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Special visit

Family festival: Queen Victoria's circus

Victorian circus elephant
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Map & directions

Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ
By car

There is no visitor car parking at the Castle, so we recommend you use public car parks in the town centre. Details about parking can be found on

By train

The nearest stations are 'Windsor & Eton Central' or 'Windsor & Eton Riverside'.  Visit National Rail Enquiries for times and fares.

By coach / bus

Green Line 702 service operates daily services from Greenline Coach Station which is near Victoria station, London.

Surbiton Coaches runs a shuttle bus service between Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace from spring to autumn. 

Tour companies operate excursions to Windsor Castle from many London hotels. For details, please ask your hotel concierge.

  • Windsor Castle
  • Saturday, 14 Sep 2019
  • 10:00 - 16:00
  • Free with standard entry ticket

In the year that marks the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, transport yourself back to a time of bonnets and top hats at our fun-filled family festival. Help us celebrate on a grand scale the reign of a queen who gave her name to an era.

Attractions across the Castle will include falconry and horse-riding displays, storytelling, musical performances, opportunities to dress in authentic Victorian costumes, as well as our thrilling centrepiece: a Victorian circus troupe, inspired by the travelling menagerie that visited Windsor Castle in 1847.


Lost in Translation Circus

Lost in Translation Circus Photographer: Hayley Madden

Victorian circus

We are very excited to welcome Lost in Translation Circus in association with Circus250 to our family festival this year. Throughout the day, there will be circus parades, featuring a family of life-size puppet elephants, three spectacular displays of aerial acrobatics, stilt walkers, acrobats, jugglers, a human lion tamer act, and much more! You can also have a go yourself by joining our circus school.



Join storyteller Olivia Armstrong in the Quadrangle as she brings to life the incredible tale of George Wombwell’s travelling menagerie, which entertained the royal family in the same location over 170 years ago.

In tribute to the intimate performances enjoyed by Queen Victoria at the Castle, particularly the works of Shakespeare, head to the Moat Garden and hear The Merry Wives of Windsor, a joyously silly play, told with energy and flair by a storyteller from Shakespeare’s Globe.

This story was developed in collaboration with the Learning team at Shakespeare's Globe.


Victorian falconry display

Victorian falconry display Photographer: John Millar

Falconry and horse-riding displays

Learn about the art of Victorian falconry with Raphael Historic Falconry, the longest established professional historic falconers in the United Kingdom. Admire their beautiful birds of prey and watch flying displays with a mounted falconer.


Musical performances

Enjoy live music from The Salvation Army, performing in authentic Victorian uniforms, and period music duo, Hautbois. For our smallest visitors, there will also be Bach to Baby classical concerts, featuring a baritone and harpist in the tranquil Moat Garden.


Victorian costume-handling

Victorian costume-handling Photographer: Hayley Madden


Step into our spectacular Victorian costumes, inspired by the portraits and photographs of Queen Victoria and her family in the Royal Collection.


Arts and crafts

Attend a circus-themed art workshop bursting with creativity, delivered by Busy Buttons Creative Studio, a Windsor-based centre of art and learning for the community.


Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

In the Moat Garden, visitors will meet canine friends from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, which has been under royal patronage since Queen Victoria’s reign.


Medal and prize draw

Throughout the day, a variety of drop-in activities will guide children through the training required to become an official member of the circus troupe. By gathering enough stamps on their 'Passport to the Big Top', children will become fully-trained circus members, eligible to receive a special medal at the end of their visit.*

They will also have the chance to enter a draw to win prizes, including a stuffed corgi toy.**

*Medals will be presented while stocks last.

**Terms and Conditions

One (1) winner and five (5) runners up will be picked at random from all correct entries received by 16:00 on 14 September 2019. There is no cash alternative and prizes cannot be sold or transferred. If a competition winner cannot be contacted or does not claim their prize within 14 days of notification, Royal Collection Trust reserves the right to reallocate the prize to the next valid entry drawn at random. Royal Collection Trust will cover the cost of postage of the prize worldwide. Royal Collection Trust reserves the right to cancel this competition or alter the rules at any time. All decisions made by Royal Collection Trust are final and no correspondence will be entered into. This competition is administered by Royal Collection Trust. Only one entry per person allowed. Duplicate entries will be discarded.


For a taster of what's to come, watch a short film about our 2017 family festival.

2017 family festival, Knights in Training Day ©

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