Step into the life of Kings and Queens with a visit to the magnificent Windsor Castle. At nearly 1,000 years old, Windsor is the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world, and is the family home of the British Royal Family, as well as an official residence of the Queen. It is certainly worth a visit! Admire the beautifully furnished state apartments, whose walls are filled with paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens, and which is often used by the Royal Family to host special events. Visit the Queen Mary’s Doll House, the world’s most famous dolls house, filled with finely crafted and detailed objects. Catch a glimpse of the semi-state rooms, several luxuriously decorated private apartments that were built for George IV. And end an inspiring trip with a visit to St George’s Chapel. Its stone fan vaulting makes it one of the finest Gothic Chapels in England. After your visit, explore rest of Windsor town with our hop on hop off bus.
These are some of the most spectacular state apartments to be found in Britain. In the 17th Century, Charles II set about modernising the castle’s interior, by commissioning painted ceilings, installing a new grand entrance and filling the walls with fine works of art by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto. A fire in 1992 left over 100 rooms damaged or destroyed, but they have since been restored to their former glory.
Queen Mary’s Doll House:
It is worth visiting the famous Queen Mary’s Doll’s House at Windsor Castle, built in the 1920’s. This is a magical residence filled with thousands of tiny objects made by leading designers and artists of the time. It stands as a miniature replica of an aristocratic home, and includes a miniature library, wine cellar, garden and evening working lifts and flushing lavatories! Highlights include two French dolls designed by the likes of Cartier and Vuitton and presented by the French Government to King George VI during a state visit in 1938.
These private apartments are open between September and March. They include some of the most impressive interiors in the castle, wonderful works of art and beautifully crafted furniture. The rooms are still used today for official entertaining by the Queen.
St George’s Chapel:
St George’s Chapel is designed in the Gothic style and is known for its impressive stone fan vaulting – definitately worth seeing, and there are regular shuttle buses departing from London. The Chapel houses the tombs of ten former Kings and Queens, including Henry VIII and Charles I. Today, services are held on Sundays, and guests are welcome to attend.
Changing of the Guard:
The changing of the guard is a lively and entertaining show that takes place in the Castle Precincts. This is a highlight of a visit to the castle, and is well worth arriving in the morning in time for its 11am start. Lasting 45-minutes, it is the formal handover of duties from one set of guards to the next, and is accompanied by a marching band and drums.
Tours to Windsor Castle:
A day tour to Windsor Castle typically lasts 2 to 3 hours. A visit to the Castle can be combined with other nearby attractions to make a worthwhile day trip. Nearby places include tours to Stonehenge and the city of Bath, with buses leaving London daily.