Last weekend we visited Windsor Castle, for the very first time. Yep you read that right. After living just 45 minutes from Windsor Castle for thirty years I’ve only just visited it. I don’t know why, it’s just never happened. Or at least not that I can remember! Surely there really should have been a school trip in there at some point. That would have been much better than the walk to the local village to visit the post office. No I’m not kidding, that was an actual school trip in year one. Anyway, if you’re thinking of visiting here are my Windsor Castle top tips!
Fi’s Windsor Castle top tips
1-Definitely book your tickets online first. This is the MOST important tip as it meant you skipped a queue of roughly sixty people for one with just three (well we did anyway). It doesn’t cost anymore and you can book the day before. Well worth remembering.
2-When you get inside head to the shop near the exit – opposite George Chapel – and get your wristband. This means you can then exit the castle, say to get lunch, and re-enter without any issue. Definitely vital, thanks to Windsor Castle top tip number four.
3-We deliberated not getting the free audio tour as we assumed there’d be information at various parts of the castle. There wasn’t. The audio tour is vital. Unless all you want to do it look at everything and guess what it’s for or browse the three shops…
4-One of the surprising things about the castle is that there’s no cafe in there. I didn’t even think to check and simply assumed we’d be able to get an afternoon tea in their or at least a drink. But no there isn’t one. And to be honest? I kind of like that. The Castle just focuses on informing you about it’s amazing history and not about selling you overpriced sandwiches. It makes it feel like you’re stepping in to a home rather than visiting the latest tourist attraction.
5-Make sure you go when the State Rooms are open. That’s the most fascinating part of the trip and where you’ll spend most of the time. I’d have been very disappointed to go when that wasn’t open for visitors. The State Rooms are beautiful and full of so much history. What’s also fascinating are the facts related to the fire that tore through the castle in 1992. The story of restoring the castle after the fire was a highlight too.
6-Make sure you make time to wander round the town of Windsor while you’re there. We had a couple of wanders around the little cafes and down the steep hill and it was all so picturesque. See the picture above if you don’t believe me. And they do a mean cream tea too!
7-The final thing on my Windsor Castle top tips list? Make sure you have change for the car park. Or even better get the train there. We stupidly assumed there would be a car park for the castle and didn’t even think to check online beforehand. Maybe tip eight should be to research before you go? Anyway we had no change, so cue us arriving and having to drive round the town for forty minutes to find one that would allow card payments. Although spoiler: you can’t assume that’ll actually work. Our machine broke and we ended up having to find £20 in cash at the end of our visit anyway. So yes, trains are the way forward.
So there you go, my Windsor Castle top tips. You’re welcome! Now that I’ve been I am firmly of the opinion that everyone has to go. It’s just such an interesting day out.
Also it wasn’t that busy, considering we headed over on a Saturday. I’m sure that’s to do with the self-guided aspect of it so you can be as speedy or as dawdling as you want to be. Always my favourite thing! I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know that I’m the one that stops and listens to/reads every little thing so I know everything. Lau loves that part of my personality. Not!
Have you ever visited Windsor Castle? What did you think of it and what would be your top tips?