1. Introduction

Weekdays are generally considered the best days to visit Windsor Castle to avoid crowds. The castle is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so Thursdays, Fridays, and Mondays would be the best choices.

Out of the weekdays to visit Windsor Castle, We’d recommend  Thursday. Here’s why:

  • Weekday advantage: Thursdays tend to be less crowded than weekends, though potentially busier than Mondays depending on school holidays. They might offer a middle ground between avoiding weekend crowds and giving you a full weekend for other activities, especially if you’re on a shorter trip.
  • Avoids potential Friday rush: Some people might choose Fridays for a long weekend trip, so Thursdays are less crowded than Fridays.

While Mondays might be the absolute least crowded, Thursdays offer a good balance of avoiding crowds and giving yourself a full weekend for other activities if you’re on a trip.

Windsor Castle stands towering over the charming town of Windsor, Berkshire, a magnificent royal residence steeped in British history. For over 900 years, this fortified palace has served as a weekend retreat and a centre of power for English and British monarchs. From the State Apartments’ grandeur to the Round Tower’s mystique, Windsor Castle offers a captivating glimpse into the past and a chance to witness the ongoing traditions of the British Royal Family.

Let’s take a deeper look into the best day to visit Windsor Castle:

2. Weekends vs. Weekdays: Crowd Control

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The allure of Windsor Castle draws a significant number of visitors, particularly on weekends. This surge in visitor numbers can significantly impact your experience. Weekends often see:

  • Higher Visitor Influx: Families, tourists, and residents flock to the castle during their free time, leading to crowded corridors and packed State Apartments.
  • Lengthened Queues: The increased foot traffic translates to longer wait times for entry tickets, security checks, and accessing popular exhibits within the castle. This can eat into your exploration time and create a sense of frustration.
  • Reduced Tranquility: The bustling crowds can make it challenging to fully appreciate the castle’s historical significance and architectural details. The overall experience might feel rushed and less peaceful than a quieter day.

While weekends offer the opportunity to explore Windsor alongside a vibrant atmosphere, navigating the crowds can be overwhelming. To truly immerse yourself in the rich history and grandeur of Windsor Castle, considering an alternative day might be a wiser choice.

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3. Examining Weekdays: A Calmer Experience

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Escaping the weekend crowds, weekdays offer a significantly calmer and more enjoyable experience at Windsor Castle. Here’s why opting for a weekday visit might be the perfect strategy:

  • Shorter Queues and Wait Times: Weekdays generally see a much lower influx of visitors than weekends. This translates to shorter lines for entry tickets, security checks, and popular exhibits within the castle. You can spend less time waiting and more time exploring the fascinating history.
  • More Space for Leisurely Exploration: With fewer crowds, you’ll have more space to move around comfortably and truly appreciate the grandeur of the State Apartments, the intricate details of St. George’s Chapel, or the panoramic views from the castle walls. You can take your time, linger in areas that pique your interest, and delve deeper into the historical exhibits at your own pace.
  • Easier Access to Exhibits and Attractions: The reduced weekday crowds make accessing popular exhibits and attractions within the castle easier. You’ll have a better chance of getting a closer look at the Crown Jewels or enjoying a more intimate experience at the Queen’s Dollhouse without feeling rushed or jostled by fellow visitors.

Choosing a weekday allows you to fully immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Windsor Castle’s history and appreciate its architectural marvels without the pressures of a crowded environment.

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4. Unveiling the Best Weekday: Why Thursday Wins

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Having explored the benefits of weekdays for a less crowded visit, let’s delve deeper and identify the ideal day within the week. Among weekdays, Thursday emerges as the champion for a truly enriching experience at Windsor Castle. Here’s why:

  • Weekday Advantage: As discussed earlier, Thursdays share the general advantage of weekdays. You can expect shorter queues, more space for exploration, and easier access to exhibits compared to weekends.
  • Potentially Avoiding a Weekend Uptick: Fridays might see a slight increase in visitors due to long weekend trips, leading to somewhat longer wait times and a busier atmosphere. Choosing Thursday allows you to avoid this possible increase and enjoy a potentially more relaxed experience compared to a Friday visit.
  • Weekend Buffer:  Choosing Thursday provides a good balance with the weekend ahead. You can fully immerse yourself in the castle’s history on Thursday and have the entire weekend to explore other attractions in Windsor or travel to nearby destinations. This way, your itinerary offers a captivating mix of historical exploration and leisure activities.

