Our best Thames walk…I think. It has great views (possibly one of the best in the UK), history and a mix of river, park, woods and castles…what more do you need on a walk?
We’d been thinking about a walk in Windsor Great Park for a while but needed to pick the right time. Well, we plumped for early on an August Bank Holiday Saturday. A bit of research had suggested that on Saturdays I can park the car in front of Datchet Station all day for £2.00…I feel the walk is worth doing for that fact alone!
We head off down river towards Old Windsor and Runnymede. The sun is out but the peace is periodically punctured by the unwelcome sound of aero engines…what’s it going to be like once Heathrow has added another runway? Anyway, ‘city-types’ like us have a knack of blanking out white noise and, by and large, it doesn’t spoil the walk.
As we approach Runnymede one of us wonders out loud why King John chose to sign the thing so close to the A308. It’s a fair point since it’s now a rat-run from the M25. In reality, someone from English Heritage or the National Trust should curb the traffic…in my humble opinion.
We skirt the The Jurors art installation before heading up hill. Through the trees we spot the JFK Memorial, evoking memories of an era when only one of the super powers appeared capricious and unpredictable…an all together simpler age!
At Bishopsgate we enter the Great Park and on, to the Copper Horse at Snow Hill. From here the views are impressive…and especially today. Windsor Castle sits at the end of the Long Walk and beyond, the London skyline cuts the horizon like an irregular row of jagged teeth.
From now on the Castle is like an old friend, accompanying us for the rest of our walk. Firstly, as we walk the 2 1/2 miles along the Long Walk, before circling through the tourist rammed streets of the town and, beyond, as we return along the River. The Windsor Cricket club are playing in Home Park this morning…although it’s difficult from this distance to spot any HRHs. Before we realise, we’re back at the car. A really enjoyable 11.2 miles and, I’m sure the variety made the time pass much more quickly than usual. A thoroughly recommended walk!
Windsor picture gallery (more pictures on Flickr):
Distance: 11.2 miles ; Difficulty: Moderate
Coordinates for Satnav: SL3 9ED