13 November 2021. The highlight was the wonderful autumn colours of the trees. With 22 people on the walk, we left Egham station about 10am and then had a short section on pavements and paths before entering a large field of scrub and bushes. Then we went through woods and crossed the busy A30 before entering Windsor Great Park.
We walked through trees and then beside the huge lake, Virginia Water. We reached the Cascade, an impressive, man-made waterfall with adjacent large trees whose roots seem to melt over the boulders like a Dali painting of molten clockfaces.
After walking further along the side of Virginia Water, we turned into woods and reached the picnic stop for those with sandwiches and the pub for those wanting a hot meal. Shortly afterwards the picnickers joined us in the pub, where the food was excellent but slow arriving. As a result our lunch break was long at 1 hour and 25 minutes!
We re-entered Windsor Great Park at Blacknest Gate, walking straight on, over two bridges until we turned into the beautiful Valley Gardens. We encountered some strange looking pollarded Salex trees with yellow/orange branches. Shortly after, we headed towards a very beautiful, large Acer tree, whose leaves were bright red. Many of the Acer’s leaves were still on the tree, but also many had fallen, creating a red carpet.
After passing a lake, a tall obelisk appeared on our left. It was dedicated to the memory of the Duke of Cumberland, who led the creation of Great Windsor Park over 200 years ago. He was also known as “the butcher of Culloden” because he ordered his soldiers to kill the wounded Scottish soldiers they captured.
We exited Windsor Great Park near the Savill Garden, walking single file along a busy lane until we turned off to head to fields and then woods.
After some more walking along roads, we reached the Air Forces Memorial where we stayed for 15 minutes. It is a very fine memorial listing the 20,000 allied air forces men and women who were lost in the 2nd world war and who have no known graves. They came from the UK, all over the Commonwealth and those continental European countries which had been overrun by the Nazis. The memorial is in the shape of a cloister which creates a tranquillity. The far end overlooks Runnymede but the trees prevented us from seeing it. However, we had the impressive sight of aircraft landing at Heathrow.
There was then a 1/2 mile gradual descent on a rough track. Near the bottom was a National Trust noticeboard with a map showing a footpath across the field to the Magna Carta Memorial. Finally, we walked along the pavement to Egham station arriving about 4.30pm, just as it was getting dark.
Terry (with thanks to Christine M, Sandra H and Sue H for the photos)