Explore the Inside of Windsor Castle | Major Highlights

Windsor Castle has been a historic fortress and royal residence for centuries. Walking in will make you feel like you’re in a museum. The State Apartments are the real showstoppers, decked with priceless works of art by renowned painters, luxurious furnishings, and tapestries, so beautiful they'd make your jaw drop. Read on to learn about what you can find inside the renowned castle.

Windsor Castle | Visitor information at a glance

windsor castle

Can I go inside Windsor Castle?

Yes, you can go inside Windsor Castle and explore various buildings. As one of the official residences of the British monarch, the castle offers an insightful glimpse into the history and architecture of the royal family.

Below are the opening times:

  • November 1 to February 29: 10am to 4:15pm (Thursday to Monday)
  • March 1 to October 31: 10am to 5:15pm (Thursday to Monday)

How to go inside Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle Entry Tickets
2 hr. 30 min.
Audio Guide
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Half-Day Tour to Windsor Castle from London
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
5 hr. 30 min.
Audio Guide
Transfers Included
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From London: Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Bath & Roman Baths Day Trip
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
11 hr. - 11 hr. 30 min.
Audio Guide
Guided Tour
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Windsor Castle Guided Tour with Afternoon Tea from London
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
6 hr.
Audio Guide
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Top things to see inside Windsor Castle

Inside Windsor Castle

State Apartments

The British monarchy has used the State Apartments for official functions and entertaining distinguished guests for centuries. The rooms have magnificent chandeliers, furnishings, and artworks by renowned masters, including Van Dyck and Rembrandt. Intricately designed ceilings, ornate fireplaces, and richly decorated walls create a majestic and elegant atmosphere.

Inside Windsor Castle

St George's Chapel

St George's Chapel is a testament to Gothic architecture. It holds historical and spiritual significance, serving as the final resting place for monarchs, including King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth II. The chapel's exterior, with towering spires and beautiful stained glass windows with Biblical and religious scenes, illuminates the interior. You'll also be greeted by a breathtaking Quire, adorned with carved woodwork and intricate details.

Inside Windsor Castle

Queen Mary's Dolls' House

Queen Mary's Doll's House is a miniature marvel built in the early 1920s for Queen Mary, wife of King George V. Designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, it measures nearly 5 feet tall, housing an array of meticulously crafted miniature furniture. It includes a working elevator, running water, functional electric lights, and a library stocked with authentic miniature books.

Inside Windsor Castle

Semi-State Rooms

The opulent rooms, designed for state and ceremonial occasions, are proof of the British monarchy’s grandeur and magnificence. Created for George IV in the early 19th century, the rooms underwent restoration in the 20th century to increase their lure. They showcase a remarkable blend of architectural styles, ranging from Gothic to Rococo, with gilded ceilings and lavish furnishings.

Inside Windsor Castle

Round Tower

The Round Tower stands at the heart of Windsor Castle. The tower dates back to Henry II’s reign in the 12th century and has played a crucial role in the defense and administration of the castle. Thanks to its location atop a hill, the tower offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, giving the British monarchy a strategic vantage point for monitoring potential threats.

Inside Windsor Castle

Garter Throne Room

The Garter Throne Room is the venue for ceremonies of the Order of the Garter, the oldest and most prestigious British chivalric order. The room features magnificent Gothic-style windows, intricate wood paneling, and a soaring vaulted ceiling adorned with elaborate carvings. The Garter Throne is the room’s focal point, where the Sovereign sits during Garter ceremonies.

inside windsor castle

Royal Archives

Hidden behind closed doors is a remarkable collection of ancient manuscripts called the Royal Archives. Spanning over 250,000 documents, the Royal Archives hold an extraordinary wealth of historical treasures, including letters penned by monarchs and confidential government papers. The personal diary of King George III is one such document that offers a firsthand account of the monarch's thoughts and experiences during his time of rule.

inside windsor castle

Waterloo Chamber

The Waterloo Chamber is dedicated to the defeat of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo. Designed by Jeffry Wyatville, it replaced many of the rooms in Hugh May's 17th-century design. The chamber is filled with portraits of prominent figures who defeated Napoleon together. In 2004, the musical Les Miserables was staged here. Today, it remains an important room hosting the annual Garter Day luncheon.

inside windsor castle

China Museum

The China Museum stores original china and exquisite porcelain pieces from the Royal Collection. It also displays unique Chinese and Japanese pieces from the 17th century, Queen Mary's china collection, as well as pieces used by the royal family on special occasions. You can also buy replicas inspired by this collection, which are made using traditional techniques.

