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Windsor Castle

I am going to Windsor Castle while I am in London. The price to go to Windsor Castle is about 21 pounds. There is an exclusive evening tour only done on Friday nites in August for 65 pounds. You get a tour, a discount in the book shop and a book and a drink. I really am not concered about the book or drink or even the discount.

What I would like to know, as anyone done the evening tour and did you find it worth the money? Did you see more than the regular admission price?

You do have to prebook this tour so I need to decide soon as I am going the end of August.

Thank you for your advice.

Posted by
607 posts

Hi—if you don’t get any replies here from people who have taken the evening tour, you can go over to TripAdvisor and search reviews of Windsor Castle for keyword “evening”. I just did that and found several positive reviews—common themes were the specialness of visiting in a small group, being guided by a knowledgeable staff member, being able to go “behind the ropes” in various rooms and into certain areas usually off limits.

One possible downside is that you won’t be able to linger as long as you might like in a given room. You’ll have to move to the next room when the group does. This is how the private evening tour of Buckingham Palace was when I took it in January. But the pace was fine and the fact that you are in such a small group means that you can see everything in a given room easily—you are not shuffling forward in a crowd waiting your turn to see something. So I highly recommend the private tour!

Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy your visit!

Posted by
4011 posts

Make sure that the evening tour includes St George's Chapel and that the time in the Chapel isn't rushed. You might want to find out in advance how the time of the tour is divided within the entire Windsor Castle property so you'll know how time is allocated throughout the grounds.

While a smaller tour in the evening does sound inviting, if you aren't allowed to meander afterwards or as early in the day as you would like before the evening tour, you might be losing more than just the extra money they are charging for that tour.

If you do the tour, I hope you'll let us know how it was. :-)

Posted by
6629 posts

Having a knowledgeable guide could be a big plus, but otherwise I'd say visit on your own, preferably at a time when it won't be as crowded as it can get. You can use a guidebook for detail, plus there are very knowledgeable and helpful docents in each room. I asked several of them very specific questions about history, furniture etc. and got good answers. They have reference binders covering each piece of furniture, vase, lamp etc. I spent most of an afternoon in the castle and chapel, and left feeling very satisfied with the visit. One thing you can't do in the castle is backtrack -- it's a one-way route through the different rooms, but you can stay as long as you want in each. There was more freedom of movement in the chapel.

I hope you know that Buckingham Palace is also open for visits in August and September. You have to sign up for a specific entry time. As at Windsor, there was plenty of time to appreciate the rooms, excellent docents everywhere, etc. I think there are also evening-with-drink tours there for higher prices. I visited these two places a couple of weeks apart, not sure I'd recommend them on the same or consecutive days lest you OD on Royal Spendour! ;-)

Posted by
274 posts

When I went to Windsor, we were able to get our tickets validated at the end so we could return for free, for a year. Perhaps if you go to the evening tour, get all the nifty insider access, but want to linger longer, you could just go back for free the next day. And the day after that :)

Posted by
1205 posts

I want to thank everyone for your replies. This really helped me make my decision. I am going to go on the regular tour and skip the evening tour as all of you said, then I will be able to really see each room. A guide is nice but the docents are excellent sources of information.

Dick: Thank you in regard to Buckingham Palace, I went last year and loved it. I have been to London a few times and finally made it to Buckingham Palace and it was so worth the money to see the state rooms and the Queen's gallery and the Queen's mews. Spent the whole day there and it was a highlight of the time in London.

I had been to Windsor Castle but in 2005 and do not remember it at all. Just the dollhouse.

Again, thanks all for your tips and suggestions and assistance in helping me make up my mind.