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What time should I get to Windsor Castle?

Just wondering because heard so many different options

Posted by
172 posts

Last summer we flew into Heathrow on a Saturday in late June, landed at about 8 a.m., and made our way to Windsor. I believe we arrived at Windsor by 10 a.m. The lines in the morning were very long--for both those who had pre-purchased tickets and those who needed to purchase tickets. We had pre-purchased tickets online which were valid for the day. We did not have to use them at a certain time. We enjoyed walking around the rest of the town, had lunch, then made our way back to the castle at about 1:30. We walked straight up to the gates for the visitors who had purchased advance tickets, and there was no line. There was still quite a line to purchase tickets. We did not have wait in line because we had pre-purchased our tickets, and we waited only about 5 minutes in the security line. I would definitely recommend pre-purchasing your tickets and going in the afternoon. We purchased our tickets from the VisitBritianShop and had no issues using them.

Posted by
4734 posts

OP- as you are staying near to Waterloo, take the train to Windsor from there.

Posted by
1948 posts

We also went in the afternoon and had almost no wait with pre-purchased tickets. The line for tickets was LONG.

Train from Paddington with an easy switch in Plough. A short, easy, and fun little train ride. We sort of followed the crowds at Plough, even though there was a sign to verify where we were going.

I have to get up for work at 0530, so if I don't have to get going at the crack of dawn, I don't. It's nice to have a relaxed start to the day.

Posted by
28107 posts

Plough (farm instrument or name of a pub) = Slough (train station and town)

Posted by
7988 posts

We bought our tickets online in advance and went to the front of line. Short wait. Lines reached all the way down to the statue of Queen Victoria in town. We arrived as the Changing of the Guard was taking place, late morning.

Posted by
441 posts

I would go early, get there 20-30 minutes before they open if you can. We did this recently and almost no line. :)

Posted by
28107 posts

If you are staying near Waterloo you could take the (slower and more expensive, and deposits you further away in Windsor at Windsor & Eton Riverside station) train from Waterloo to Windsor - no changes as opposed to the faster, cheaper one from Paddington via Slough to Windsor & Eton Central, across the street from the palace.

It would mean that you don't need to take the tube to Paddington.

Posted by
3335 posts

To avoid heavy crowds when I visited Windsor Castle in March of a few years ago, I arrived 20 minutes before the castle opened to visitors. I also had pre-purchased my ticket online beforehand. It was wonderful not to be in crowds!

Posted by
2664 posts

Take the train from London Paddington to Windsor Central/Eton, will change in Slough, no big deal just change platforms., total trip is 35 minutes. Once in Windsor, exit train turn to your left, walk up to High Street and there is the castle across the street.

Posted by
39 posts

If you pre-buy your tickets, you basically have a "fast pass". You'll still need to go through security with everyone, but you will skip a good part of the line. We arrived around 11am and did this. It wasn't bad. And once you get inside, everyone disperses and you have room to breathe. There is a line for the State Apartments too. Just have patience and enjoy your time at Windsor Castle. It's incredible! And talk to the staff who work there. They have so many stories to tell and history lessons to give!!

Posted by
65 posts

We went last year about 3 days after Prince Harry's wedding. We where afraid that the lines/crowds were going to be horrible, but we pre-purchased our tickets before we left the states, and left London early on the train to get there about 15 - 20 minutes before it opened. We where the first people in line, and only had to go thru security! It was fantastic; with absolutely nobody in front of us or crowds to wait for, we where able to see and experience everything. When we left...the line/ crowds/ and tour groups behind us where like mobs!! (We did it on our own, highly recommend as you get as much time as you need w/o being led away to something else before you are ready)

Posted by
3699 posts

For angelsteffi: You can easily answer your own question using Google Maps or the official London transit site, www.tfl.uk

Posted by
128 posts

Thanks to everyone who helped out. We went today and it was a great time with fantastic weather. :)