How to arrange a private tour of Windsor Castle's lesser-known royal apartments?

Hidden within the historic walls of Windsor Castle, the world's oldest and largest inhabited castle, lie some of the lesser-known royal apartments. A private tour of these rooms offers a unique look into the lives of the British royal family. But how do you go about arranging one?

This guide will walk you through the process step by step, from purchasing tickets to selecting the perfect day for your visit. So, get ready to delve into the heart of royal history and experience the grandeur of Windsor Castle like never before.

1. Purchasing the Tickets

Purchasing tickets for a private tour of Windsor Castle can feel a bit daunting. However, with a little guidance, it will be a breeze. Whether you wish to see the St. George's Chapel, the semi-State rooms, or the royal apartments, a private tour will give you unprecedented access to these exclusive areas.

To buy tickets, the best place to start is the official website of the Royal Collection Trust. Here, you can find details about the various tour options, ticket prices, and availability. If you are planning a trip to London, remember to book your tour well in advance as availability can be limited due to high demand.

2. Choosing your Tour Guide

The choice of a tour guide can greatly affect your Windsor Castle experience. A knowledgeable guide can bring to life the fascinating history of the royal family and their residence. It's advised to opt for guides who are Blue Badge certified - they have excellent knowledge about the castle and the royals who resided there.

Also, you might want to consider a guide who specializes in the history of the castle's lesser-known royal apartments. A specialized tour guide will not only guide you through these rooms but also share fascinating anecdotes and lesser-known trivia about the lives of the royals.

3. Planning the Perfect Day for Your Visit

Windsor Castle is a majestic sight to behold, and visiting it requires ample time. The best way to make the most of your day is to plan it out carefully. Start by checking the opening hours on the Royal Collection Trust website.

Generally, the Castle opens at 10 a.m. and last entry is at 3 p.m. Plan to arrive as early as possible to avoid the afternoon rush. Also, keep in mind the Castle's busy periods. For instance, it can get crowded during the Changing of the Guard ceremony which usually takes place at 11 a.m.

Another important aspect to consider when planning your visit is the weather. The castle grounds are expansive and require a fair bit of walking. Therefore, it's best to check the forecast and dress accordingly.

4. Exploring the Lesser-known Royal Apartments

Once you've arranged your tour, it's time to explore the lesser-known royal apartments. These rooms, usually overlooked by tourists, are a treasure trove of royal history. Be sure to take your time and soak in the beauty and history of each space.

Among the notable spaces you will visit is the King George IV's private apartments. These exquisitely decorated rooms offer a stark contrast to the formal state rooms. The Prince of Wales's sitting room, Queen Mary's dolls' house, and the semi-State rooms are also part of these private tours.

5. Combining your Windsor Castle Tour with Other Attractions

If you have a bit more time on your hands, why not take the opportunity to explore other attractions near Windsor Castle? Stonehenge, for instance, is just a short drive away. You could also take a cruise on the River Thames or visit the historic town of Eton, which is just across the river from Windsor.

By combining your Windsor Castle tour with other activities, you can make the most of your day. And with a bit of careful planning, you could create an unforgettable London experience that goes beyond the typical tourist trail.

In conclusion, arranging a private tour of Windsor Castle's lesser-known royal apartments may seem like a daunting task, but it is quite feasible with a bit of planning and research. And once you step into these rooms steeped in royal history, you will realize it was worth every effort. So, prepare yourself for a day of royal exploration and prepare for an experience like no other.

6. Preparation for the Visit

Proper preparation for your Windsor Castle private tour ensures you have a smooth and enjoyable trip. A couple of weeks before your visit, start reading up on the royal family history to enrich your experience. It's also a good idea to pack snacks and bottled water as there might be limited opportunities to purchase food inside the castle.

Remember, Windsor Castle is still a working royal residence. So, be prepared for unexpected closures or changes in tour schedules. Check the Royal Collection Trust website frequently for updates.

Dressing comfortably is key to enjoying your tour. Given Windsor Castle's size, you will likely be on your feet for an extended period. Opt for comfortable footwear and dress in layers so that you can adjust to the changing indoor and outdoor temperatures.

While photography is usually allowed in the castle grounds, it is prohibited inside the private apartments, the State Rooms, St. George's Chapel, and special exhibitions. Remember, it's all about immersing yourself in the beauty and history of the castle, so, put away your phone and enjoy the tour.

7. Beyond Windsor: Exploring further

Once you have marvelled at the splendour of Windsor Castle, consider extending your trip to explore more of what London has to offer. Attractions such as Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court, and the Tower of London are all within easy reach.

For those interested in royal history, a visit to Buckingham Palace, the London residence of Queen Elizabeth II, is a must. Here, you can witness the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony and explore the palace's stunning State Rooms.

Hampton Court, a favourite residence of King Henry VIII, is another excellent choice for a half-day trip. With its beautifully kept gardens and the famous maze, Hampton Court offers a delightful contrast to the royal grandeur of Windsor Castle.

Lastly, don't miss out on the opportunity to take a scenic boat ride along the River Thames back to central London. This relaxing journey offers unparalleled views of the city's iconic landmarks.


Arranging a private tour of Windsor Castle's lesser-known royal apartments might seem overwhelming at first, but with careful planning and a bit of curiosity, it can turn into an unforgettable experience. It's all about immersing yourself in the history, the art, and the life of the British royal family.

From the exquisite details of Queen Mary's dolls' house to the stunning interiors of the State Apartments, every corner of Windsor Castle offers a glimpse into the royal life. And by extending your trip to include other famous sites like Buckingham Palace or Hampton Court, you can truly make the most of your day tour from London.

So go on, start planning your visit to Windsor Castle. Queen Elizabeth and her ancestors might not be there to greet you, but the rich history and grandeur of their home will surely make you feel like royalty.