wood pile

01-Apr-07 • msganching on Flickr

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Clock tower by bridge at Belvedere (now AHMIBAH) Farm by Coworth Park. D.Allen vivitar 5199 5mp

01-Jun-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Sunningdale to Windsor

12-Aug-07 • msganching on Flickr

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Windsor Castle

29-Nov-08 • ClaireLau on Flickr

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01-Jun-13 • Brooksie85 on Flickr

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01-Jun-13 • Brooksie85 on Flickr

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Sunningdale to Windsor walk

Virginia Water, Windsor Great Park, the Long Walk, and Windsor Castle


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Updated: Wed, 01-Apr-20

Date # Post
Wed, 15-May-19 14

Wednesday Walk Sunningdale to Windsor - Azaleas in Valley Gardens, Windsor Great Park - and the Long Walk to Windsor Castle

Book 1 Walk 18 - Sunningdale to Windsor

Length: 17 km (10.6 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10

There is an option to end walk in Staines

London Waterloo: 10-20 hrs Reading service CJ 10-28 hrs
Arrive Sunningdale: 11-07 hrs

Return: Windsor and Eton Riverside to Waterloo: 23 and 53 mins past the hour
Windsor and Eton Central to Paddington (changing at Slough): 19 and 59 mins past the hour to 17-19, then 17-39 and 18-00 hrs

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Windsor stations, plus a single from Staines to Sunningdale

This is the best time of year to go on this walk, as the azaleas should be in full bloom and the rhododendrons should be coming into flower.

Purist country walkers are a bit "sniffy" over calling this walk a country walk, as sections of the walk are suburban - but lovers of a good walk should ignore the "sniffers" - and just enjoy it - with its lovely gardens, parkland, and the famous "Long Walk" at walk-end, towards Windsor Castle which, for a tired walker, never seems to get any nearer.

Lunch today can be taken in the Savill Garden Restaurant - a large cafeteria serving hot and cold dishes. For those who eventually make it to the end of the Long Walk in front of Windsor Castle, Windsor town's many nearby cafes and pubs await your custom.
For the Staines walk ending, and more information on Windsor Great Park, please refer to the Walk Directions here: L=1.18

Tea at Archie's?
Re. the alternative ending in Staines. First of all there’s a bit of road walking on none too quiet roads. The pub is also closed and boarded up. However the descent through woods to the John F Kennedy followed by the Magna Carta memorials is lovely. This is followed by a long delightful stretch of the Thames Path all the way to Staines. Of note along the river is the new (to me anyway) statue of our present Queen gazing over the river and with some seating and an ice cream van at her feet. Joe.

Good to learn that Joe and another walker enjoyed their walk ending in Staines, having said goodbye to the rest of us at the Savill Garden cafeteria. 14 of us alighted from the train at Sunningdale on a glorious sunny warm day to set out on today's walk. The azaleas and rhododendrons in Valley Gardens did not disappoint some stunning, bright colours with flowers in full bloom. At said Gardens our group separated as we explored the many paths through the hilly Gardens, but most reassembled at the Totem pole or shortly afterwards at the Savill Gardens cafeteria, which was busy but not too busy: diners (about 7 of us) did not have to wait too long for our meals to arrive. Sitting at two outdoor tables with sandwichers who joined us we were able to relax before setting out on the afternoon leg of the walk, still in glorious sunshine. We opted for the original TO Book route rather than the Copper Horse route, and we had fun trying to figure out the correct way given those GPS gizmos showed different routes to the Book's Directions. My version, circa 1902 on vellum, did not let me down. Whilst off piste, thanks to the gizmos, we encountered a large (100 plus) herd of roe deer, which took an interest in us from a safe distance. We joined the Long Walk a mile north of the Copper Horse, but even cutting out the opening section, the walk seemed to go on for ever that darn castle never getting any nearer. Along the way we were "serenaded" by jet engine noise from overhead planes descending to Heathrow: it was most remiss of me not to have arranged a flight path diversion to Southampton.
Having reached Windsor, one of us headed straight for the Riverside station, whilst eight stopped at the Boatman pub on the river (behind the railway station) for an enjoyable drink in the afternoon sun before the few minute walk to the station to board the 17 23 hrs train back to London.
A lovely day's walking in best SWC company.
Wed, 09-May-18 8

