Visit Windsor Castle, which has its own chapels, library, and rooms for its 150-strong staff, to learn about almost 1,000 years of history.
Windsor Castle is a stronghold.
Windsor Castle was designed to be more than just a great place to live. It was strategically constructed to be an impregnable fortification. Given its extended history, it has already proven to be quite durable. Windsor Castle has faced numerous attacks throughout its history, including a two-month siege in the late 1200s during the Baron’s War. When visiting the Norman Gate archway, keep a lookout for the murder holes. Soldiers who attack could be shot or bombarded with stones.
For hundreds of years, it has been a royal favorite.
Most people are aware that the Queen enjoys Windsor Castle. But rulers have adored it for over a thousand years, including Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth I, and King George III, who was noted for caring deeply for the wellbeing of his citizens. Other rulers have been more concerned with the upkeep of the palace itself than with their neighbors.
Windsor is accessible through a two-and-a-half-mile road.
Have you ever seen a photograph of Windsor Castle from the air? If you have, you’ve probably seen the 2.65-mile Long Walk, a tree-lined drive that leads directly up to the castle. Charles II designed this long promenade, which was influenced by his love of French architecture and gardens.
The Long Walk is surrounded by Windsor Great Park, which was planted by William the Conqueror with oak trees. The official Windsor Park Ranger, the Duke of Edinburgh, manages a herd of over 40 deer in the park today.
One of the most startling aspects of Windsor Castle is the large number of people that live and work there. It takes a lot of help to keep a castle of this scale in excellent operating order.
In addition to butlers, footmen, stewards, and cooks, the castle employs a wine butler, experienced conservationists and archivists, and even a fender smith to maintain the estate’s more than 300 fireplaces.
It’s where English chivalry began.
The beautiful St George’s Chapel, the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter and an iconic symbol of English chivalry, is one of Windsor Castle’s most prominent features. The Order of the Garter is the oldest chivalric order in the world.
The clocks in Windsor’s Great Kitchen are five minutes off.
The clocks in Windsor Castle are well-known. There are around 450 clocks on the estate, all of which require meticulous maintenance to keep them ticking. In the spring and autumn, when the clocks change by one hour, it takes about 16 hours to reset them all! The clocks in the Great Kitchen, on the other hand, are always set five minutes ahead of time to guarantee that the Queen receives her food on time.
Herne the Hunter, a spirit with antlers who rides an ethereal black horse, haunts Windsor Great Park.
A wonderful doll’s house, the most ornate and detailed doll’s house in the world, with some truly unique features that set it apart from the rest, is one of the most fascinating sights at Windsor Castle.
Do I need to book in advance?
Yes you do need to book in advance. We have introduced timed tickets to manage the number of visitors inside The Queen’s official residences and galleries. We have reduced ticket capacity to ensure that everyone can enjoy their visit while maintaining social distancing. For guaranteed entry while capacity is reduced, please book your ticket in advance of your visit. Please ensure that if you are making a booking with multiple tickets, that you and your party are adhering to Government guidelines regarding group sizes in your region.
How do I find out if there are tickets available for the day I want to visit?
Up-to-date ticket availability can be found on our booking pages: Buckingham Palace Windsor Castle The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace Palace of Holyroodhouse The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse
Can I buy tickets for the same day?
Yes you can buy tickets for the same day, subject to availability. To guarantee entry, we would advise booking online at least 24 hours in advance.
Can I call to book tickets?
Yes you can call to book tickets. The Ticket Sales and Information Office’s telephone lines are open from 9:00 until 17:00 Monday - Sunday. Please see our contact us page for other ways to get in touch. The Queen’s Gallery, London +44 (0) 303 123 7301 Buckingham Palace +44 (0) 303 123 7300 Windsor Castle +44(0) 303 123 7304 Palace of Holyroodhouse +44(0) 303 123 7306
Can I change the date and time of my booking?
As a part of a recent update to our terms and conditions, we are asking you to agree that at all times while visiting our sites you will comply with Government guidelines for permitted social gathering and social distancing in your region of origin as well as in the region of the site you are visiting. If you are a resident of an area that is subject to restrictions that prevent you from leaving your area, please get in touch with us about your booking so we can help you rearrange it for a more suitable date and time. All exchange requests must be made by calling the Ticket Sales and Information Office on +44 (0)303 123 7300 and will incur a £2.00 exchange fee.