Therefore, considering the overall advantages, Thursday stands out as the best day of the week to visit Windsor Castle. It offers the calmness of a weekday visit with the added benefit of avoiding potential pre-weekend crowds and allowing you to utilize the weekend for further explorations.

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5. Special Considerations

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While weekdays, particularly Thursdays, offer the best chance for a less crowded visit, there are a few additional factors to consider:

  • Changing of the Guard Ceremony: The iconic Changing of the Guard ceremony, a popular tourist attraction, typically occurs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. If witnessing this ceremony is a priority, be prepared for potentially larger crowds on those days, regardless of being a weekday.
  • School Holidays and Peak Tourist Seasons: School holidays and peak tourist seasons (summer months) can see a general increase in visitor numbers across all weekdays. It’s advisable to check the school holiday calendar and tourist season trends before finalizing your visit date.

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6. Conclusion: Planning Your Perfect Windsor Castle Visit

Choosing the right day for your Windsor Castle visit sets the stage for a truly memorable experience. By opting for a Thursday, you can reap the benefits of a less crowded atmosphere, shorter queues, and ample space to explore the castle’s grandeur at your own pace.

However, planning your visit goes beyond just the day of the week. Here are some additional tips to ensure a smooth and enriching experience:

  • Book your tickets in advance: This allows you to skip the ticket line and make the most of your time at the castle.
  • Arrive early: Even on weekdays, early arrival ensures a shorter wait time for security checks, particularly during peak seasons.
  • Dress comfortably: Windsor Castle involves a fair amount of walking, so comfortable shoes are essential.
  • Consider a guided tour: A guided tour can provide valuable insights into the castle’s history and hidden gems you might miss on your own.
  • Download the Royal Collection Trust app: It offers an audio guide and additional information about the castle and its exhibits.

Following these tips and choosing Thursday as your preferred day of visit, you’re well on your way to a delightful and informative exploration of Windsor Castle, a captivating symbol of British history and royalty.

7. FAQs

How do special events at Windsor Castle affect crowd levels on weekdays?

Special events at Windsor Castle can significantly affect crowd levels on weekdays. There is often increased public interest and attendance when events such as royal ceremonies, state visits, or special exhibitions are held at Windsor Castle. Visitors may be attracted to witness these events or to take advantage of extended opening hours or additional attractions associated with the special occasion.

As a result, weekdays during these events may see higher-than-usual visitors to Windsor Castle. The influx of tourists and locals alike can lead to longer queues, crowded areas within the castle grounds, and potentially limited access to certain parts of the castle or exhibitions due to heightened security measures or event preparations.

Overall, special events at Windsor Castle tend to draw larger crowds on weekdays, impacting the usual flow of visitors and visitor experience during those times.

Are there any days with limited access to certain areas of Windsor Castle?

Yes, there can be days with limited access to certain areas of Windsor Castle. Here’s why:

  • Royal Events: The castle is a functioning royal residence, and sometimes, areas might be closed off for private events hosted by the Royal Family. These events can occur any day of the week, so it’s important to check the official website of the Royal Collection Trust (https://www.rct.uk/) closer to your visit date. They usually update information about closures and restricted access well in advance.
  • State Visits: When foreign dignitaries visit the Queen, certain castle areas might be used for official meetings or receptions. Again, checking the official website beforehand can help you avoid such closures.
  • Maintenance:  Routine maintenance or repair work might occasionally limit access to specific areas of the castle.  The official website typically announces these closures in advance.

Here are some tips to ensure you have full access during your visit:

  • Check the “What’s On” section: The Royal Collection Trust website has a “What’s On” section that details upcoming events and potential closures.
  • Plan your visit around closures: If you’re particularly interested in a specific area, plan your visit for a day when it’s confirmed to be open.
  • Consider contacting the Trust: If you have doubts or need help finding clear information online, contacting the Royal Collection Trust can provide the most up-to-date details directly about access on your chosen day.

J. Shaw

Joseph Shaw is a renowned expert with two decades of experience in historic travel, and tourism in the United Kingdom. His multifaceted expertise and commitment to excellence have made him a highly respected professional in U.K. tourism.

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