Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park Review
The remains of an ancient royal hunting forest, this park stretches for some 5,000 acres south of Windsor Castle. Much of it is open to the public and can be seen by car or on foot, including its geographical focal points, the romantic Long Walk, a 3-mile-long path designed by Charles II to join castle and park, and Virginia Water, a 2-mile-long lake. Valley Gardens is particularly vibrant in April and May, when the dazzling multicolored azaleas are in full bloom. The park also contains one of Queen Victoria's most treasured residences, the sprawling white mansion called Frogmore House. It's only open for a few days in June and August. A spectacular visitor center offers a good introduction to the surrounding landscape.
Savill Garden. The main horticultural delight of Windsor Great Park, the exquisite Savill Garden is about 4 miles from Windsor Castle. The 35 acres of ornamental gardens contain an impressive display of 2,500 rose bushes and a tremendous diversity of trees and shrubs. The Savill Building, easily recognizable by its undulating roof in the shape of a leaf, holds a visitor center, restaurant, and terrace where you can dine overlooking the garden, as well as a large shopping area where there are plenty of gifts, cards, and original art work. Wick Rd., Egham, TW20 0UU. 01784/435544. www.theroyallandscape.co.uk. £9.50 Mar.–Nov., free Dec.–Feb.; parking charge. Mar.–Oct., daily 10–6; Nov.–Feb., daily 10–4:30; last admission 30 min before closing.
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