Royal Windsor Guide:

How to Get to Windsor and things to do

Windsor – also known as Royal Windsor – is a must visit destination for anyone taking a holiday to the UK and is easily accessible from Britain’s major cities.

 

Our guide below details everything you need to know for a trip to Windsor, from how to get there, through to best things to do, places to stay and the ideal times of year to plan your visit.

The English Bus don’t do specific tours to Windsor, unlike some tour companies who offer Windsor, Stonehenge & Bath tours, and other variations such as Windsor, Stonehenge and Oxford.

Windsor is a wonderful place to visit, but we feel that adding it into a tour with two other main destinations is just too much for a day. Windsor needs a good amount of time to be appreciated, and adding it onto our Stonehenge and Bath tour, for example, just doesn’t allow enough time.

We like to make sure our tours are relaxing, informative and guarantee you a great time. That comes from giving each location the time it deserves. Our 5 star rating on Google and Trip Advisor is testament to the quality of our tour, so once you’ve explored our guide to Windsor, be sure to check out some of our main tours as part of your stay in the UK too.

Where is Windsor?

Windsor is situated close to the River Thames in England’s south east, to the west of London. One of the main tourist destinations in Windsor is the exquisite, Windsor Castle, one of the Royal Family’s main residence (more on that  later). Built in the 11th Century by William The Conqueror, the castle has been occupied by Royals ever since.

How to get to Windsor from London

London to Windsor by train

Perhaps the simplest of all is to hop on a train from London to Windsor, with some services getting you there in under 50 minutes. To book train tickets to Windsor from London, we’d recommend visiting National Rail’s Journey Planner tool and entering your preferred dates for travel.

The most common routes depart from either London Paddington or London Waterloo and you can pick up a single ticket for £11, while a same day return costs £12-13 per person.

 

Train journey times to Windsor:

Depart from

London Paddington 

Arrive at

Windsor & Eton Central

Average journey time

31 minutes 

Average price of a single ticket

£11 

Average price of a return ticket

£12

Train Route

11.20 – Paddington Station (Great Western Rail)
16 minutes on the train
11.36 – Slough
14 minute wait
11.50 – Slough (Great Western Rail)
6 minutes on the train
11.56 – Windsor & Eton Central

Depart from

London Waterloo

Arrive at

Windsor & Eton Central

Average journey time

53 minutes 

Average price of a single ticket

£11 

Average price of a return ticket

£13

Train Route

11.28 – Waterloo Station (Southern Wester Railway)
8 minutes on the train
11.36 – Windsor & Eton Riverside

London to Windsor by car 

The quickest (and shortest) route to Windsor from London by car is along the A4/M4. It takes around 50 minutes with clear roads to make the journey.

Fuel cost for a car journey from London to Windsor:

Assuming a fuel price of £1.25p per litre and an average Miles Per Gallon of 40, a single car journey from London to Windsor will cost around £3.49 in fuel, with 2.48kg of CO2 emissions.

Best car parks in Windsor for day trips:

We recommend using one of the three long stay car parks in Windsor.

Romney Lock and King Edward VII Car parks can be found on the Datchet Road (near Windsor & Eton Riverside Station), while Alexandra Gardens Car Park can be found on Alma Road (Next to the Coach Park).

All three are cheaper than other car parks in Windsor and are less than a ten minute walk to the town centre and Windsor Castle.

London to Windsor by bus

The journey from London to Windsor takes around 50 minutes from Hammersmith Broadway.

Getting to Windsor from London via bus is simple. The easiest route is to hop on the 209 bus at Hammersmith Bus Station (Stop J), getting off at Hammersmith Bridge Road (Stop S). 

From Hammersmith Broadway (Stop SC), buy a ticket on the 702 bus towards Legoland. This will stop 49 minutes later at Arthur Road in Windsor, leaving you with a short 4 minutes walk to central Windsor.

Depart from

Hammersmith Bus Station (Stop J)

Arrive at

Arthur Road

Bus Route

11.26 – Hammersmith Bus Station (Stop J)
1 minute on the bus
11.27 – Hammersmith Bridge Road (Stop S)
Walk to Stop SC
11.31 – Hammersmith Broadway (Stop SC)
1hr 1minute on the bus
12.30 – Arthur Road
4 minute walk to Windsor

What is the best time of year to visit Windsor?

In terms of weather and the highest temperatures, the best time of year to visit Windsor is in the summer months, between June and August.

 

Average annual temperatures in Windsor:

Source holiday-weather.com

Low Temperature
  • January – 2°C
  • February – 2°C
  • March – 11°C
  • April – 5°C
  • May – 8°C
  • June – 11°C
  • July – 13°C
  • August – 13°C
  • September – 11°C
  • October – 9°C
  • November – 5°C
  • December – 4°C
High Temperature
  • January – 7°C
  • February – 7°C
  • March – 11°C
  • April – 13°C
  • May – 17°C
  • June – 20°C
  • July – 23°C
  • August – 23°C
  • September – 20°C
  • October – 15°C
  • November – 11°C
  • December – 4°C

When’s the best time of year to visit Windsor Castle and see the changing of the guard?

