Fodor's Expert Review Windsor Great Park

Windsor Park/Playground Fodor's Choice

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 explored by car or on foot. Its chief attractions are clustered around the southeastern section, known (or at least marketed) as the Royal Landscape. These include Virginia Water, a 2-mile-long lake that forms the park's main geographical focal point. More than anything, however, the Royal Landscape is defined by its two beautiful gardens. Valley Gardens, located on the north shore of Virginia Water, is particularly vibrant in April and May, when the dazzling multicolor azaleas are in full bloom. If you're feeling fit, the romantic Long Walk is one of England's most photographed footpaths—the 3-mile-long route, designed by Charles II, starts in the Great Park and leads all the way to Windsor Castle.

Divided from the Great Park by the busy A308 highway, the smaller Windsor Home Park, on the eastern side of Windsor Castle,... READ MORE

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 explored by car or on foot. Its chief attractions are clustered around the southeastern section, known (or at least marketed) as the Royal Landscape. These include Virginia Water, a 2-mile-long lake that forms the park's main geographical focal point. More than anything, however, the Royal Landscape is defined by its two beautiful gardens. Valley Gardens, located on the north shore of Virginia Water, is particularly vibrant in April and May, when the dazzling multicolor azaleas are in full bloom. If you're feeling fit, the romantic Long Walk is one of England's most photographed footpaths—the 3-mile-long route, designed by Charles II, starts in the Great Park and leads all the way to Windsor Castle.

Divided from the Great Park by the busy A308 highway, the smaller Windsor Home Park, on the eastern side of Windsor Castle, is the private property of the Royal Family. It contains Frogmore House, a lavish royal residence. Completed in 1684, Frogmore was bought by George III as a gift for his wife, Queen Charlotte. The sprawling white mansion later became a beloved retreat of Queen Victoria. Today it's home to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, otherwise known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and can only be visited by guided tour on a handful of charity days in the summer; see www.royalcollection.org.uk more information.

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Park/Playground Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Entrances on A329, A332, B383, and Wick La.
Windsor, Windsor and Maidenhead  TW20 0UU, England

01784-435544

www.windsorgreatpark.co.uk

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free; Saville Garden £9.75 Mar.–Nov., free Dec.–Feb. , Free; Savill Garden £12 (free Jan. and Feb.), Free; Savill Garden £11(£6 Nov.–Feb.)

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