We are so spoiled here in Weybridge when you consider our proximity not only to London but also to the southern home counties that surround our great city: Berkshire, Hampshire, Kent and Sussex. These counties, with their rolling hills and picturesque rural towns, are a perfect reflection of England’s ‘green and pleasant land’.
Despite its location next to London, Surrey is probably the quintessential home county. It is the most wooded county in Great Britain and much of its land is in the Green Belt and rolling downland. Among the many notable beauty spots are Box Hill, Leith Hill (pictured above), Frensham Ponds and Newlands Corner. Box Hill has the oldest untouched area of natural woodland in the UK and one of the oldest in Europe. There is a free and very clever walking app called iFootpath which will guide you around these magnificent areas of natural beauty – try it out and let me know how you get on!
The Long Walk
Our lovely town of Weybridge is situated on the River Thames between Hampton Court Palace and Royal Windsor. There are many walks along the River Wey which I will touch on later but today I would really like to concentrate on walks throughout Windsor Great Park which is at its most beautiful in the coming months of Autumn. With many different trails and routes on offer this great park never ceases to amaze.
My favourite route is to enter the park at Virginia Water and walk north east up towards Saville Gardens via the Totem Pole, Valley Gardens, Smiths Lawn and Guards Polo. Once you get to Saville Gardens continue forward to Cow Pond and then walk north west up to the Copper Horse. If you turn at the foot of this impressive statue you can look down over the stunning and iconic view of The Long Walk towards Windsor Castle and Deer Park. The Autumn Colours, for which Windsor Great Park is famous for, are amazing – especially the maples and cherries in the Saville and Valley Gardens. On the way back if you’re feeling a bit weary take a stop at the atmospheric Bailiwick Pub which is nestled on the outskirts of the park just at the Saville Gardens entrance on Wick Road. The food is so good here – it’s a real treat – and will set you up for your onward journey back to Virginia Water. It’s difficult to say how long this walk will take as it depends on pace and how many stops you make. There are many shortcuts available and of course you can enter the park at the Saville Garden entrance and halve your walking time. When I start from Virginia Water at around 9:15am, I generally get to the Bailiwick for an early lunch at 12pm. It is a day’s outing so you will need plenty of time to digest and enjoy but it’s worth every minute! You can plan your visit by downloading a selection of detailed maps and guides for free and find out more by visiting windsorgreatpark.co.uk. Happy walking!