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Going to Windsor castle late afternoon doable & adviceable?

We are planning to go on a Saturday in early Feb next year

Theres a slight change of my original plan as I originally intended to go for the whole day.
I am wondering if we go to Wimbledon Experience Tour first in the morning 10:30am and tour finishes at 12pm.

Assuming we will go afterwards (by heading to Paddington Station and head to WC via Slough) & say....we arrive @ Windsor Castle 2pm at the latest, is it enough to see the area for the rest of the day till dark including the castle, the long walk, french brothers boat and perhaps see the sunset there?

This was the original plan:

Saturday - Windsor castle all day from 9am

Sunday - Wimbledon and after finish at 12pm, will head to Little Venice for the canel to the Campen Market. There is ONLY 10am, 1pm & 3pm timetable. Unfortunately, I think we may not make it on time for the canel for the 1pm, so 3pm would be the last resort. By the time we arrive the market, it will be almost 4pm and that means I have around 2 hours or less to stroll around. I heard that people say its best to go as early as possible etc.

So that is why I was thinking maybe to do the switch around? At least I can be in the Windsor Castle from 2pm for the rest of the day? And then can go to the Camden market early in the morning taking the 10am canel boat. So I am not sure if this change of plan is a good idea?

Any comments on that?

Your feedback would be appreciated!

Thank you

Posted by
16097 posts

Say we arrive @ Windsor Castle 2pm at the latest, is it enough to see
the area for the rest of the day till dark including the castle, the
long walk, french brothers boat and perhaps see the sunset there?

Not enough time to do all that, IMHO. If I'm guessing correctly what cruise you're looking at, the last 40-minute tour leaves at 3:00 (see Feb. schedule) so you wouldn't make it if you don't arrive at the castle until 2:00.

http://www.frenchbrothers.co.uk/public-trips/windsor-40-minute-round-trip

The castle took us 5 hours or so...which is probably longer than most people spend but it depends on your interest in the history. Really, though, unless you just run through everything, I would give yourself at least 3. That would put you at about 5:00 PM - when the sun sets -and it's starting to get dark so leaves little time for the Long Walk, although you might be able to squeak in a short stroll. No guarantee on seeing a sunset that time of year: it could be grey and very chilly.

Posted by
3821 posts

Stay with your original plan. It gets messed up if you switch it around.
You wrote,

"This was the original plan:
Saturday - Windsor castle all day from 9am
Sunday - Wimbledon and after finish at 12pm, will head to Little Venice for the canel to the Campen Market. There is ONLY 10am, 1pm & 3pm timetable. Unfortunately, I think we may not make it on time for the canel for the 1pm, so 3pm would be the last resort. By the time we arrive the market, it will be almost 4pm and that means I have around 2 hours or less to stroll around. I heard that people say its best to go as early as possible etc."

The best and most important sight on your list is Windsor Castle and the town of Windsor. Do give it a full day.

There is a lot to do in Windsor besides the castle. Do the castle first. After you finish with the castle, walk around Windsor. It's a cute small village with cute shops and tea rooms where you can have a good lunch or an afternoon tea with scones. Walk across the bridge to see Eton. Be sure and take the French Brothers boat ride that someone else mentioned. Do not shortchange yourself on time at Windsor. It may be the most enjoyable day you spend on your whole trip.

Posted by
3821 posts

You wrote:
"By the time we arrive the market, it will be almost 4pm and that means I have around 2 hours or less to stroll around."
That will be plenty of time.

You wrote:
"I heard that people say its best to go as early as possible etc."
You can only do your best to get there and get a look around. I think you will be fine getting there whenever you can fit it into your schedule.

Posted by
104 posts

Thank you so so so much Kathy and Rebecca

We were just worried not enough time in the market but if 2 hours is more than enough in the market and recommended to stay WC for the whole day, then we will def. stick with the original plan!!

The other only issue is even we stay in the Windsor Castle for the whole day, we are not quite sure how long to stay, unlike Tower Of London, average stay is between 2-3 hours. But for this one, maybe we stay up to 3pm? 5pm? Still a question.

We are not history type of person that much so very unlikely we will look into every details thoroughly, we are more into soaking the atmosphere but thank you for giving me the smooth itinerary like Rebecca had suggested:

" Do the castle first.
After you finish with the castle, walk around Windsor.
It's a cute small village with cute shops and tea rooms where you can have a good lunch or an afternoon tea with
scones. Walk across the bridge to see Eton.
Be sure and take the French Brothers boat ride"

But which part do we do the LONG WALK that goes with the flow so we don't have to waste time and turn around again? After the castle first? Or after Windor/lunch?