Wednesday Walk Sunningdale to Windsor or Staines - Virginia Water, Windsor Great Park, Windsor Castle or Runnymede

Book 1, Walk 18: Sunningdale to Windsor or Staines

Length: 17 km (10.6 miles) for main walk. 16.8 km (10.4 miles) for Staines ending
Toughness: 2 out of 10

London Waterloo: 10-20 hrs Reading service. CJ 10-28 hrs
Arrive Sunningdale: 11-07 hrs

Windsor and Eton Riverside to Waterloo: 23 and 53 mins past the hour
Windsor and Eton Central to Paddington, changing trains at Slough: 16-19, 16-59, 17-19, 17-39, 18-00 and 18-19 hrs.
Staines to Waterloo - [S] slow service: 15-59, 16-03[S], 16-08, 16-29, 16-33[S], 16-38, 16-59, 17-03[S]

Rail ticket: If ending walk in Windsor: buy a day return to Windsor all stations plus a single from Staines to Sunningdale
If ending your walk in Staines, buy a day return to Sunningdale

Country walk purists are sniffy over today's walk, claiming it to be a parkland walk and not a proper country walk. So what if it is more parkland - at this time of year the Karume azaleas should be at their very best and the rhododendrons should be coming on nicely in the glorious gardens you will be walking through: it makes for a lovely 10 mile walk, mostly mud free, and not to be sniffed at (and should make a nice change for those of you all bluebelled out).
I expect Windsor will be busy preparing for the Royal wedding but for those ending the walk in Windsor that should not be a problem. Plenty of tea shops and pubs should be open to quench your thirst.
The Staines ending was devised to offer walkers a pub lunch option (not available on the main walk, unless you have a tedious double back). I am told the Sun Inn at Englefield Green is perfectly acceptable for those who like classic pub nosh.
Lunch for those on the main walk is taken at the Savill Garden Restaurant, operated by Leiths, and most are happy with the fare on offer.
Do read the comprehensive introduction in the on-line Directions which contains lots of information on this walk, the history and sights.
Walk Directions here: L=1.18
I shall join the train at Twickenham
Seven SWC walkers alighted from the posted train at Sunningdale, and one was on the next train, meeting up with us at lunch, so that is 8 on a glorious sunny and warm day.
Some of us did our own thing when we reached Valley Gardens in the morning, wandering around and between the rhodos and azaleas which were in full bloom: I have never seen the gardens look so lovely and colourful in the sunshine.
Four picnicked at a bench overlooking Obelisk Pond, and four of us dined in the Savill Gardens cafeteria. I preferred the previous self service counter arrangement, but having placed our orders we did not have to wait too long for our meals to arrive at our table, on the verandah, in the sunshine and very good food, too. The picnickers joined us for a drink, then two left to continue the walk to Staines, with the rest of us opting to carry on to Windsor.
At the option point at the entrance to Windsor Park, four headed for the Copper Horse, and I was joined by one as I book checked the original book route. I got lost a bit embarrassing as I did the previous update. The Copper Horsers kindly waited for us failed explorers to rejoin them on the Long Walk that is, all bar one, who had out jfked jfk herself by flagging down a passing horse and carriage to hitch a ride through Windsor Park. Rumours had it she was seen in Lady Muck mode, practising her waves to the peasants from the dicky seat in the carriage. She looked very pleased with herself when she deigned to rejoin us near the Castle. There were plenty of horse and carriages to be seen in the Park, out practising for a prestigious by Royal invitation only three day event. I believe our audacious walker was with the Belgium competitor.
On eventually reaching the Castle (the Long Walk is a terrible tease for those who do not cadge a lift as the darn castle never seems to get any nearer) we stopped for a beer at the the Two Brewers pub, next to the Castle, where the owner was in the process of putting up bunting for a certain marriage in ten days time. Suitably refreshed, we then made our unhurried way down through the town to the Riverside railway station.
Another lovely Wednesday outing.