What should I do if I become unwell before my visit? Can I receive a refund?
Please do not visit if you feel unwell with any symptoms of COVID-19 or have come into contact with anyone who may have symptoms. If you have paid for your ticket, we will happily offer you an alternative date to visit as long as you contact us in advance and there is capacity available. Please call +44 (0)303 123 7300 to speak to one of our team or e-mail email@example.com. Any request made by e-mail should include the transaction number, full name of the booker and the date and time that you wish to move your booking to. Please note that any requests should be made prior to the visit date and time.
Do I need to book a date and time slot if I have a valid 1-Year Pass ticket?
To pre-book using your 1-Year Pass, please call the Ticket Sales and Information Office on +44 (0)303 123 7334. Please note that a £2.00 transaction fee is payable on all telephone bookings. Your pre-booked tickets must be booked over the phone, but will be available for collection from the ticket counter on the day of your visit when you show your signed and stamped 1-Year Pass. Admission is subject to capacity constraints and we cannot guarantee admission on the day for those who have not pre-booked.
How many people can I visit with?
When visiting our sites you will need to ensure that you are adhering to any Government restrictions put in place for the location you wish to visit, as well as any restrictions from the location that you are travelling from.
Where can I park?
Information about parking, including detailed access information for visitors with disabilities, is available on our website. Please note that car parking is not available at some of our sites.
I have booked a timed ticket, what time should I arrive?
You can help us to minimise crowds and maintain social distancing by not arriving early for your admission time: please do not join the queue for admission until the time stated on your ticket. For all of our sites except Windsor Castle, please arrive within the 15 minute period after the time printed on your ticket. For Windsor Castle, please arrive within the 30 minute period after the time printed on your ticket. As our sites are working palaces, opening arrangements may change at short notice, so always check our website before travelling.
Where do I pick up my tickets?
Our ticket offices are located nearby or at the entrance of all of our sites. Although our ticket offices are open to those that need to collect tickets, to minimise transaction times we would ask you to please book your ticket in advance and print it before you arrive. If you would like to convert your ticket to a 1-Year Pass (where applicable), please also sign it in the space provided, prior to arrival. If you are buying your ticket from a mobile phone on the day of your visit and are unable to print it in advance, we will be able to admit you with the e-ticket on your mobile phone.
Can I pay for my ticket using cash when I arrive?
Please book your ticket in advance on our website and pay by card. You can even book online on a mobile smart device on arrival up until 5 minutes before the entry time. However, tickets will be subject to availability, and we recommend that you book well in advance to guarantee admission. Alternatively, you can call our Ticket Sales and Information Team on +44 (0)303 123 7300 to book and pay for tickets over the telephone.
Will I have to queue?
You may be asked to queue for a short period before entering. Our staff will be on hand to help you follow social distancing guidelines while in the queue.
What happens if I am running late and miss my slot?
You may be asked to queue for a short period before entering. Our staff will be on hand to help you follow social distancing guidelines while in the queue.
Will the cloakroom be open?
Please refer to the specific guidance for the location that you are planning to visit. Please do not bring with you any large items, as we may be unable to hold those for you during your visit. Buckingham Palace Windsor Castle The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace Palace of Holyroodhouse The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse
Will everything be open?
Some parts of the visit, including events and tours, may be closed or limited to allow social distancing to be maintained. Please check our Visit pages for more information: Buckingham Palace Windsor Castle The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace Palace of Holyroodhouse The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse
Will toilet facilities still be available on site?
Yes, toilet facilities are operating as normal. Capacities are being managed with an enhanced cleaning regime in operation
Can I bring my own picnic with me?
Picnics are not permitted at any of our sites but for refreshments we have the Undercroft Café at Windsor Castle and the Café at the Palace in Edinburgh.
Will the shops be open?
At busy times you may be asked to queue for a short period before entering. Once inside the shop, we strongly encourage you to continue to wear a face covering if you are able to. Face coverings remain mandatory in indoor spaces at our Scottish sites. Please use the hand sanitiser provided before touching any products, surfaces and handrails and follow staff instructions regarding one-way routes.
Can I leave and re-enter on the same day?
Re-entry on the same day is not permitted. This is to help us manage the number of visitors inside the residences and galleries and make sure that everyone can enjoy their visit while staying safe.