 If you want to visit Windsor Castle (see more below) and see the Changing of the Guard, then the best time of year to go (without having to plan your visit there too much) is between April and the end of July, when the Changing of the Guard takes place every day, Monday to Saturday. If you go outside of these months, you can still see it, but on alternate days, weather permitting, so you need to be mindful of that schedule if only booking a day trip to Windsor

Best days out and things to do in Windsor:

Windsor Castle:

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Building was started in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, it has been remodelled by successive kings and queens including Henry II, Charles II and George IV.

Public tours include an opportunity to see beautiful paintings from the royal art collection, in addition to extravagant furnishings in the State Apartments.

You will also have a chance to enjoy the Changing of the Guard (see dates and times below). The Changing of the Guard is when sentries undertaking guard duties are relieved by a different group of sentries in a formal ceremony, signalling the end and start of each shift, respectively.

The Changing of the Guard

Legoland Windsor:

Open from mid March through to the end of October each year, Legoland Windsor is a must visit, especially for families and groups with children.

The park was opened in 1996 and is essentially a dream come true for Lego fans, with the whole place jam packed with building, cars and characters crafted in Lego. For tickets, visit: www.legoland.co.uk

Frogmore House:

A Grade II listed building, Frogmore House has been a royal residence since 1792.  Originally built in 1680-1684 on the direction of Charles II, for his nephew. Queen Charlotte purchased the lease for the house in 1792 and employed architect James Wyatt to modernise it.

The name Frogmore stems from the large number of frogs which have always lived in this low-lying marshy area.

The house is open for tourists in August each year (for groups of 15+ people), with prices ranging from £11 per person through to £35 per person for a private evening tour.

Frogmore House is also open to individuals on three dates each year, known as Charity Open Days. On these dates, all proceeds are donated to specially selected charities and tickets are book via the charities directly.

For more information go to: www.rct.uk/visit/frogmorehouse

Eton College: 

Founded in 1440 by Henry XI, Eton College is an English independent boarding school for boys in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor. It educates more than 1,300 pupils, aged 13 to 18 years. 

The College runs tours for small groups of up to six people, with under 16s going free. Tours run from May to September, at a cost of £10 per person for a 90 minute tour. 

To find out more go to: www.etoncollege.com/Visits.

Windsor Great Park:

Set in 2,020 hectares, Windsor Great Park is a Royal Park that was formerly a private hunting ground for the occupants of Windsor Castle, dating back to the mid-13th century.

In present day, tourists can enjoy a number of areas of natural beauty, including a deer park, forests and and gardens. 

Summer dates are from 1st March to 31st October and Winter dates are 1st November to 28th February. 

For full prices, see: www.windsorgreatpark.co.uk/en/visit/opening-times-charges

A day at the Races – Royal Windsor Racecourse:

Fancy a bit of a flutter at the thrill of live racing? The Royal Windsor Racecourse is one of only two figure-of-eight courses in the UK, the other being Fontwell in Sussex. 

Set in 165 acres of countryside on the River Thames, the racecourse hosts races every year between April and October.

To find out more and plan a visit, go to: www.windsor-racecourse.co.uk

Theatre Royal Windsor:

Image by Cameron McKenzie [CC BY 3.0. Details of License here]

Why not catch a show while you’re in town? The Theatre Royal Windsor specialises in live theatre, ranging from the classics and traditional pantomime, through to first productions of new work, some of which are often subsequently transferred  to the West End.

They also have a Picturehouse cinema, with events and shows on throughout the year.

For more information, visit: www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

Accommodation –

The Best places to stay in Windsor

The cheapest hotels in Windsor:

According to TripAdvisor, the five cheapest (best value) hotels in Windsor, for one room with two adults are:

Innkeeper’s Lodge Old Windsor

Rooms from £75 per night

Holiday Inn Express Windsor

Rooms from £62 per night

The Royal Adelaide Hotel

Rooms from £64 per night

Oscar Lodge

Rooms from £58 per night

Travelodge Windsor Central

Rooms from £34 per night

The best rated hotels in Windsor:

 

MacDonald Windsor Hotel

Rooms from £90 per night

Crown & Cushion Inn

Rooms from £89 per night

The George Inn

Rooms from £102 per night

Alma House Bed & Breakfast

Rooms from £92 per night

Langton House Bed & Breakfast

Room from £79 per night

Top facts about Windsor:

1. The Windsor tie knot was made popular by the Duke of Windsor (formerly Edward VIII)
2. The name of Windsor comes from Old English ‘windles-ore’ (‘winch by the riverside’)
3. Windsor used to be called ‘New Windsor’. Old Windsor is a nearby village once known as Windsor
4. Windsor has seen a number of famous residents through the years, including Ranulph Fiennes, Michael Caine, Natalie Imbruglia and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page
5. Old Windsor – a village roughly three miles from Windsor as we know it today – was actually the original Windsor. To save confusion, as current day Windsor was being established, the two places became known as Old and New Windsor

 

We hope you found our guide to Windsor useful. There’s so much to see and do on a visit to this beautiful historic town, ensuring you’ll make memories that last a lifetime.

In the meantime, why not explore some of our tours of the rest of England too.

 

Thanks for reading.