One of The Queen’s favourite homes, Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. Begun in 1066, it has evolved into a beautiful fortress over the centuries and is a wonderful place to visit for both adults and kids alike.
The Castle Precincts
The grounds of the castle are beautiful with waterfalls, gardens and ancient trees. You can take a tour of the “precincts” with one of the Yeoman Warders and hear the history and secrets of this magical place. Plots, intrigues and love-struck prisoners all figure in the tales they have to tell.
The Castle Itself
It’s hard not to be blown away by the lush red-carpeted stairs, beautiful woodcarving and high ceilings of the castle’s entryway but the best really is yet to come. Windsor Castle is grand in the truest sense of the word with massive rooms, high ornate ceilings, priceless artworks and gorgeous crystal chandeliers. Having said all that some of the rooms are surprisingly cozy as well. One of my favourite rooms is the small dressing room that Charles 2 preferred to sleep in instead of his bedroom because it was warmer – and perhaps also because of the secret door carved into the wall that allowed him to slip downstairs to the rooms where his mistresses slept!
There was a serious fire at Windsor Castle in November 1992 however all has now been beautifully restored. St George’s Hall has been rebuilt in oak and looks much as it must have done when it was first constructed in the 1360’s. Looked over by a massive statue of the King’s Champion at the far end, the ceiling is decorated with the crests of every Knight of the Garter, the oldest order of chivalry in the world. State Banquets are often held here, the table set for up to 160 guests!
Queen Mary’s Doll House
I love Queen Mary’s Doll House! It was built in the 1920’s and is a perfect replica of an aristocratic home in miniature. It really is magical, with miniature furniture and paintings by the leading artists of the day, a library full of doll sized books and a garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll. This incredible structure even boasts electricity, hot and cold running water, working elevators and flushing toilets!
St George’s Chapel
One of my favourite Royal chapels, this welcoming church is still an active center for worship with daily services open to all. It really is a beautiful church, with gorgeous carvings, altars and stained glass windows. Henry VIII is buried here as are many of the monarchs of the last several hundred years. The Queen’s parents and her sister are also laid to rest in a small, peaceful chapel at St George’s.
Tour To the Great Kitchen
For a limited time you can go behind the scenes in Windsor Castle’s Great Kitchen, in constant use for nearly 750 years. Hear the fascinating stories of meals served to many of history’s great leaders and of the lavish State Banquets still prepared here today.
Tips to Make Your Visit Extra Special
A visit to Windsor Castle will take between 2½ to 3 hours.
Opening times and admission prices for Windsor Castle vary. Please click here for essential information about booking your visit and be sure to book in advance to avoid the queues.
Ask about the free kid-friendly audio tour and activity trail.
Tours to the Great Kitchen are timed and run until February 7.
Subscribe to updates from The Royal Collection website to be kept updated of special events and exhibits at Windsor Castle as well as many other Royal palaces and properties.
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