How can tourists enjoy a cost-effective visit to Windsor Castle?

The allure of Windsor Castle is undeniable. Being the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, this royal residence nestled in the heart of Windsor, a town an hour's ride from London, promises an unforgettable tour. But what if you are aiming for a cost-effective trip? How do you get the best of Windsor Castle without burning a hole in your pocket? Don't worry, we've got you covered!

Planning Your Day

The first step to a cost-effective visit to Windsor Castle is planning. The castle opens at 10 AM daily, and the last admission is at 3 PM. Give yourself ample time to soak in the grandeur of the castle without feeling rushed. For those eager to delve deep into the history of the royal family, spending a full day at the castle is recommended. However, a half-day tour is adequate to appreciate the highlights.

To save on your travel expenses, choose the most economical transport from London. The train is a good option, with the fare being around £11 for an off-peak return. Take the train from London Paddington to Windsor & Eton Central or from London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside. Once you get off at Windsor, the castle is just a short walk away. Alternatively, if you have more time than money to spare, taking a coach can be a cheaper, albeit slower, option.

Purchasing Tickets

Buying tickets in advance is the key to a smooth and pocket-friendly trip. Adult tickets are priced at £23.50 if bought online. For those who want to delve deeper into the royal journey, an audio guide is available for £4.50. However, the best part is that the ticket is valid for an entire year! That means you can visit any number of times within a year of your ticket purchase. For families, a family ticket covering two adults and three children can save a significant amount on the overall cost.

Exploring the Castle

The immensity of Windsor Castle will astonish you. From the palatial State Apartments to the historic St. George's Chapel, every corner of the castle is steeped in royal glamour.

The State Apartments are a must-visit. With their grand rooms filled with artworks from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens, they offer a tantalising peek into the royal lifestyle.

St. George's Chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were wed, is another highlight. Its gothic architecture and the tombs of ten sovereigns, including Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, make it an intriguing visit.

Time your Visit to Witness the Changing of the Guard

A must-see spectacle at Windsor Castle is the Changing of the Guard ceremony. This quintessentially British spectacle takes place at 11 AM from Monday to Saturday. However, it's advised to reach by 10:30 AM to get a good spot. This ceremony is free to watch, adding to the cost-effectiveness of your trip.

Making the Most of Your Visit

Finally, to make the most out of your visit, stay informed. The official royal website provides regular updates about any closure or change in visiting hours. For instance, the State Apartments or St. George's Chapel might be closed due to official state functions or events. Avoid dates when closures are announced to ensure you get to see all that the castle has to offer.

While Windsor Castle is a significant tourist attraction, remember to also explore the charming town of Windsor. You can take a leisurely stroll in the Windsor Great Park or enjoy a Thames river cruise. These experiences provide a break from the bustling tourist sites and offer additional cost-effective enjoyment.

By careful planning and smart choices, a visit to the awe-inspiring Windsor Castle can be both memorable and budget-friendly. So, pack your bags and get ready for an royal adventure.

Savouring Local Delicacies

Feeding your appetite is another aspect of a cost-effective visit to Windsor Castle. The castle boasts two eateries - the Undercroft Café and the Ice Cream Pod. The Undercroft Café, located in the 14th-century undercroft, serves a variety of sandwiches, salads, hot meals, and afternoon teas. The Ice Cream Pod offers a selection of delicious ice creams. However, eating inside the castle could be a bit pricey.

To save costs, one could explore the town of Windsor, which is teeming with affordable and palate-pleasing options. The cuisine ranges from traditional British pies and fish and chips to international dishes.

For the coffee-lovers, there are plenty of independent coffee shops offering quality brews at reasonable prices. For a quick bite, the Windsor Royal Shopping Centre has a healthy mix of restaurants and fast food chains.

Packing a picnic is another economical option. There are plenty of green spaces in Windsor Great Park for a perfect picnic scenario. So, pick up some local delicacies, find a comfortable spot, and enjoy a picnic with views of the castle in the background.

A Cost-Effective Day Trip to Windsor

A day trip to Windsor can be more than just Windsor Castle. Yes, the castle is the main attraction, but the town itself is worth exploring too.

Start your day early with a visit to the castle. Witness the Changing of the Guard, explore the State Apartments and St. George Chapel, and take a leisurely stroll in the castle grounds.

After the castle visit, enjoy a leisurely walk along the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park. This picturesque path, stretching for nearly three miles, leads straight to the castle, offering stunning views of the castle and the surrounding countryside.

Next, head towards the riverside and take a river cruise along the Thames. It's an inexpensive way to appreciate the beauty of the area.

Finally, conclude your day with a visit to Eton, a short walk across the bridge from Windsor. Famous for its college, where many British prime ministers and royals were educated, Eton has a charming high street lined with antique shops and art galleries.


A trip to Windsor Castle doesn't have to be expensive. With careful planning, a day trip from London to Windsor can be a memorable, enriching, and cost-effective experience. You can witness the grandeur of the world's largest inhabited castle, learn about British royal history, and savour local delicacies without burning a hole in your pocket.

Remember to buy your castle tickets in advance, time your visit to see the Changing of the Guard, and make the most of your visit by exploring the castle, the town, and the nearby Windsor Great Park. Also, keep an eye on the official website for any updates or changes in visiting hours.

So, are you ready for your royal adventure to Windsor Castle? Start planning your visit now!