Is Windsor Castle open to the public? Location and ticket prices

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world

Windsor Castle from the outside
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With the coronation concert taking place in the ground of the enormous Castle, many are asking is Windsor Castle open to the public?

The many royal residences across the country draw in curiosity from royal fans, who are keen to visit the various properties where they can. From where is Balmoral and can you visit Sandringham, many have questions about the impressive estates as well as lesser known family homes such as Gatcombe Park, where Princess Anne lives

Perhaps one of the best-known royal residences is Windsor Castle, which has been home to British kings and queens for centuries. With the late Queen Elizabeth II now buried in the chapel on site, and the coronation concert taking place in the castle grounds, many are keen to know is Windsor Castle open to the public?

Is Windsor Castle open to the public?

Windsor Castle is open to the public five days a week throughout the year, and is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. However, as Windsor Castle is a working royal palace, sometimes it is closed for various events. The castle will be closed on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May 2023 for the coronation concert.

Over the summer, Windsor Castle will also be closed on 19 June, while on 18 June the State Apartments will be closed. The Castle is also closed on Christmas Day, and in September 2022 the Castle was closed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Visitors to the Castle can enjoy the State Apartments - where the monarch hosts official visits by Heads of State from other countries - view private rooms created for previous monarchs and witness the changing of the guards. 

It is one of the monarch's three official residences, and the late Queen is said to have spent most of her private weekends at Windsor.

Other members of the Royal Family who live on the Windsor Estate include the Prince and Princess of Wales, who recently moved from Kensington Palace to Adelaide Cottage, and Prince Andrew and his family, who live in the Royal Lodge.

Windsor Castle opens at 10am, and last admissions are at 4pm from 1 March - 31 October, or 3pm from 1 November- 28 February.

Is St George's Chapel open to the public?

St George's Chapel is open to the public on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, but is closed on Sundays as services take place throughout the day. Visitors can enter the Chapel if they have a valid ticket to Windsor Castle.

The Chapel is the resting place of eleven British monarchs including the late Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip. The Chapel - along with the rest of Windsor Castle grounds - reopened to the public after the late Queen's death on Thursday 29 September 2022, and visitors can now go to St George's Chapel to pay their respects.

In addition, St George's Chapel hosted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in 2018, as well as that of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank later the same year.

Windsor Castle tickets: How much is the entrance fee?

Tickets to visit Windsor Castle range from £15.50 for those aged 5-17 or disabled tickets purchased in advance, to £30 for a standard adult bought on the day. Under 5s are free, and it is cheaper to book in advance.

There are also discounts for large groups, and a family discount is automatically applied to bookings of at least 1 adult and 2 children - up to 2 Adults and 4 children.

Find out more about tickets and pricing on the Royal Collection Trust website.

Where is Windsor Castle?

Windsor Castle is in the historic market town of Windsor, in Berkshire. The Castle has stood there for almost 1,000 years and is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.

The Castle occupies 13 acres and has more than 1,000 rooms. The biggest of these - St George's Hall - is is 55.5m long, 9m wide and can seat up to 162 for a State Banquet.

On the approach to Windsor Castle is the Long Walk, a 2.6 mile, tree-lined avenue leading from Snow Hill and through Windsor Great Park to the Castle. The rows of trees were planted by King Charles II, who wanted Windsor to have a similar style to Versailles, while the road was constructed by Queen Anne in 1710.

A herd of deer crossing the Long Walk up to Windsor Castle

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How far is Windsor Castle from London?

Windsor Castle is just 20 miles from Buckingham Palace, which is in West London, and it takes about an hour to drive there.

The Castle is to the west of London, and can also be reached via a direct train from London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside. The service is operated by South Western Railway and takes 53 minutes. 

The Castle is also close to Frogmore Cottage, Harry and Meghan's UK home, which is also situated in Windsor, and roughly ten miles from Bagshot Park, where Prince Edward lives.

Who owns Windsor Castle?

Windsor Castle is property of the Crown, meaning it is owned by the British monarch. Therefore, King Charles III took ownership of the Castle following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. 

King Charles will own Windsor Castle for the duration of his reign, and when he dies ownership will be passed on to Prince William, who is next in line for the throne.

Other properties owned by the Crown include Buckingham Palace - the monarch's main residence - as well as Highgrove and Clarence House.

Who built Windsor Castle?

Windsor Castle was first built under the reign of King William the Conqueror. He chose the site as it was high above the river Thames and on the edge of a Saxon hunting ground. Building work began around 1070 and was complete 16 years later. 

Later monarchs made changes to the Castle. Henry II converted the it into a palace in the late 12th century and replaced the timber walls with stone, while Elizabeth I built a long gallery overlooking the North Terrace and George IV raised the height of the Round Tower.

In 1992, a fire broke out in Windsor Castle which destroyed the ceilings of St George’s Hall and the Grand Reception Room, and gutted the private chapel, the State Dining Room and the Crimson Drawing Room. A Restoration Committee chaired by the Duke of Edinburgh began repairs immediately, and they were completed five years later to create the Windsor Castle that can be seen today.

An aerial view of Windsor Castle after the fire

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Things to do at Windsor Catsle

  • Visit Grand Reception Room, decorated with real gold and chandeliers.
  • View one of the world's greatest collections of paintings, including artists such as Hans Holbein, Van Dyck and Rubens, as well as ceiling paintings by Antonio Verrio.
  • See the famous Queen Mary's dollhouse, filled with tiny furniture, art, and books, and even electricity and running water.
  • Visit the Moat Room to learn about the Castle's history.
  • Enjoy afternoon tea at Undercroft Cafe.
  • Witness the Changing of the Guard of Thursday and Saturdays.

Want to find out more about the Windsor Castle? Check out our features on the Windsor Castle fire and King Charles's modern makeover of Windsor Castle.

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Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.