Changing the Windsor Castle Guard - Route

Although the ceremony takes place inside the Castle for which tickets are required you can watch the Guards, normally led by a Regimental Band, as they march to and from Windsor Castle.

Traffic is stopped, transforming the bustling High Street into a parade route lined by residents and visitors waiting for the Band and Guards to march past on their way to and from the Windsor Castle Guard change.

Where to watch

The steps of Guildhall, being slightly raised, is a popular spot, where you can get some great pictures of the Guards as they march past on their way to and from Windsor Castle, but good views are available along the entire route.

At approximately 10:45 hours the New Guard, normally accompanied by a Regimental Band or Corps of Drums, step off from Victoria Barracks, they march up Sheet Street, wheeling left into the High Street, past the Parish Church and the Guildhall, then wheel right onto Castle Hill, by Queen Victoria's Statue, and enter the Castle through the Henry VIII Gateway.

During Easter Court and Ascot Week find a spot on the opposite side of the road to the Castle, near the junction with St Albans Road, to see the Old Guard leave the Castle through the Henry VIII Gateway, between 10:40-10:45, turning, left they march up Castle Hill and back into the Castle.

Soon after the New Guard, led by a Regimental Band will march past you on their way up the hill to the George IV Gateway.

After the Guard Mount ceremony the 'Old Guard' and Band return to Victoria Barracks, following the same route in reverse.

The March in Pictures

  • Victoria Barracks
  • Victoria Barracks
    The Band at Victoria Barracks, where they will form up and be inspected.
  • Leaving Victoria Barracks
    The Band of the Coldstream Guards leading the New Guard out of Victoria Barracks
  • Coldstream Guards Band
    The Band of the Coldstream Guards wheel left onto Sheet Street
  • Irish Guards
    The Captain's Escort doubling forward to take up position.
  • Sheet Street
    The Coldstream Guards marching up Sheet Street
  • Irish Guards Corps of Drums
    Musical support can be provided by a Band, Corps of Drums or Pipe Band.
  • Irish Guards Drums & Pipes
  • irish Guards Band
  • Coldstream Guards
    7 Company Coldstream Guards at the bottom of the High Street.
  • Irish Guards Band
    Led by Domhnall, the mascot of the Irish Guards, the Band making their way up the High Street.
  • Irish Guards
    Marching up the High Street
  • Band of the Irish Guards
    The Band wheel right from the High Street onto Castle Hill
  • New-Guard
    The Band and Guard wheel round the statue of Queen Victoria
  • Castle Hill
    The Band and New Guard march up Castle Hill and enter the Castle through the Henry VII Gateway.
  • Arrival on the Lower Ward
    Except During Easter Court the handover ceremony takes place on the Lower Ward.
    You will need Windsor Castle tickets to see this element of the ceremony.
  • 10-Lower-Ward
    Old and New Guard formed up on the Lower Ward
  • 22-Band-CG
    Band on the Lower Ward
  • Easter Court
    During Easter Court the Old Guard march out of the Henry VII Gateway and up Castle Hill to the George IV Gateway where the handover takes place on the Upper Ward.
  • Easter Court
    New Guard marching up Castle Hill to the George IV Gateway
  • Easter Court
    Band enters the Upper Ward
  • Easter Court
    The Handover takes place on the lawns of the Upper Ward
  • Old Guard Departs
    After the Guard Change the Old Guard led by a Band leave the Castle to march back to Victoria Barracks.
  • 20-Old-Guard
    Band leads the Old Guard onto the High Street
  • Old Guard
    The Irish Guards at the bottom of the High Street.
    When the Irish Guards are providing the Guard they salute as they pass the Irish Guards Memorial.
  • Old Guard
    The Old Guard arrive back at Victoria Barracks
  • Winter Order
    During the Winter months the Guards swap their iconic red tunics for Athol Grey Greatcoats.
  • Wet Mount
    When a 'Wet Mount' is called the Guard don capes and march to and from the Castle without musical support.
  • Wet Mount
    Just the tramp of boots to listen to as the Windsor Castle Guard march past in the rain.

Photographs by David Whitecross, taken along the route the Guards march

Visitor Tip

A tip, from David Whitecross our photographer in Windsor;

"To see more and get some great pictures head for Victoria Barracks then follow the Guards up Sheet Street and along the High Street, on the Parish Church side then a quick dart through either through Market Street or Church Street, to right of the Guildhall, will bring you to Castle Hill as the Band is still turning round the Queen Victoria statue".

"During Easter Court and Ascot Week follow the New Guard as far as the Irish Guards Memorial then turn right, past the old wishing well, into St Albans Road, (which runs parallel to the High Street), where, a brisk walk will bring you to Castle Hill where you will be able to see the Band and Guards marching up to the top of Castle Hill."

Easter Court

Traditionally Her Majesty The Queen stays at Windsor Castle over the Easter period, known as 'Easter Court'.

During this period, the Windsor Castle Guard march to the top of Castle Hill and enter the Castle through the St George's Gate to change the guard on the lawn of the Quadrangle.

Inside the Castle

Find out more about the ceremony and suggestion on where to watch the Guard Mount inside Windsor Castle.

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 number 702 leaves 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.

Coach Tours / Tickets

Coach tours and tickets to Windsor Castle are available through Visit Britain, the official shop of the British Tourism Authority.
These tours include entry tickets to the Castle.

Map of the Guard Change Route

Dates & Times

Always check the confirmed dates and times as the Windsor Castle Guard can change at different times and on occasions without music or ceremony.

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