duty since 1660.

Visitors are able to watch the ceremony on Thursdays and Saturdays. We would advise you to check the British Army website for details, as the start time may be liable to change. In order to watch the full ceremony inside the castle, you will need to buy an admission ticket. While you may have to pay a little extra, it is certainly worth it.

Make sure you bring a camera with you!

Thank You From easyGuide

We hope you found our guide to How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Windsor Castle useful. Don’t forget you can find tickets to the top attractions, activities, experiences and tours in London here.

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