Windsor is located south of London, not far from Heathrow International Airport, and provides a lovely respite from the pollution and concrete of the city of London. Although much smaller than London, the town itself is quite lively.
It's easy to walk around Windsor and there's lots of shopping, plenty of restaurants and, of course, the must-see Windsor Castle. It's a second home for the Queen, herself, who has private apartments on the grounds. You don't get to visit those, but there's plenty else to see.
Visiting Windsor Castle Tips
Tip # 1 – Pre-Purchase Your Ticket
The best tip for visiting Windsor Castle is to buy your tickets on-line. This allows you to skip the long queue that circles around and down the road from the castle, especially on a Monday morning. With your pre-purchased ticket, you go to the front of the line.
There's a bit of a delay getting through the metal detectives and x-ray machines. Once through, you then spill out to the kiosk that offers an audio guide for the grounds. This is highly recommended to help you navigate the property.
St. George's Chapel is closed (except to attend the worship service) and there is no Changing of the Guard on Sunday. You might want to consider that as you plan which day you'll visit.
Make sure you download and print out the attachment of the entrance pass, not just the email they send you. The email, itself, won't get you in and without the actual pass you'll be scrambling to find some way to print it out. (Speaking from experience...)
Tip # 2 – Bring Your Own Earbuds
With the audio guide, the Castle offers big headphones that sit on your head and cover both ears. But you can bring your own earbuds with a connecting cord (not bluetooth earbuds) and you then have the option to have just one ear plugged in while you walk around listening to the guided visit. That way, you can still hear what's going on around you. Plus, it's much less hot and sweaty if you are visiting during high temperature days of summer. And you avoid wearing headphones that thousands of other people have had on their skin and hair.
You can't take any photos (camera or smartphone) inside the State Apartments and there are staff people situated in each room to remind you. With such a large expanse to explore, the audio guide is indispensable. It provides many details as you wander through the various rooms as well as the history of the people in the paintings in the portrait room.
The Changing of the Guard takes place at 11:00 am, but on which days is entirely variable. It's best to check the website link. When the military music band plays, it's an event filled with pomp and circumstance.
The Queen's private apartments are not open to the public, but there is a gate where you can peek in and get a photo. These are the grounds where she meets with Heads of State and where she stays on weekends when she's not in London.
For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), you are able to apply TRT® hands-on when visiting tourist sights, for example in the heart center, to deepen your awareness of history. Or, when taking a break on a bench, hands-on in Back Position #3 can be helpful to replenish the adrenals and to reduce stress from a long travel day.
Students of The Second Degree of TRT® can apply TRT® hands-on as well as direct radiant energy to events and people from the past and present. Also to deepen an understanding of history.
Tip # 3 – Stamp Your Entrance Pass
As you leave Windsor Castle, be sure to stop off with Castle staff collecting your audio guides and ask them to stamp your entrance paper. This allows you to visit the Castle for an entire year without paying again.
Unfortunately, you'll now have to wait in the normal lines, no cutting to the front of the queue like the first time. But, since you've already seen the Castle, you can afford to wait until a bit later in the day to find a moment with a shorter line.
Being able to "pop back to the Castle" means you can visit that one place you'd love to see again or revisit the Royal Collection stores for that item you can't stop thinking about and wished you had purchased. Items from the stores on the Castle grounds can't be found in town.
Enjoy your visit to Windsor Castle.
All photos by Radiant Nursing.