Walking the Dog
Located at the south end of Windsor Great Park, Virginia Water is one of Surrey's finest open spaces. Apart from the large lake, you can also wander through the Valley Gardens and up to Smiths Lawn (home of the Guards Polo Club) to the north.
TIME: 90 minutes
The start of this walk is just over one mile from Virginia Water station. If you come by train, walk to the end of Station Parade, turn left into Christchurch Road B389. Take the next left into Station Approach and cut through, back onto Christchurch Road. Continue straight across the roundabout, until you reach the A30 London Road. Cross safely.
This walk starts in the Virginia Water car park, which is located approximately 20 yards to the right of The Wheatsheaf Pub.*
The car park is free for the first 90 minutes, and then a small charge is made on an hourly basis.
Walk through the gate in the middle of the car park, turn left and head towards the lake shore, (made from a small stream in the 1740's, and dammed to form a larger lake in 1753). Here the choice of direction is yours!
Valley Gardens is a must see
Past that, you will find a group of real Roman ruins, brought from the town of Leptis Magna in Tripoli and given to the Prince Regent (later George IV), who left them in the British Museum for a few years, until park architect Sir Jeffrey Wyatville decided to place them here.
Or you can turn right on the lake shore at the start, and head towards the 100-foot high Totem Pole, which was a gift from the government of British Columbia.
Then branch right and follow the signposted path towards the Cumberland Oblelisk, a memorial to Prince William, a younger son of George II and the obelisk pond.
Polo on Smith's Lawn
Or to Smith's Lawn, an area which was used to house the Canadian Forestry Corps in the Great War, in WWII hosted an aerodrome for the American air force and after the Normandy landings, was an RAF Tiger Moth training camp.
However, since 1955 it has been the "home turf" of the Guards Polo Club and the Windsor Park Equestrian Club.
If you do visit these, you can then follow signs back to the Valley Gardens before returning to the lake circumference path and continuing your walk.
Rhododendrons in bloom
Please note signs in the Valley Gardens area instruct you to keep your dog on a lead.
Public toilets are located at the Virginia Water car park, the Valley Gardens car park and the Savill Garden car park.
See the map below for full details of pathways and facilities within the park.
Mark Simmonds visited the park in 2008. You can see a selection of his photos here.
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST:
Edward VIII abdicated here
You are spoiled for choice on this walk. There are two dog friendly pubs, a short drive away.
Directions: Turn left out of Virginia Water car park and head towards Egham along the A30 London Road. Once past the huge gothic building on your right, which is the University of London's Royal Holloway College, start keeping an eye out for the turning to Middle Hill. It is approximately two hundred yards further along the A30, on the opposite side of the road to the college. Turn left up Middle Hill and you will find The Beehive a short drive up the road on the right hand side.
THE FOX AND HOUNDS
The Surrey border once ran through the centre of this cosy, affluent, country pub, set on the outskirts of Windsor Great Park!
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last updated: 27/01/2009 at 10:27
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