Virginia Water Lake can be found on the southern edge of Windsor Great Park. It is a 4.5 mile circular walk around a magnificent blue lake which will take you approximately 2 hours. However, there are so many beautiful sights to discover along the way you will find yourself going off route, so you may want to allocate longer!
It really is a wonderful setting to go for a breath of fresh air, clear your head and get some exercise. The walk is suitable for all abilities including those with pushchairs and wheelchairs. For this reason it attracts all types of visitors, hikers, runners, dog walkers and cyclists. On a warm sunny day it is so relaxing to find a pretty spot and enjoy a picnic with friends and family.
I love to visit this amazing place all year round as the scenery changes with each season. Being a flower lover I find spring time particularly breathtaking. There are 250 acres of landscape gardens and the swathes of rhododendrons put on a spectacular colour show.
Hot pink, red, orange and purple all fight for your attention, it is a truly glorious sight. Another favorite is the cherry blossom which lines the valley gardens. When it falls it looks to me like a pink petal carpet of wedding confetti.
The sparkling lake in spring is an absolute haven for birds and other wildlife. You will have the opportunity to watch the cutest baby ducklings paddling along and the elegant swans protecting their precious cygnets. The lake is so picturesque I was not surprised to find out it has been used as a film location. Fans of Harry Potter will be interested to know scenes from “The Prisoner of Azkaban” and “The Goblet” were filmed here.
Halfway around the circuit history buffs will be pleased to discover the ancient monument Leptis Magna. These stones once stood in the roman city of Leptis Magna in Libya before they were gifted to Prince Regent (later George IV). In 1826 after residing in the British Museum the ruins were erected at Virginia Water and now enjoy a view over the lake.
Further along children will love to see the colourful 100 foot carved totem pole. It was gifted to the Queen in 1958 by British Columbia to mark their centenary.
A short stroll from here is the cascading waterfall which was constructed in the 18th century using stones from the site of a Saxon settlement on Bagshot Heath. Here I like to take a quiet moment to just breathe and be mesmerized by the rushing water.
Finally, if you have worked up an appetite you must visit the Wheatsheaf Hotel a Chef and Brewer pub (which is based at the entrance off the A30 London Road). This is a lovely dog friendly pub for enjoying a cold drink on the terrace overlooking the lake. It also serves a delicious Sunday roast which I can highly recommend.
So if you are ever in Surrey, Virginia Water Lake really is a treasure and well worth a visit. It has something for everyone and I must admit I always come away feeling energized, positive, with a definite spring in my step.