Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, is one of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen. The Castle’s dramatic site encapsulates 900 years of British history. It covers an area of 26 acres and contains, as well as a royal palace, a magnificent chapel and the homes and workplaces of a large number of people.

What there is to see:
The magnificent State Apartments are furnished with some of the finest works of art from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Canaletto, Gainsborough and the famous triple portrait of Charles I by Sir Anthony van Dyck.  In 1992 fire destroyed or damaged more than 100 rooms at the Castle. By good fortune the rooms worst affected were empty at the time, and as a result, few of the Castle’s artistic treasures were destroyed.  The highly acclaimed restoration work, completed in 1997, is a testament to the extraordinary skills of some of the finest craftsmen in Europe. From October to March visitors can also enjoy George IV’s private apartments (the Semi-State Rooms), among the most richly decorated interiors in the Castle.

St George’s Chapel is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. It is the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter, the senior order of British Chivalry established in 1348 by Edward III. Within the chapel are the tombs of ten sovereigns, including Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, and Charles I. Among the highlights of a visit to Windsor is Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, the most famous dolls’ house in the world. The Drawings Gallery shows changing exhibitions of material from the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. The special display below is shown alongside a selection of treasures from the Royal Library.
 

Photographer Credits:

Image 1: Photographer: Mark Fiennes, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013

Image 2: Photographer: Dennis Gilbert, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013

Image 3: Photographer: Ian Jones, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013

Image 4: Photographer: John Freeman, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013

 

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace has provided a luxurious retreat for many of Britain’s most famous Kings and Queens. Henry VIII was so inspired by it that he spent three of his honeymoons here. And visitors continue to escape to Britain’s greatest palace to experience its history, splendour and stunning scale.

Discover what it was really like to live and work at Hampton Court Palace. Take a fascinating journey through 500 years of royal history. Marvel at the impressive architecture and opulent interiors of the State Apartments and see the vast Tudor Kitchens in full swing. Enjoy the breathtaking Great Hall and Chapel Royal, and see how Sir Christopher Wren transformed the palace to rival Versailles. Take time to appreciate one of the finest collections of Renaissance paintings in Europe, and listen to tales of intrigue at the royal court from expert guides dressed in full historical costume. Or enjoy an audio tour, available in 9 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Korean and Japanese. They can be collected from the Information Centre in Clock Court.

And that’s before you’ve even begun to explore the stunning riverside gardens where you’ll find the famous Maze and one of the world’s oldest vines.

‘Top Ten’ things to see and do at Hampton Court. These sights are ‘unmissable’
Access to these sights is included in your admission ticket, unless otherwise stated.

Henry VIII’s Great Hall
The Great Hall is England’s greatest medieval hall and one of Britain’s oldest theatres. William Shakespeare’s company performed there in 1603-4.
Young Henry VIII exhibition Meet the ‘pin-up’ prince, before he became fat old Henry VIII, at our Young Henry VIII exhibition (included in your admission ticket). The exhibition includes paintings and interactive displays.

The world famous Maze
Test yourself and get enjoyably lost in ‘the most famous Maze in the history of the world’. Entry is included in your ‘All Palace and Gardens’ admission ticket. A ‘Maze only’ entry is also available.

Tudor kitchens 
Built to feed the Court of Henry VIII, the kitchens were expected to provide meals for 600 people twice a day. See the kitchens today and experience the sights and smells of a real Tudor kitchen!

Beautiful gardens
Wander through over 60 acres of beautifully maintained and internationally celebrated gardens at Hampton Court Palace. Entry is included in your ‘All Palace and Gardens’ admission ticket.

Henry VIII: Heads and Hearts
Join Henry for his wedding celebrations and see surprising portraits and personal objects of his wives.

Family fun activities
We have a wide range of activities and tours to entertain families. Choose from family trails, our world-famous maze, costumed guided tours, live Tudor cookery and much much more. 

The Chapel Royal
This beautiful chapel has been in continuous use for over 450 years. Visitors are welcome to attend religious services at The Chapel Royal.

Tiltyard café – kids’ meal deal!
History makes you hungry! At the Tiltyard café, choose from any kid’s hot meal with lemonade or milk and a fairy cake for just £3.95. Deliciously great value.

Find out More about Windsor Castle + Hampton Court Palace