Discovering Windsor Castle, the home of British Royalty, is one of the top things to do in England for visitors and when you wander around the town that is dominated by the castle you can completely see why.
Strewn with flags, Windsor is like a permanent garden party where pictures of the Royal family adorn all the shops and cafes. It would certainly be difficult to set up business here and not join in the monarchy love!
For many who are basing themselves in London, Windsor castle is a perfect bit of relief from the big city and you’ll be pleased to know that the trip is super easy to do.
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Don’t forget your Windsor Castle tickets
Get your tickets in advance here for the castle.
So if you’re looking at how to get to Windsor Castle from London this post will give you all the options that you need!
How easy is it to get from London to Windsor Castle?
So the first thing to say is that Windsor Castle is located just outside London and so it’s actually really easy to make your own way there or add it in as part of a longer trip that includes other parts of England.
Windsor is located on the West side of London, just a little further than Heathrow Airport which is often where travellers will arrive in the UK.
It’s far enough out of the city to feel like you’ve escaped the built up areas but close enough for it to be an easy journey. Windsor makes a really good day trip from London and if you’re a Royal Family fan then you’ll definitely want to include this nearby castle in your plans!
Is Windsor Castle worth the trip from London
I really enjoy city trips and I adore London but sometimes you just want to get yourself away from the constant crowds and endless buildings.
I can’t promise that Windsor will be free of crowds and tourists as it does get quite busy, but there’s something lovely about walking down the Long Walk and seeing the castle in front of you, breathing the country air and feeling a little bit like you’ve escaped!
The castle itself can be busy to visit but there really isn’t anything like it so is definitely worth visiting inside if you can. Yes, you can visit inside Buckingham Palace too, but it’s only open to tourists as certain points of the year. Windsor castle is open year round (although may close for events – always worth checking your dates!) to see sumptuous state rooms and plenty of gilded treasures!
Another thing to watch out for if you visit Windsor Castle is the Changing of the Guard parade – yes just like the parade at Buckingham Palace – this one happens outside the castle! It only happens on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 11am. If you want to see the actual change happen you’ll need to be in the castle itself in good time but you can see the soldiers parade in the streets of Windsor before and after too if you don’t actually visit the castle.
Can you visit Windsor Castle in a day trip from London?
Yes, absolutely. Windsor is only around an hour away depending on how you choose to travel and so it’s ideal if you have a morning or afternoon spare away from London.
Can you get the tube to Windsor Castle?
While Windsor is close to London it’s too far for the tube network. You cannot get the tube to Windsor Castle from the city.
You may need to get a tube and change for Waterloo train station to get a train – see the next section!
How to get from London to Windsor Castle by train – the quickest way
If you’re happy to get yourself on to public transport then the train is a great way to arrive in Windsor from London.
There are actually 2 train stations in Windsor but the one that runs direct from the city is Windsor & Eton Riverside (the other is Windsor & Eton Central).
Despite it not being the central station it’s really not too much further from the town and it’s really only around 10 minutes walk to the entrance of the castle. There is a hill so be aware of that if you have mobility issues.
The direct train goes from Waterloo station, runs every 30 minutes during the day and takes just under an hour to get there.
You can buy tickets in advance which might make them slightly cheaper or you can just buy on the day.
Prices for a return are as follows (correct as at September 2023):
- Evening Out return – £11.50 (specific trains leaving in the afternoon and returning later in the evening
- Off Peak Day Return – £14.70 (specific trains)
- Anytime Day Return -£23.10 (any train throughout the day)
For more details and my recommended way to buy check out Trainline – it’s an easy way to see train times and book any train in the UK.
Organized Tours and day trips to Windsor Castle – the busy tourists way!
If you’re not keen on organizing your own transport to Windsor Castle and would prefer someone else to do it for you then a tour would be a good option.
You can get larger tours and more intimate private tours and you can get some that include more destinations in the UK such as Stonehenge (you might even like to consider these inner circle tours which can include Windsor – they are pretty special!)
It’s definitely worth considering if you have Oxford, the Cotswolds, Salisbury or Bath on your wish list to visit – these are the ones most often covered.
Here are a couple of tours to get you started:
- Stonehenge, Windsor and Bath from London
- Royal Guided tour of Windsor Castle from London
- Inner Circle Stonehenge tour + Oxford and Windsor
Driving to Windsor Castle by car
If you’re hiring a car in the UK you might be wondering how to get to there by car. Now, I don’t really recommend having a car for your time in London, but here’s the details if you’re a bit of a rebel and will have one anyway!
Windsor is located to the west of London and not far from the M25 which is the large motorway that circles the outer reaches of the city. From there you can go on to the M4 and leave at Junction 5. The M4 also goes partway into the city.
I find Google Maps is the best for directions though and can keep up to date with any accidents, traffic congestion or roadworks.
When you get into Windsor there Romney Lock Park and Ride by the train station which I recommend. There is a bus that will take you into the town or it’s a pleasant 10 minute walk, although there is a hill to be aware of. You can see the castle from the car park and on a nice day the walk is perfect!
You can also check out some other car parks in the town here.
Getting to Windsor Castle from London by bus
Finally let’s take a look at getting from London to Windsor Castle using buses.
Reading Buses provide a service that goes from near Victoria Station in the centre of London right to Windsor called the Windsor Express. You need bus number 702 and it takes around 75-90 minutes.
You can also pick up a bus from Terminal 5 of Heathrow if you’re coming to Windsor from there. This is bus 703.
The return fare (in September 2023) is £21 from central London or until the end of October 2023 their site states that each single fare is capped at £2 – quite the difference! If you’re traveling soon then this could be worth considering as a good budget option.
🏴 England Travel FAQ 🏴
Do I need insurance for traveling to England?
YES! I always recommend people take travel insurance when exploring the world!
Check Travel Insurance Master for quote comparisons from different providers.
Do I need a car for visiting England?
YES – If you’re wanting to explore England fully then a car is worthwhile. It will get you to all the small villages, countryside sights and all on your own timetable
I recommend DiscoverCars to compare car rental prices in England
How to book accommodation in England?
For hotels I recommend Booking.com
For apartments and cottages check out VRBO
Will my phone work in England?
Perhaps – it depends if you have roaming enabled and beware this can be an expensive way to use your phone.
If you need a SIM for use in the UK I recommend GiffGaff which you can get and set up before traveling.
What’s the best guidebook for England?
I really like the Lonely Planet Guidebooks
Where to get flights for England
Skyscanner is my first port of call for finding cheap flights to England.
Do I need a visa for England?
Many countries don’t need a visa for visiting England as tourists (USA, Canada, Aus, NZ and Europe) – it’s always best to check first though.