Egham to Windsor

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24 February. Six Morley Ramblers arrived at Egham Station, making eight of us in all, to venture out on the walk in spite of the warning that it hadn’t been fully recced recently. This was due to changes to the route necessitated by rising river levels flooding the towpath in places.

Out of the town we ascended Cooper’s Hill with no problems but were expecting the descent through the woods to be muddy and oh boy was it! The steps helped but at the end of these there was no alternative but to wade through it. Soft, squelchy, slippery, rise-over-your-shoe mud! Somewhat incredibly we made it through without even one fall though it took at least double the time that it did three weeks earlier.

Mud in Coopers Hill Woods

Runnymede paths under water

Once out of the woods the wet grass cleaned our boots effectively and we paused at the ‘Writ in Water’ installation commemorating the Magna Carta before heading on through the Runnymede Meadows on the upgraded paths. Did I say upgraded? Well, they have been, but through the gate and we realised that a long stretch was nevertheless drowned in water! So, we had no alternative but to take to the edge through the even more squelchy, slippery mud.

‘Writ in Water’

Willow sculptures at Runnymede

After a brief stop at the Runnymede Lodges and a look at the other art installations, we headed uphill past the Kennedy Memorial, along a few stretches of road and lanes, as well as another boggy field, to the very busy Saville Garden Centre in Windsor Great Park for lunch.

The afternoon ramble took us northwards through the park, across the top end of Cow Pond and along the drive, passing the yellow Cumberland Lodge and the gates of the pink Royal Lodge, before entering the deer park where we immediately saw the first of several groups of red deer with impressive antlers.

In the deer park

The Copper Horse, Snow Hill

From here we made our way to the Copper Horse on Snow Hill. This statue of George III in the garb of a Roman emperor was commissioned by his son George IV. Here we paused to take in the panoramic view down the Long Walk to Windsor Castle. As we trundled down this two-and-a-half-mile route some of us were amazed at how many people were making the long journey up, probably only to turn round and come straight back again.

Once in Windsor we gladly followed Christine to Dr Choc’s Chocolate Factory for a very welcome and smooth hot chocolate before heading for the train home, or the bus in the case of the leaders. Linda (with thanks to Christine, Mary-Jane, Sigrid and Sue C for photos)

Categories: Walks