How big is Windsor Castle?

inside windsor castle

Windsor Castle is bigger than you think! The castle is almost 484,000 square feet spread out over 13 acres – that's 13 football fields! It's got tons of impressive buildings and structures, some of which you might not be able to see if the royal family is home or there's an important event going on. Windsor Castle has over 1,000 rooms! This includes 52 bedrooms for the royals and their guests, along with 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms. That's even more than Buckingham Palace in London, the official royal residence.

The biggest space inside the castle is St George's Chapel. This massive space can seat over 800 people on its pews. King Edward III built it in the 14th century, and it continued to expand throughout the 15th century until it reached its current size. 

Who designed Windsor Castle?

windsor castle architecture

William the Conqueror gets the credit for building the original Windsor Castle, but it wasn't exactly a one-man show. Over the centuries, different architects like Jeffry Wyatville, Hugh May, Edward Blore, Anthony Salvin, Giles Downes, and Henry Emlyn kept adding their own personal touches.

The whole thing began in 1070 with a wooden castle and it took 16 years to finish! But that was just the beginning. Every new ruler seemed to want to put their stamp on the castle, so there were additions and renovations over the years. The last big reconstruction happened recently, after a fire in 1992.

Visitor tips

  • Get an audio guide or join a guided tour to enhance your understanding of the castle's history and significance. They provide valuable insights into the different areas and exhibits.
  • Check the St George’s Chapel's schedule, as it may be closed to visitors during services or special events.
  • Photography is permitted in most areas, except for certain sections and temporary exhibitions. Also, avoid using flash to preserve artifacts and artworks.
  • Windsor Castle is massive and you'll have to walk significantly. Therefore, wear comfortable shoes to explore the castle's various rooms, gardens, and grounds.

Frequently Asked Questions about what's inside Windsor Castle

What is the ticket price for a tour inside Windsor Castle?

Windsor Castle tickets range from £30 to £159, depending on the type of experience you purchase. Standard entry tickets cost £30. A day trip from London to Windsor Castle, although more expensive, saves you the trouble of arranging transport to and from the castle. You can also choose tickets which include nearby attractions like Stonehenge or a guided tour of Bath or Oxford.

Who lives at Windsor Castle?

Currently, no royal lives at Windsor Castle, and it is only occupied by staff. After Queen Elizabeth II's passing, King Charles inherited the castle. It is likely that Prince William and Kate Middleton may move into Windsor Castle.

What is an interesting fact about Windsor Castle?

The Great Kitchen at Windsor Castle is the oldest functioning kitchen in Britain, serving 32 of the 39 monarchs who lived at the castle. Interestingly, the clock in the kitchen was always set five minutes ahead so that Queen Elizabeth II was always served on time. You can read more facts about Windsor Castle here.

Are there any secret passages or chambers inside Windsor Castle?

Underneath the whole place lies a secret network of tunnels. Some are just for plumbing and heating, but others have sparked a lot of rumors. People have been speculating for years about secret escape tunnels leading out of the castle, possibly for escaping or for espionage. There are also rumors about hidden chambers scattered throughout the castle. Maybe they're just dusty storage rooms, or maybe they're hiding treasure, priceless artifacts, or even secret meeting places for royalty! These stories have been around for centuries, and have even inspired countless search parties looking for them.

Can you see the Changing of Guard ceremony inside Windsor Castle?

Yes, the Changing of Guard ceremony takes place in the Lower Ward of Windsor Castle every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 11am. The ceremony lasts 45 minutes. If you do not want to see the ceremony within the castle premises, you can also watch the guards marching by at Windsor High Street or Windsor Guildhall.

Are any areas of Windsor Castle closed to the public?

With the exception of the Royal Vault in St George's Chapel, all parts of Windsor Castle are open to the public. However, since Windsor Castle is a working royal palace, the entire Castle or the State Apartments are closed at short notice.

Is Windsor Castle accessible for people with disabilities?

Yes, Windsor Castle is accessible for disabled persons and is wheelchair-friendly. Platform lifts are available on-premises to access different levels. There are also accessible toilets on the castle premises. For visitors who are limited hearing, a multimedia guide in British Sign Language is available. If needed, you can also borrow wheelchairs and rollators on a first come, first served basis.