Visiting Windsor Castle During a Layover at Heathrow

(Seven hours time between flights)

Many travelers with a layover at Heathrow, think about visiting nearby Windsor Castle, only 20 minutes from Heathrow by cab. 

Visiting Windsor Castle:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g18...

 

But first, make sure this is a viable option for you.

1)    Time:  If there are five hours from wheels down to wheels up, this is not the same as 5 hours of time in Windsor, and in all likelihood, not sufficient time to leave the airport.  Deplaning, and going through passport control takes about an hour (and can take more).  Time is needed for transport to and from Windsor (roundtrip journey 40 minutes by cab, two hours by bus).  The average visit at Windsor Castle is 2-3 hours.  Travelers will need to leave Windsor in order to be back at the airport a full 3 hours before an international flight—remember to allow enough time to claim any left luggage and pass through security again. 

Seven hours is the minimum time needed between flights in order to have time to go to Windsor.

2)    Luggage:  Luggage that is not checked through must be left at Heathrow, (for a fee) as there is no luggage storage in or near Windsor, and luggage is not allowed on Castle grounds.  Small carry-on bags, small enough to fit through a security style scanner, are allowed.

3)    Arrival time:  Windsor Castle opens at 9:45, and last entry is 4:00, March-October; from November-February, the last entry is 3:00.

An afternoon flight (arrival) would still allow for a visit to Windsor and Eton, but not the Castle.

4)    Departure from Windsor at or around 11-11:30: be aware that the street in front of the Castle will be closed for the Changing of the Guard if it is happening on that day, between 11:00 and 11:30.  In summer months Changing of the Guard is every day, in the fall winter and spring it follows an odd or even day schedule.  There is no Changing of the Guard on Sundays.

 

If Windsor Castle is doable, here is the transport information.

Getting to Windsor from Heathrow:

--black cab from the rank; the journey will take about 20 minutes, and cost about 50 pounds. 

--a pre-booked local cab from Windsor; again, the journey will be about 20 minutes, but this will cost about half the price of a black cab.

Cab Companies that operate in Windsor:

Windsor Cars,

 http://www.windsorcars.com/

5Star Taxi,

http://www.5starwindsor.com/

Gemini Taxi,

http://www.geminicars.co.uk/


--local bus from Terminal 5. 

First Berkshire's stylish blue air-conditioned Mercedes buses operate from outside Terminal 5* to Windsor Castle up to four times an hour (twice an hour on Sundays).  Route 77 operates via Slough and takes about 50 minutes; route 71 takes a more scenic route via Staines and takes just under an hour. All the tickets below can be bought and used on either route, so you could travel out by one route and return by the other.

-- 'First Day' ticket: £6.00 adult, £4.00 child age 5-15 (under 5s are free). Available at any time.
This is a 'Slough areas 1&2' ticket and covers all First buses in the Slough and Windsor areas. 

-- 'Group' day tickets: two adults; two adults and one or two children; or one adult and up to three children, £10.00. Available after 09.00 Monday-Friday, and at any time on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.
Before 09.00 Monday-Friday a 'Family' Day Ticket is available at £16.00.

All tickets must be bought from the driver; cash only.


* Buses 71 and 77 to Windsor Castle depart from bus stop 9, outside Terminal 5.
To get there from Terminals 1 and 3 use the Heathrow Express train between the Terminals 1,2,3 station and Terminal 5. The train runs every 15 minutes and is free for journeys within the Airport.
From Terminal 4, use the frequent red bus routes 482 and 490 to transfer to Terminal 5; again these buses are free for travel between the Terminals. Allow 30 minutes to transfer from other Terminals to Terminal 5 and vice-versa. 

Another alternative is to use First Berkshire buses 75 and 76 from Heathrow Airport, Central Bus Station (linked by walkway to Terminals 1 &3) to Slough Bus Station, and change there for buses 71, 77 or 702 to Windsor Castle. The Day tickets listed above can be bought on the 75 and 76 and used for this journey. Note that on the return, buses 75 and 76 towards Heathrow stop just outside Slough Bus Station, in Wellington Street.  

 Coming back from Windsor, route 77 back to Terminal 5 via Slough picks up in High Street, opposite the Parish Church, stop letter 'A', and also in Thames Street, stop letter 'D' (by Pizza Express) - these stops are both on the opposite side of the road to the Castle. Bus 71 back to Terminal 5 via Staines picks up in High Street, outside the Parish Church, stop letter 'J' - on the same side as the Castle.


First Berkshire website


Returning from Windsor to Heathrow:

 

--By cab; the taxi rank is just outside the exit to the Castle.  Turn right out of the Henry VIII gate, and go downhill, take another right, following the Castle walls until you see the cab rank.  These are all local cabs.

 

--By bus:

Bus 77 back to Terminal 5 picks up in High Street, opposite the Parish Church, stop letter 'A', and also in Thames Street, stop letter 'D' (by Pizza Express) - these stops are both on the opposite side of the road to the Castle.

Bus 71 back to Terminal 5 picks up in High Street, outside the Parish Church, stop letter 'J' - on the same side as the Castle.