Windsor Castle is one of the three official residences of the Queen, but probably best known as the former home of the Queen Mother. It has been home to the Sovereign for over 900 years, is the largest inhabited castle in the world and the oldest in continuous occupation.
Visitors to Windsor Castle can walk around the State Apartments – extensive suites of rooms at the heart of the working palace – and, for part of the year, visitors can also see the Semi-State rooms, which are some of the most splendid interiors in the castle.
The Semi-State rooms were created by George IV in the 1820s as part of a series of Royal Apartments for his personal occupation. They were damaged by fire in 1992, but have been restored to their original appearance. They contain furniture and works of art chosen by George IV including paintings by Holbein, Rubens, Van Dyck and Lawrence, fine tapestries and porcelain, sculpture and armour. They continue in use by The Queen for official entertaining.
Other attractions within the Castle complex include regular exhibitions of treasures from the Royal Library in the Drawings Gallery and the Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, a miniature mansion built to perfection. The fourteenth-century St. George’s Chapel, also within the Castle, is the burial place of ten British sovereigns, home of the Order of the Garter, and setting for many Royal weddings.
If the Queen is in residence at the Castle the Royal Standard flies from the Round Tower. At all other times you will see the Union Flag. Expect to spend around 2 hours at the Castle.
Address: Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ
Opening times: from 09:45 – 17:15 March to October (last admission 16:00). From 09:45 – 16:15 November to February (last admission 15:00). Between 1 October 2005 and March 2006, the semi-state rooms will be open to the public.
Note: although the castle is open all year round, opening arrangements may change at short notice. This is particular so in June, when there are regular annual official engagements.
Admission charges: Adults £13.50, Children £7.50, Seniors £12.00, Family tickets (2 adults & up to 3 under 17s) £34.00. During closures of the State Apartments Adults £6, Children £3.50, Seniors £5 and Family tickets £15.
Hotels in Windsor: Superbreak have a good selection of hotels suitable for both the airport and the Castle, including the Marriott Slough / Windsor and the Courtyard by Marriott.
Telephone: 020 7766 7304
For further information, visit the website: www.rct.uk