I aso heard people say if go on a Saturday to Windsor Castle, BE THERE VERY EARLY. If it opens at 9:45am, line up at 9am as there will be many people going in and at teh same time, we hope to see the Changing of Guard in the castle around 11am as well

Your answer is appreciated once again!
=)

Posted by
3821 posts

Hello Mike.

Yes, I would start at Windsor Castle first thing in the morning, any day that you go. The earlier you are there, the smaller the crowds will be. About 11:00 AM the tour buses roll in and crowds go to the castle.

I would say 2 to 3 hours is plenty to tour the castle.

The Long Walk is a walkway through an open field on the grounds of the castle. It extends a good distance away from the castle. There's not really much to see here except a field, woods, and deer. I would walk a very short distance on the Long Walk, then turn and walk back to Windsor.

EDIT/ADDED: Do the castle first.
Then get lunch.
Then stroll the Long Walk/visit Windsor Great Park.
Then come back into Windsor and walk around the town.
Then do the French Brothers boat ride on the river.
Then train back to London.

Posted by
104 posts

Thank you Rebecca!

You are probably right....and I would assume the bus are the local tours from London because I see on the site, there are alot of bus tours that goes to WC, Bath AND Stonehenge in 1 day so I am quite surprised how they can fit all in 1. However, on the 2nd last day, we also plan to join for Bath & Stonehenge bus tour for 2 reasons

1) I am aware WC requires a long day out of the 3 attractions
2) I calculated the train fares, entrance fee for bath & stonehenge, light lunch for each person and surprisingly, it cost MORE than if we take the tour bus, so that way, we will take the bus. We haven't booked yet. We also have 15% discount because of the London Pass, so it works out around 68 pounds per person that only need to pay for all the inclusions mentioned above for 10.5 hours whole day trip i,e,
https://www.goldentours.com/stonehenge-and-bath-tour-from-london

So that way, it should be more hassle free to do by bus tour. Hope what I planned would be more efficient. Luckily my London Pass covers WC and the train fare from Paddington to the destination so that made up for it.

Posted by
3821 posts

Golden Tours bus trip to Stonehenge and Bath is a good idea. They do an excellent trip. You will enjoy it.

Have a great trip! Best wishes to you!

Posted by
2785 posts

Staying with your plan of going to Windsor, you could spend several at the castle. After the castle you can walk to Eton to see Eton College, (5 minute walk) which is really a middle school and high school where the aristocrats, and the royal family sends their boys. You can also walk to Windsor Great Park, (5 minute walk) there you get a fantastic view of the royal residence, also in the park you will see The Long Walk, which is a private road for the royal family to enter and leave the castle. There are several pubs to get a great pub meal. When you arrive on the train, exit the train, turn left and walk up to the street, and right there is the castle.

Posted by
6670 posts

FWIW, it took me about three hours to visit Windsor Castle pretty thoroughly. I'm interested in history and spent more time with all the portraits than most normal people would, I think. However, I gave the Doll House a pretty brief inspection and didn't spend a lot of time in the exhibit hall with the Shakespeare folio and such. Don't shortchange St. George's Chapel, it's great. This was on a September weekday afternoon and it wasn't very crowded, had no waiting time. Saturday and/or tourist season would be worse I'm sure.

Posted by
104 posts

Thanks folks
We have decided to stick with the original plan for sure after hearing some wonderful and helpful comments
Perhaps you are right, the most interesting trip would be WC and would be a waste if missed even half a day

All we hope is that on the day it will not be a rainy day or otherwise, I guess be it!
I guess we will still go on rainy days as we won;t be dampered or break our spirit despite rainy weather, most impoortant is to bring our umberella!

Posted by
35 posts

Hello. I will be in London Easter week 2017 and would like to see Windsor Castle as I didn't have time my last visit.
I understand that The Queen will be in residence the month of April. Do they still let people inside to do the
full tour?

Thank you for any info you can give me.

Posted by
6670 posts

Nolanani, you can visit the State Rooms and St. George's Chapel any time of year. I'd allow at least half a day.

While nice weather is always nicer, most of the visit is indoors.

Posted by
214 posts

Evening song in St. Georges Chapel is a very nice experience......I believe it's 515 or so and that would help make a late visit worth it.