Discovering Windsor Castle: A Traveler's Guide

For over 900 years, Windsor Castle has stood tall by the River Thames, brimming with history, grand architecture, and royal allure. It’s not just a museum; it’s a vital part of British heritage, hosting ceremonies and serving as a weekend getaway for the Royal Family. Let’s explore its beauty, history, and secrets together. Located in a picturesque setting, Windsor Castle is a symbol of Britain’s strength and heritage, and invites you to immerse yourself in its age-old beauty. As you explore the castle’s sacred corridors, you’ll discover stories of royalty, queens, and a nation’s long history.

 

 

travel windsor castle

 

History of Windsor Castle

 

Windsor Castle has a long history stretching back almost a thousand years, a story that mirrors the growth and development of England itself.

 

It all began with the triumph of William the Conqueror in 1066, when he commissioned the construction of a massive mound topped with a wood fort. This was the beginning of the humble beginnings of what we know today as Windsor Castle.

 

The castle changed hands several times during the reign of different monarchs. Henry II, who was renowned for his taste in luxury, rebuilt the fort into a magnificent stone castle. The Round Tower still stands as a reminder of its grandeur.

 

Edward III, the son of the Conqueror, expanded the castle with grand apartments, a magnificent chapel, and reinforced defenses.

 

It was not only a place of power, but a beloved royal residence as well. It was used for great celebrations, weekend getaways, and even served as a prison during the English Civil War.

 

Through it all, Windsor Castle remained a constant presence for the British people.



Traveling to Windsor Castle:

From London

 

Car: If you’re coming from London, Windsor Castle is just a short drive away. You can take the A4 and M4 highways for a journey of about 52 minutes and covering 36 kilometers. Here’s the link to directions.

 

Train: The fastest and most convenient way to get to Windsor Castle from London is by train. Trains depart frequently from London Paddington Station to Windsor & Eton Central Station or Windsor & Eton Riverside Station. The journey takes about 1 hour. You can check the latest train times and schedules on the Great Western Railway website: https://www.gwr.com/.

 

Bus: The Green Line 702 bus service operated by Reading Buses runs from London Victoria Coach Station to Windsor Central Station every hour, seven days a week. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. Get the bus route.



From Manchester

Car:The drive from Manchester is a bit longer, taking about 3 hours and 37 minutes over a distance of 315 kilometers. You can follow the M6 and M40 highways to get there. Here are the directions on Google Maps.

 

Train: There is no direct train service from Manchester to Windsor. You can take a train from Manchester Piccadilly Station to London Euston Station, then change for a train to Windsor & Eton Central or Windsor & Eton Riverside Station. The total journey time will vary depending on connection times, but it will typically take between 4 to 5 hours. You can search for train times and fares on the National Rail website: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.

 

Bus: National Express coaches run from Manchester Coach Station to London Victoria Coach Station several times a day. The journey takes approximately 4 hours 30 minutes. From Victoria Coach Station you can then take the Green Line 702 bus to Windsor as described above. You can find timetables and fares on the National Express website: https://www.nationalexpress.com/.

 

Exploring the Rooms of Windsor Castle

The State Apartments: 

Imagine yourself walking through a fairytale-like atmosphere. The state apartments are a series of state-of-the-art rooms used by the royal family for high-profile events such as state visits and state ceremonies.

 

Sparkling chandeliers drape intricately crafted ceilings, while priceless paintings by world-renowned painters whisper tales of royalty.Luxury furnishings fit for royalty complete the look, taking you back to a time of grandeur.

 

St. George’s Chapel:

Enter a stunning work of gothic architecture. St. George’s Chapel is not only home to the Royal Family, but it is also the burial place of many well-known monarchs, such as the infamous Henry VIII and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother. The stained glass windows on the chapel’s façade glisten in vibrant colors against the stone walls.

 

Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House:

Prepare to be amazed by this miniature wonder! Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House is more than just a plaything. It’s a complete dolls’ house, complete with miniature rooms, furnishings, and working electricity! From the library’s miniature books to the kitchen’s fully equipped appliances, the intricacy of the design is mind-boggling. A glimpse into the life of royalty as they once lived, reduced to a manageable size.

 

The Semi-State Rooms: 

While the state apartments are grand and open to the public, the semi-state rooms provide a glimpse into the inner workings of royal life. The semi-state rooms are used for everyday use and receptions by the Royal Family. Although they are not quite as grand as the state apartments, they are still tastefully decorated with pictures, tapestries and fine furniture. Exploring these rooms gives you a glimpse into the everyday lives of the royal family who live at Windsor Castle.

 

The Changing of the Guard:

The Changing of the Guard is one of the most popular events at Windsor Castle. No visit to the castle is complete without seeing the Changing of the Guard. Watch the guards in their red tunics, black bearskins hats, walk with great skill in the courtyard of the castle. It’s a celebration of British tradition, and it’s an opportunity to see something of history come to life.



Get Tickets:

It’s no secret that Windsor Castle is one of the most popular attractions in the world. That’s why it’s a good idea to book your tickets ahead of time. Here’s how you can make sure you don’t miss out on a great time at Windsor Castle:

 

Visit the official Windsor Castle website

 

The official Windsor Castle website is run by the Royal Collection Trust.Click here.

 

Extra Tips:

Here are a few more tips to help you get the most out of your ticketing experience:

 

  • Book early, especially in peak season: The summer months and weekends are the busiest times of the year, so it’s important to book your tickets well ahead of time.

 

  • If you’re planning a trip to another Royal Collection Trust attraction, such as Hampton Court Palace, or the Royal Scottish Art Museum, you may be able to save money by opting for a combination ticket instead of a single one.

   

  • Look out for discounts: If you are a student, senior, or disabled visitor, you could be eligible for a discount. Check the website to see what offers are currently available.

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