Windsor Castle with kids

Best Activities in Windsor Castle with Kids, 2024

Are you trying to decide if bringing kids on your trip to Windsor is worth the hassle? We recently had the same debate, and I’m here to tell you it is 100% worth it.

Welcome to our family travel escapades as we go abroad with little adventurers! Join our family on an enchanting journey as we delve into the rich history and grandeur of Windsor Castle with kids. Having visited Windsor three times in the last ten years, I love this castle. When we had the opportunity to bring our oldest two kids, I didn’t think twice about booking tickets to see this beautiful castle that captures the rich history of the English monarchy. 

In this blog, I’ll share our firsthand adventures, tips, and moments of wonder as we ventured through the corridors, witnessed the majestic Changing of the Guard, and reveled in the stories that breathe life into this iconic castle. From navigating the castle’s intriguing nooks and crannies to discovering the tales of kings and queens, we aim to inspire and guide families seeking an unforgettable day trip steeped in history and fun. We want your kids to enjoy Windsor as our two boys did and still talk about.

Join us as we guide you through our visit to Windsor. From practical insights on family-friendly attractions within the castle grounds that our kids loved to must-try activities that keep kids thoroughly engaged, we’re thrilled to take you along on this royal expedition through the eyes of our family. Let’s uncover Windsor Castle’s magic and its wonders for families like ours. Come along, and let’s create cherished memories within the walls of this majestic fortress!

visit Windsor Castle with kids

🏰Book your Windsor Tour NOW by clicking HERE!🏰

History of Windsor Castle Facts

Nestled along the banks of the River Thames, Windsor Castle is a testament to centuries of royal heritage and offers a captivating experience for visitors of all ages. As a high school history teacher, I can’t miss the opportunity to give a brief overview of the historical significance of this national treasure. I spent years studying French in high school and college, but as an adult have become a bit of an Anglophile. I love the rich history of the British monarchy. 

In the 11th century, William the Conqueror started construction to protect the western boundary of London. Over the centuries, British kings built additions to the castle, and in the 14th century, the style switched to the popular Gothic architecture style of the time. Over the next few centuries, the castle continued to be modernized. 

Admire the architecture

Windsor is fondly known for the extensive time Queen Elizabeth II spent there and the recent royal weddings of her grandchildren, such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. During WWII, Elizabeth and her sister Margaret retreated to Windsor to avoid the bombing of London. As the monarch, Elizabeth spent many years in Windsor as well as Buckingham Palace which was her main royal residence. 

In 1992, a massive fire broke out in Queen Victoria’s Private Chapel, spread to St. George’s Hall, and destroyed 115 rooms. Luckily, the fire missed much royal artwork like Van Dyck and Ruben’s paintings. 

Throughout history, Windsor Castle has stood as a symbol of royal power, resilience, and endurance, making it a treasure trove of historical and architectural marvels.

Windsor Activities for Kids

You may wonder if purchasing tickets for a large historic site with kids is worth it, and I understand those concerns. But I can tell you from first-hand experience it is completely worth it. We recently took my boys, who were 7 and 10 then, and they enjoyed it. Windsor provides kid-friendly opportunities, so you can still enjoy it, too.

visit Windsor Castle with kids

Audio Tours

One of our best surprises was the audio tour geared toward kids. At Windsor, kids are guided by Scorch the dragon guide.  My seven-year-old took to the audio tours so we could see more than I anticipated. Your kid may not like them, but having tours written for a kid audience was a pleasant surprise and a nice touch. 

As a side note, this was common throughout our visit to Bath, Kensington Palace, and other large sites for young kids. 

Edward III Tower

As you walk up from the visitor center, stop and admire the fortifications around the castle, including the King Edward III Tower.

State Apartments

During the tour, you can explore the ceremonial rooms where the royal family hosts distinguished guests. King George IV added the impressive Waterloo Chamber after the British defeated Napolean in the early 1800’s.

St George’s Hall

St George’s Hall is commonly used for yearly state dinners and receptions. It is open for public access during the tour hours. Our boys loved this stop on the tour because the ceiling is covered in decorative shields of the knights. We interacted with an excellent guide who explained to the boys that the shields painted over in white represented the “naughty knights.” Our boys thought that was hilarious.

St George’s Chapel

In the 15th century, the construction of St George’s Chapel began in a Gothic style under the leadership of Edward IV. Most visitors will recognize the chapel from the recent waves of royal weddings and the funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth. 

Off to the side of the Chapel, you can find the burial place of Henry VII, King Henry VIII, King Edward VII, Charles I, and Elizabeth II (as well as her family, including her father, George VI, mother, and sister Margaret).

The Chapel is near the exit, so please stop here. Even if you can only pop in, it is worth the time. FYI, the chapel is closed on Sundays for worship services.

St George's Chapel

Queen Mary’s Doll House

One of my favorite spots in Windsor holds a magnificent doll house built for Queen Mary, wife of King George V. The collection dates back to the 1920s, with incredible detail from the grounds to bedrooms and vehicles. You cannot take pictures here, but it’s still worth stopping by, even if there’s a line. 

Windsor Castle Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard is one of the most fascinating things to watch if you are American. The pageantry and rich tradition of the British monarchy is remarkable, and I highly recommend watching it.

