Royal Escape: A Majestic Day Trip to Windsor

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Discover Windsor, a scenic hour from London, where royal history meets modern vibrancy. Windsor Castle, the world’s oldest inhabited castle, offers a peek into British heritage, while the town center brims with charming shops and eateries. Beyond the castle, Windsor Great Park and the River Thames beckon with picturesque walks and boat trips, showcasing the area’s natural beauty. Easily accessible from London, Windsor is the perfect blend of historical grandeur and outdoor delights, making it an ideal escape from the city’s hustle for a day.

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Windsor's Premier Attraction: Windsor Castle

At the heart of Windsor lies its crown jewel, Windsor Castle. As the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, it stands as a monumental testament to British history and royal culture.

  • Royal Residence: Standing since the 11th century, it has housed 39 monarchs.
  • Architectural Odyssey: Witness the castle’s transformation from a wooden fortress to a stone stronghold.
  • State Apartments: Explore grand rooms adorned with artworks by Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci.

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Why Should You Visit Windsor?

Visiting Windsor offers a unique blend of historical grandeur, scenic beauty, and cultural richness. Home to Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, it’s a place where royal heritage comes alive, offering an intimate glimpse into the British monarchy’s history and present. The castle’s stunning State Apartments, St George’s Chapel, and the Changing of the Guard ceremony are highlights not to be missed.

Day Trip to Windsor from London

Beyond the castle walls, Windsor enchants with its picturesque streets, quaint shops, and the serene Thames River providing ample opportunities for leisurely walks or boat trips. The nearby Windsor Great Park invites exploration of its vast landscapes, including the famous Long Walk. Furthermore, with its vibrant food scene, traditional pubs, and cultural events, Windsor caters to a wide range of interests. A visit to Windsor is more than just a day trip; it’s an immersion into centuries of tradition and natural beauty.

5 Great Things to Do in Windsor

  • Stroll the Long Walk: A straight path leading to the castle for a quintessential Windsor experience.
  • Visit Windsor Castle: The must-see attraction in Windsor. I’ll explain everything you need to know about this visit later in this article, but if you prefer, you can access the Castle tickets here.
  • Shop at Windsor Royal Station: A Victorian train station turned shopping destination.
  • Spend a fun day in Legoland Windsor: A family-friendly theme park with over 55 interactive rides. I mean, come on, it’s Legoland—you know what that is. I’ll provide more details later, but if you prefer, you can visit the Legoland website here.
  • Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour:  This activity offers a unique view of the castle and a relaxing way to experience the town’s beauty. (Tickets)

Things to do in Windsor

How to get to Windsor from London

The most popular way for tourists to arrive at Windsor is by booking a day trip from London, but if you don’t want to do so, there are two alternative ways to get to Windsor Castle: by car or by public transport.

1. Trains to Windsor from London

  • Take a train operated by Great Western Railway (GWR) from London Paddington. This route usually requires a change at Slough, where you’ll switch to a smaller train for the short journey to Windsor & Eton Central. The station is just a short walk from Windsor Castle.
  • From London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside: Direct trains run from London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside, operated by South Western Railway. This route offers a direct journey without the need for changing trains and the station is also conveniently located, just a short walk from the castle.

Both journeys take approximately 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the route and any required changes, and will cost you something in between £12 and £25, depending on the time and train. It’s a good idea to check the latest train schedules and any travel advisories on the National Rail website or through the train operators’ websites before you travel. Buying tickets in advance can also sometimes offer savings compared to purchasing on the day of travel.

2. Arriving in Windsor by Car

To drive to Windsor from London, take the M4 westward. Exit at Junction 6 onto the A332 towards Windsor. Follow the signs directing you into the town and towards its notable attractions, like Windsor Castle. Consider parking options in advance, as the town can be busy, especially on weekends and during summer. The drive typically takes around an hour, depending on traffic.

If you plan to arrive in Windsor on your own and are considering visiting the Castle, I highly recommend buying your tickets in advance, as it tends to be really busy.

