Totem pole, giant obelisk and Valley Gardens – Sunningdale to Windsor walk

Date: 18.06.2017

Start time: 9:15 am

Please join us for a walk in Virginia Water –  with the stunning flowery gardens, vast lakes and green woodlands is the place to be at this time of the year.


2017-06-18 9:15 am

Meeting point

St. Johns Hill SW11 1SP


16 miles


Please join us for a walk in Virginia Water –  with the stunning flowery gardens, vast lakes and green woodlands is the place to be at this time of the year.

Length: 16.0km (9.9 miles), 4 hours

For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow 8-9 hours.

Start and End: Clapham Junction station – let’s meet at the main entrance (St John’s hill side), by the ticket offices. The main entrance is the one with Sainsbury’s. If you are arriving by train, please head down rather than up when leaving your platform.

Meeting time: 09:15am. Please note that we will be taking 09:49 am train from Clapham Junction, so we will wait at the meeting point until 09:40am

At 09:40am sharp we will make our way to the platform, so please make sure that you arrive on time as we will not be waiting for the late comers. You will be welcome to try and catch up with the group but it will be your responsibility to find us. I will be busy getting the group to the right train and will not be able to take calls or inform you which platform we are on (they tend to change) – you will have to find this out from the station staff.  We will arrive at Sunningdale at 10.30. It is very difficult to predict exact return time as it depends on the walking speed of the particular group and the choices we make along the way (lunch route etc). If you decide to join, please consider yourself committed for the day.

Toughness: 2 out of 10

Lunch: We will be stopping for lunch at The Savill Garden. A table can not be booked as it is a self service restaurant.

Features: Near the start of this walk, we will go through Coworth Park, with its polo playing fields, to enter the 4,800 acres of Windsor Great Park (no entrance charge), near the Virginia Water lakes and Valley Gardens. These gardens have a vast collection of rhododendrons and azaleas (unfortunately these are best visited in May or June). Lunch is in a pleasant cafeteria over­looking the Savill Gardens (you have to pay to enter the gardens so we will not be going in during this visit, however if you would like to do a quick tour on your own while the rest of us stops for lunch you are welcome to. If you choose to do so, please make sure that you have packed lunch with you as there will be no other food stop on the way). After lunch, the route is up Rhododendron Ride to Cow Pond, which is covered in an array of water lilies. From here, it is through some light woods and on to the Royal Lodge, to pass through gates into Windsor Deer Park. You now have a choice of route onwards: either make for the Copper Horse statue and simply embark on the full 4km of the Long Walk, or follow the original (and more complicated) route through the park, joining it 1km further along. I have done the more complicated route and it was very pleasant so I would advise we take this one. At the end of the walk we will reach the gates of Windsor Castle. You will be able to take photos outside of the castle and return to the station or to do the castle tour at your leisure. Please note that there is a charge to enter the castle which is not included in the price of this walk.


Sunningdale Parish Church was built in 1840 at a cost of a mere £1,600.

The 100 foot high Totem Pole in Windsor Great Park was a gift to the Queen in 1958 from British Columbia, and is made from a 600 year-old western red cedar tree. The giant Obelisk in the park was put up by King George II to commemorate ‘the success in arms of his son, William’.

Savill Gardens are named in honour of Eric Savill who, with encouragement from King George V, created the gardens on inauspicious, fast-draining sandy soil. Admission (2010) is £8. Open March to October from 10.00am to 6.00 pm.

Later, in 1947, Eric Savill began work on Valley Gardens, created on the site of an old gravel pit.

The Copper Horse in the park is a huge equestrian statue to King George III which was commissioned by his son, George IV.

A castle was first built at Windsor by William the Conqueror in 1070. Windsor Castle fell to a siege by John, King Richard I’s brother, in 1193, and was captured, without a defence being mounted, by the Parliamentarians in 1642, the first year of the Civil War. It suffered badly in the fire of 1992, Queen Elizabeth II’s ‘annus horribilis’. Windsor Castle (tel 01753 831 118) is open daily: March to October from 9.45am to 5.15pm. Admission (2010) is £16.

If you have any problems please give me a call on 078 322 979 17. This phone will be available only between 9:45am and 10:15am in case you are having trouble spotting us at the station. It will be switched off at 9am as I will be focusing on getting the people who arrived on time to the platform and on the right train.

Please give yourself enough time to find the meeting point – it is quite a large station and has many entrances, please check the TFL journey planner for any planned engineering works and please allow enough time for any unplanned disruptions to your journey. If you are late and miss the group no refunds will be provided and there will be no use calling us and asking us to wait as I’m afraid I will not be keeping 30 people who made it on time, waiting for a late comer.

As it gets quite hectic when everyone starts arriving and looking for the meeting point, please don’t email me or leave a voice mail as I will not have time to check it until after the hike. If you realise last minute that you can not make it – please text me.

IMPORTANT: By taking part in this meet-up you agree to the following disclaimer: I acknowledge that hiking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. My decision to voluntarily participate in these activities is an informed decision and I am aware of and shall accept such risks. I agree to be responsible for my own actions and involvement in these activities.

Walk taken from:


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