Now, some tips- it is only available on Thursdays and Saturdays at 11 am. You should arrive a little early to get a good spot to see. If you are outside of the castle at this time, the best place to view the processional march is from Windsor High Street.

waiting for the Changing of the Guard

Pug Yard Learning Centre

If you visit during one of the United Kingdom’s school holidays, The Pug Learning Centre hosts free activities for young children. For instance, they offer storytelling or arts & crafts. It is a great place for a picnic lunch, too.

Family Activity Trail

If your kids love history or are on the older side, Windsor provides extensive activities geared toward families. They tend to focus on a specific topic, such as a royal Christmas Quiz, Shakespeare, or coloring pages on Scorch the Dragon. 

Many of the kid activities are pdfs, so you should look them up before you leave home to be prepared.

Windsor Castle with kids is worth it for the memories

Is Windsor Castle Worth It with Kids?

Exploring Windsor Castle with your little adventurers isn’t just a trip—it’s an immersive journey through centuries of history, grandeur, and enchantment. We can’t help but emphasize why families should consider visiting this majestic fortress.

🏰Living History: Windsor Castle isn’t just a relic of the past; it’s a living testament to the resilience of time and a vibrant showcase of royal heritage. By stepping into its storied halls, kids get a firsthand encounter with history, bringing to life the tales of knights, monarchs, and grandeur.

🏰Engaging Experiences: The castle complex offers an array of attractions that cater to young minds. From the thrill of witnessing the Changing of the Guard to exploring secret passageways, each corner holds something to intrigue and excite curious children.

🏰Educational Value: Beyond its splendor, Windsor Castle is a goldmine of learning opportunities. It sparks curiosity, encourages questions, and opens doors to conversations about the past, royalty, architecture, and more. It’s a classroom without walls where education becomes alive, and kids actively learn. For instance, it may inspire dreams of knights and princesses, encourage a love for history, or even sow the seeds of a lifelong passion for art and architecture.

🏰Family Bonding: It’s a chance to bond over shared experiences of awe-inspiring sights and create lasting memories.

Windsor Activities with kids

Looking for another fun activity in the London area with kids? Check out my review of the Emirates Stadium Tour. Our kids loved it!

Windsor Castle Tips

  • Remember, while exploring the castle, allowing kids to ask questions and explore at their own pace can enhance their experience and make the visit more enjoyable for everyone.
  • Go early in the morning to beat crowds. We were one of the first groups, so the grounds and castle weren’t crowded. An early morning slot helps avoid large crowds, especially at smaller sites, such as the dollhouse exhibit, or waiting to take pictures with the guards. 
  • If you go early in the morning, please ensure your kids have a hearty breakfast beforehand so no one gets hungry after you enter. We grabbed a quick snack outside of the castle at Windsor Royal Station, which also helped. 
  • Maintain low expectations- you may need help seeing everything you want. Watch out for your kids; plan an exit if they start fading. 
  • If you have babies and need a place to nurse, check out the Pug Yard Learning Centre. 
  • Popular exhibits or portions of the Windsor Castle tours are sometimes closed for renovations or repair. Check the official website before you arrive. 
  • After your tour, if the kids are still hanging in explore the Windsor Royal Station, a charming area outside of the castle with shops and restaurants.
  • Windsor Castle Tickets- purchase timed tickets through the Royal Collection trust. The kids’ tickets are discounted significantly.
Windsor Royal Station

How to arrive at Windsor

Organized Tour

If the transportation part of traveling stresses you out, consider a one-day tour from London. These tours leave from a central location and take care of all the transportation needs and entry to the park. It is nice and easy. Here’s my recommendation for the best tour to Windsor with additional stops at Bath & Stonehenge.

Consider your kids’ age and their flexibility. If you don’t think they will last long, then it may be easier to go on your own via train or car. That way, you control your destiny. When they are done, you can leave. 

🏰Book your Windsor Tour NOW by clicking HERE!🏰

Train Station

If in London, there are two train options for Windsor.  One route is from London’s Paddington Station to Windsor Central Station. Paddington connects to several lines in London, making it an easy transfer. The trip is about 30 minutes. 

The second option is a bit longer, and you’ll want to catch the train at London Waterloo Station. Check the train schedules to maximize your day, as these trains run a few times an hour. 

Driving

There are several accessible parking lots within a short distance to the royal palace. On our most recent trip with the kids and my mother-in-law, we flew into London and rented a car for a few days to explore Windsor, Bath, and Stonehenge. 

We arrived early in the morning and had no trouble finding parking. I’m linking our parking lot’s location(near Alexandra Gardens) HERE. It was a short and easy 5-10 minute walk to the castle. I think this would be more difficult on the busy weekends, mid-day. 

Hire a Driver 

When my husband & I visited Windsor, just the two of us, we hired a driver (similar to Uber) to take us there and to pick us up. We flew directly into London, checked our luggage into storage at Heathrow, and went to Windsor for the day. This was perfect because we were a bit sleep-deprived and didn’t have to worry about anything. We were dropped off right outside the castle and didn’t have a long walk. 

In Conclusion

Windsor Castle isn’t just a destination; it’s an immersive adventure that caters to the whole family. It’s an opportunity to witness history, spark curiosity, and create cherished memories that will be treasured for years. So, pack your sense of wonder, curiosity, and a dash of royal excitement and embark on a journey fit for little princes and princesses at Windsor Castle! I hope my guide on exploring Windsor with kids helps you plan your next great adventure. 

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