My Visit to Windsor Castle from London

Exploring the Majesty of Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is a beautiful royal palace owned by the British Crown. The castle is located around 35 kilometers west of London near the River Thames in the British county of Berkshire. It was one of the three official residences of Queen Elizabeth II (alongside Buckingham Palace and Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh). The Queen had lived here since her 80th birthday and only went to Buckingham Palace in London a few days a week on business.

Tickets for Windsor Castle

As we have already shown you in our article about beautiful tours from London to the surrounding area, Windsor is the ideal place to make a detour during a London vacation. Many tours on offer provide the complete package: it is possible to visit some of the most beautiful places in the south of England in a single day. These different ticket options are available:

  • Standard admission ticket for Windsor Castle
  • Various day trips to Windsor Castle from London. Some of them combined with Stonehenge, Oxford or Bath.

A tour with a transfer is the best alternative for all those who do not want to or cannot travel by car. This usually includes transfers, entrance fees, and sometimes other additional services (such as a tour guide or lunch).

Book your tour in advance, as they are very popular and tend to sell out quickly.

We have selected and compared the most attractive tours for Windsor Castle here:

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11.5 hours

12.5 hours

10 hours

5.5 hours



Victoria Coach Station

Victoria Coach Station

Victoria Coach Station

Evan Evans Office 258 Vauxhall Bridge Road







  • Windsor Castle
  • Stonehenge
  • Bath

Different tour options are available.

  • Windsor Castle
  • Bath
  • Lacock
  • Stonehenge

Different tour options are available.

  • Windsor Castle
  • Stonehenge
  • Oxford

Windsor Castle with guide & Audio Guide



from £99

from £99



Which parts of Windsor Castle can you visit?

Fortunately, Windsor Castle (unlike Buckingham Palace) is open most of the year. As a rule, it is possible to visit most of the premises. These areas are of course only closed to the public when a member of the royal family is present.

Windsor Castle essentially consists of three different parts that you can visit alongside its spectacular walls, courtyards, and gardens. These parts are:

  • The State Apartments: Windsor Castle has been home to a total of 39 British monarchs during its long history. The very different furnishings and decorations of the State Apartments tell the story of the different tastes of the royal residents. The most characteristic details of these rooms were mainly created under the command of Carlos II (1660-85) and Jorge IV (1820-30). (1820-30). The State Apartments are one of the most spectacular areas of the castle and definitely deserve a visit.
  • Queen Mary’s Doll House: Another highlight of Windsor Castle is the doll‘s house. It was built between 1921 and 1924 by the Queen and her husband and is a replica of an aristocratic house of the time. In the house, you will find thousands of objects made by hundreds of different artists and craftsmen and two very special dolls. It’s just the kind of hilarious kitsch of the British monarchy that we like so much.
  • St. George’s Chapel: St. George’s Chapel is one of the best representations of Gothic architecture in England. In addition to its architectural beauty, it is a particular highlight because ten English sovereigns are buried there, including Henry VIII and his third wife.

Visit Windsor Castle

The history of Windsor Castle

The history of Windsor Castle dates back to the 11th century when William I the Conqueror had a fortress built here after the Norman conquest of England. The castle was the second in Europe to serve as a royal residence. Henry I of England was the first to use Windsor Castle as a royal residence in the twelfth century. Like most fortresses in England, Windsor Castle is also home to barracks and a prison.

The architecture of Windsor Castle

Today’s Windsor Castle is the result of several renovations throughout its history. In its beginnings, it was a defensive structure, which speaks for its strategic location on an artificially constructed hill. The castle that can be visited today was lovingly recreated and rebuilt true to the original after the great fire of 1992. Windsor Castle has over 1000 rooms in total!

Today, the castle is designed in Georgian and Victorian style with modernized Gothic elements. A visit to this castle is therefore a walk through the different eras of architecture and a unique tour through the history of England.

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Tips & Tricks for Your Visit to Windsor Castle

  • You can visit Windsor Castle all year round.
  • If part of the royal family is present, the section will be closed and you will receive 50% off the admission price.
  • The ticket gives you access to three different parts: State Apartments, Queen Mary’s Dolls & Georg Chapel House.
  • It is best to buy tickets online in advance, as they are cheaper then.
  • We advise you to book a ticket with a transfer if you are visiting from London.
  • Admission to Windsor Castle is included in the London Pass.
  • Photography and filming in the castle is prohibited.

