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Windsor in January

I will be visiting London in January and thought a day trip to Windsor would be nice. However, I've checked the schedule at Windsor Castle and the state rooms will be closed during my visit (though the semi-state rooms will be open). Is a day trip still worth it? What exactly are the semi-state rooms? Any advice? Thank you!

Posted by
507 posts

Keep in mind Windsor Castle is one of several residences of the Queen. According to this article Her Majesty resides there on "her private weekends."

{EDIT: I stand corrected by Linda as to Her Majesty's sleep room. I mistook the word "apartment" to mean a place of residence, not a large room. Today Windsor's State Apartments are frequently used by members of the Royal Family for events in support of organisations of which they are patrons.}

The semi-state rooms were remodeled after a fire. The paintings, rugs, & furniture had been removed before the fire happened. From my research each piece is back to where it was located before the fire.

I have read of the Queen's {doll's house in Windsor, something I would find interesting.}

I am just another Yank who has been to Windsor & was unable to enter because the Queen was in residence. So I resorted to the internet.

Posted by
1829 posts

The Queen, or anyone else for that matter, does not sleep in the State Apartments. The State rooms are used for grand functions eg entertaining visiting heads of state etc. She, and other members of the family, have less grand private apartments and there are private guest rooms for those of her visitors who stay over. I suspect that the closure may have more to do with cleaning/conservation work and/or not spending money on docents during a traditionally quiet period.

Description of the semi state rooms.

Posted by
10344 posts

That was a disastrous fire, but they have repaired everything.

Posted by
8 posts

So after more careful investigation, it looks like neither the state rooms nor the semi-state rooms will be open during my visit. So is the day trip to Windsor still worth it?

Posted by
30257 posts

Well, when the place is shut up like that the entry price drops right down, if I remember rightly.

I've never been when the place is shut up, but I am sure that you still get a pretty decent experience, and you've never been in a Royal Castle, right? Is St George's Chapel open on the day you want to go?

Posted by
3925 posts

Nigel , as always , hits the nail on the head . We visited this past September ,and all of Windsor was fascinating , BUT , St. George's Chapel was far and away the high point . We also walked out to Eton ,and while we could not enter the buildings , that was a wonderful part of the day . St. Georges alone was , however , the zenith - a great deal of history , architectural beauty that rivaled Bath Abbey and King's College Chapel in Cambridge ( the fan vaulting ) and much more , this place alone , made the trip worthwhile . If Windsor is high on your list ,then go . Hampton Court is also well worth a full day .

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks for the advice everyone! I've actually been to Windsor before, but it's been almost 20 years. My memories are hazy. I'm really interested in St. George's Chapel (particularly for Evensong), which I believe is open during my visit. I think I'll probably go, as it's such an easy trip from London. Thanks again!