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

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

A landscape photo of Windsor Castle
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With the Queen recently laid to rest in 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 (opens in new tab) and can you visit Sandringham (opens in new tab), many have questions about the impressive estates as well as lesser known family homes such as Gatcombe Park, where Princess Anne lives (opens in new tab)

Perhaps one of the best-known royal residences is Windsor Castle, which has been home to British kings and queens for centuries. And now, with the late Queen Elizabeth II buried in the chapel on site, 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 seven days a week throughout the year, though it is closed to visitors on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Currently, the Castle is closed until the end of September following the death of Queen Elizabeth II (opens in new tab).

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. The Platinum Jubilee display will not be reopening.

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Windsor Castle 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 have recently moved to Adelaide Cottage, and Prince Andrew and his family, who live in the Royal Lodge.

Is St George's Chapel open to the public?

St George's Chapel is open to the public daily 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 - will reopen to the public on Thursday 29 September 2022, when visitors will be able 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.

Queen Elizabeth II's funeral at St George's Chapel

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Windsor Castle tickets: How much is the entrance fee?

Tickets to visit Windsor Castle range from £14.50 for those aged 5-17 or disabled Sunday - Friday, to £28.50 for a standard adult Saturday ticket. Under 5s are free.

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.

From March to October, Windsor Castle opens at 10am with last admissions at 4pm, while during the winter months last admissions are at 3pm.

Find out more about tickets and pricing on the Royal Collection Trust website (opens in new tab).

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.

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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 (opens in new tab).

Who owns Windsor Castle?

Windsor Castle is property of the Crown, meaning it is owned by the British monarch. Therefore, King Charles III has taken 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 (opens in new tab).

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.

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