Unforgettable Family Adventures at Legoland Windsor

Legoland is a vibrant theme park located in Windsor, tailored primarily for children aged 2 to 12 years. Opened in 1996, it’s the second Legoland after Legoland Billund in Denmark.

Spread over 150 acres, the park features over 55 interactive rides, shows, and attractions, all set within various themed lands. These include Miniland, where famous landmarks are recreated in miniature using millions of LEGO bricks.

The park is designed to encourage creativity and learning through play, with a strong emphasis on the values of imagination, discovery, and fun. Legoland Windsor offers a unique blend of educational experiences and entertainment, making it a perfect destination for family outings.

Legoland Windsor

How to get to Legoland from London

To reach Legoland Windsor, you can take a train to Windsor & Eton Central or Windsor & Eton Riverside stations from London, then catch a shuttle bus directly to the park. Driving is also an option, with Legoland located on the B3022 Windsor/Ascot road, and parking available on-site.

Tickets for Legoland

Legoland Windsor offers a variety of ticket options including single-day passes, annual passes for unlimited visits, and short break packages that include hotel stays. Online booking usually offers discounts, and there are special rates for families and groups. VIP experiences and queue jump passes are also available for an additional cost.

Buy tickets in the Legoland Official Website

Is Windsor worth visiting during a trip to London?

Windsor is definitely worth visiting during a trip to London. Located just a short train ride away, it offers a picturesque escape with its rich history and beautiful landscapes. Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, is a highlight, showcasing centuries of architectural history and the lavish State Apartments.

If you are planning to spend more than 5 days in London, you can definitely dedicate one day to a trip to Windsor and other interesting sights in the area

The town of Windsor itself, with its charming streets, boutique shops, and riverside walks, exudes a quintessentially English charm. Nearby, the lush Windsor Great Park and the family-friendly Legoland Windsor Resort provide additional attractions. Visiting Windsor offers a delightful contrast to the hustle and bustle of London, making it a memorable addition to any trip.

Windsor Castle London

FAQ about Windsor and the Visit to the Windsor Castle

Is it a Good Idea to Drive from London to Windsor?

Driving from London to Windsor can be a good option, offering flexibility and the convenience of traveling on your schedule. The journey is relatively short, typically taking about an hour, depending on your starting point and traffic conditions. However, consider parking availability and charges in Windsor, as well as potential congestion on routes leading out of London. For those who value independence and are planning to explore beyond Windsor, driving could enhance the experience by allowing for spontaneous stops and visits to nearby attractions.

Which is the Best Time to Visit Windsor?

The optimal time to visit Windsor is from May through September, when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities and exploring attractions like Windsor Castle and the Thames. Late spring and early summer offer lovely blooms and longer days, while early autumn sees fewer tourists.

The summer months are the warmest but also the busiest. Planning your visit around specific events and the Changing of the Guard can enhance your experience, though Windsor’s charm is evident year-round, with a more relaxed vibe off-peak.

Is Windsor a good destination for a family getaway from London?

Yes, Windsor is an excellent destination for a family getaway from London. With attractions like Windsor Castle, Legoland Windsor Resort, and beautiful parks, it offers a mix of history, entertainment, and outdoor activities suitable for all ages. Its close proximity to London makes it easily accessible for a memorable day out or weekend escape.

Profilbild Laura Haig
About the author


I love traveling in Europe and I am passionate about writing about my travels. The cultural peculiarities of each region always fascinate me. I enjoy exploring and discovering the best-kept secrets of each town or village. I love road trips as much as city breaks; I love visiting an art gallery and also the magic of musicals or discovering new delicacies in a street market. In this blog, I write about all my travel adventures and my best tips and tricks! Auf Loving Travel schreibe ich über alle meine Reiseerlebnisse und gebe euch meine besten Tipps und Tricks!

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