What do I do if I become unwell during my visit?
You can speak to any uniformed member of staff, but for their own safety please keep the correct distance away at all times.
Will you have fewer visitors than usual?
Yes, we have introduced timed tickets to manage the number of visitors allowed inside at any one time. By reducing capacity, we are making sure that everyone can enjoy their visit while maintaining social distancing and staying safe.
Do I need to wear a face covering?
We strongly encourage visitors to continue to wear face coverings in indoor spaces if they are able to, including in visitor entrances and while passing through security checks. Face coverings aren’t required in outdoor areas, and can be removed once at a table in our cafés. Face coverings remain mandatory in indoor spaces at our Scottish sites.
Are there hand-sanitiser dispensers and hand-washing facilities available on site?
Touch-free dispensers and hand-washing facilities can be found at several points along the visitor route.
Will the multimedia guide be safe to use?
Multimedia guides and headphones are cleaned twice, once when charging, and again immediately before being given to visitors. You are welcome to bring your own headphones to use with the multimedia guide (standard audio jack only) if you prefer.
How are you managing social distancing?
We have reduced the capacity at all our sites to allow you to socially distance. In queuing areas, markings will help you keep the required distance. In indoor spaces, members of staff will invite visitors to continue their tour or request they remain in spacious rooms while narrower areas ahead become free. Please follow the instructions of the Wardens or ask for assistance if unsure what to do.
Will you be taking visitors’ temperatures?
There are no plans to take visitors’ temperatures. If you or any member of your group are feeling unwell, please do not visit but call our Ticket Sales and Information team instead on +44 (0)303 123 7300.
What other safety and hygiene measures will you take to make me feel safe during my visit?
Perspex screens have been fitted at all ticket desks, multimedia guide desks and at all shop till points. Some staff will wear face coverings for the safety of visitors, particularly in our security areas. All staff have been fully trained on new COVID-Secure procedures. Enhanced cleaning regimes are also in place.
What visits and tours are available to groups?
We are accepting standard admission bookings for groups of 15 or more where these comply with allowed exemptions under Government legal requirements relating to group sizes, and can be managed while respecting social distancing guidelines. It is essential to pre-book an arrival time in advance of your visit. We will update this policy to include special and private tours at the earliest possible opportunity when it is safe to do so. Sign up to our groups e-newsletter for the latest updates.
Do groups have to pre-book?
We have introduced timed tickets to manage the number of visitors inside The Queen’s official residences and galleries, so it is essential that groups pre-book an arrival time in advance of their visit. By reducing capacity, we are making sure that everyone can enjoy their visit while maintaining social distancing and staying safe.
Can I guide my group?
At all locations, only Royal Collection Trust-authorised Blue Badge Guides are permitted to guide in designated areas at selected residences, and social distancing guidelines must be adhered to at all times. No guiding is permitted inside the buildings. For further information relating to guiding please visit the Information for Groups page for each residence.
Can my group have a private tour?
Private tours and special visits are now available. Signup to our groups e-newsletter for the latest updates.
Will you accept cash?
We encourage you to use card payments for the safety of both our customers and staff.
Will there be any changes to the shopping experience?
Some of our shops are operating a one-way system, and there are separate entry and exit points. A member of staff may ask you to wait outside for a short period at busy times to ensure that safe social distancing can be maintained inside the shop. When inside our shops, we strongly encourage you to continue to wear a face covering if you are able to. Face coverings remain mandatory in indoor spaces at our Scottish sites.
Will I have to wear a face covering to enter the shops?
We strongly encourage you to continue to wear a face covering inside our shops if you are able to. You are also politely requested to use the hand sanitiser provided before touching any products, surfaces and handrails and if you can, minimise your contact with the merchandise on display. Face coverings remain mandatory in indoor settings at our Scottish sites.
Are your shops safe?
Yes. A strict and ongoing cleaning routine is in place in our shops to ensure the safety of both customers and staff. Please be aware that our staff will, where necessary, politely enforce social distancing for your safety. Signage is in place throughout the shop reminding you to follow the guidelines to protect yourself, other customers and our staff. In addition, Perspex screens are in place at the checkouts and till points.
Can I buy Royal Collection Trust gifts online?
Yes, you can browse and purchase our products on www.royalcollectionshop.co.uk.