Changing the Guard at Windsor Castle

Changing the Guard is one of the highlights of a visit to Windsor Castle.

Changing the Guard at Windsor Castle takes place daily, during April, May, June and July. From August to March the ceremony takes place on alternate days.

The dates for Changing the Guard at Windsor Castle are set by the British Army and issued toward the end of the current month. i.e. The August schedule would be confirmed towards the end of July.

The New Guard, usually accompanied by a band, march from Victoria barracks up Sheet Street, left into the High Street, past the Parish Church and the Guildhall, then turn right onto Castle Hill by Queen Victoria's Statue and into Windsor Castle.

You will need to purchase tickets for Windsor Castle to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony, which takes place inside the castle precincts but unlike Buckingham Palace there are no railings separating visitors from the proceedings.

Windsor Castle Guard in the High Street

The Ceremony

The Windsor Castle guard is provided by the resident regiment of Foot Guards, from the Household Division, in their full-dress uniform of red tunics and bearskins accompanied by the Guards Band.

The New Guard step of from Victoria Barracks and march up Sheet Street, left into the High Street, past the Parish Church and the Guildhall, then turn right onto Castle Hill by Queen Victoria's Statue and into the Castle.
( You need to be in the High Street by 10:50 to see the Guards marching to the Castle).

The location of the Guard Mounting ceremony at Windsor Castle is:

  1. In the summer, when the Queen is in residence, Changing the Guard usually takes place on the lawn in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle.
  2. In wet weather or winter to protect the lawn, or when the Queen is not in residence, Changing the Guard at Windsor Castle takes place outside the Guardroom by Henry VIII's Gateway.

Plan of Windsor Castle

Guard Mounting, begins with the Windsor Castle Guard forming up outside the Guard Room.

The New Guard, led by a Regimental Band, Corps of Drums or occasionally by a Pipe Band march into the Castle.

The ceremony, which marks the official handover of duties includes the changeover of sentries starts at 11:00 and lasts for approximately 30 minutes.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the old Guard, led by the Band, will return to Victoria Barracks.

The Guards, who normally guard Windsor Castle, are part of the Household Division.

Getting to Windsor Castle

Windsor is 30 miles (50km) West of London.

By Train

From London you can get to Windsor from both Waterloo and Paddington stations.

Trains from Waterloo to Windsor & Eaton Riverside Station depart every half hour throughout the day, hourly on Sundays. The journey takes about an hour and 20 minutes.
Windsor & Eton Riverside - About a 10 minutes walk.

Trains from Paddington to Windsor Central depart every 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day. The journey takes about 35 minutes. You have to change trains at Slough.

By Bus

Greenline bus numbers 701 and 702 leave from Victoria Colonnades, near London Victoria Coach Station every half hour, approximately, during the day. The journey takes about an hour.

By Car

Windsor is accessible via the major motorway networks of the M3, M4, M25 and M40

The journey time from London is approximately 40 minutes and Heathrow airport is about 15 minutes away.

Parking throughout Windsor is controlled and quite expensive.

Consider the Long Term parking if you are visiting Windsor Castle as a 20 minute walk saves about a third of the cost of short term parking in Windsor centre.

Another option is to use the Park and Ride services at Legoland Windsor or Windsor Home Park. Parking at Legoland is free. Parking at Windsor Home Park is "pay and display". There is a small charge for bus fare.

More About Windsor Castle

More information about Windsor Castle and what you can see, on your visit to Windsor can be found.