Sun, 18-Feb-18 7

Sunday walk - Sunningdale to Windsor or Runnymede

Sunningdale to Windsor or Staines
Length: 16km (9.9 miles) Toughness: 2/10

The original walk explores Virginia Water, Valley Gardens, Windsor Great Park and the Long Walk to Windsor Castle. A good part of the walk can be done on tarmac paths, which may be a welcome relief from the mud that currently afflicts many fields and footpaths.

Lunch is taken in a cafeteria overlooking the Savill Gardens. Those preferring a pub lunch could divert to the nearby Sun Inn (01784 432515) to which directions can be found in the Runnymede variation.

This alternative afternoon route diverts through fields and tracks to the historical Magna Carta monument at Runnymede meadows and then along the Thames path to Staines. The route is about 1km longer than the route to Windsor. Finishing in Staines simplifies your choice of train ticket, as you just buy a return to Sunningdale, rather then two separate tickets.

09:36 Reading train from Waterloo (Vauxhall 09:40, Clapham Junction 09:45, Wimbledon 09:52, Kingston 10:04, etc) arriving Sunningdale at 10:46. Note that these services are being diverted and not calling at Richmond. See the walk directions for train ticket options.

Return trains from Windsor and Eton Central to Paddington are at xx:02 and xx:22 (change at Slough, journey time 49 mins), or from Windsor and Eton Riverside to Waterloo at xx:01 (journey time 93 minutes). Trains from Staines to Waterloo are at xx:11 and xx:41 (journey time 59 minutes)and at xx:19 (journey time 75 minutes). All the Waterloo services are being diverted after Twickenham.

You will need to download the
walk directions, and also the Runnymede variation (see above) if you might want to do the alternative afternoon route.


I am just wondering if you are sure that there's a 10:09 train to Reading on this Sunday.

My search says 9:36 Waterloo
10:46 Sunnindale
Yes, it does seem to be 9.36 from London to Sunningdale. Next train after that is 10.36 from London.

Thanks for spotting the problem with the train time. I've corrected the outward (and return) train info.

There are engineering works between Clapham Junction and Twickenham so trains are being diverted, with journey times about 20 minutes longer than normal.
I think the last time I did this walk was some time in the late Cretaceous period in the SWC's history so I had forgotten virually everything about it. I decided to give it another go and 7 of us set off on what is essentially a suburban/parkland walk and frankly at this time of year it is a bit dull although virtually mud free (but not if you do the Runnymede option where a strip pf the field is very muddy). Probably better in Spring when at least there should be some decent flowers and shrubs to enjoy.
Most of us diverted to the Sun Inn which provided good quality meals really quickly. We reached the Thames where all except 1? ambled on to Staines along the Thames path. on this day the Staines option was preferable because of the better train service back to London and we reached the station to catch a 3.48 train to Waterloo. Weather dry mild with some sun.
We did this walk on Sunday (myself, my partner and a eight month old baby) and even managed to follow the section in the Rhododendrons where the wayfinding was complex to say the least. I do question, however, the distances in walk instruction 49 which are much longer than described.

49. In 130 metres exit the wood and turn right on a car wide track, your direction 25°. In 160 metres your track joins an access track
and you keep ahead. In 60 metres you pass the entrance driveway to scout huts on your left hand side.

We had lunch in the Savill Garden tent restaurant and finished between five and six. We arrived with the main party but didn't walk with them as we had some immediate baby related business to attend to right at the start!

Wed, 27-Jan-16 6

Midweek day walk - Sunningdale to Windsor

Sunningdale to Windsor - a repeated Regal Romp in Royal Landscape

Virginia Water, Windsor Great Park, the Long Walk, and Windsor Castle

Book 1 Walk 18

Length : 16 km or 10 miles

Toughness : 2 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:20 am train from London Waterloo to Sunningdale.
Calling stations:

  • Clapham Junction departs at 10:28
  • Richmond departs at 10:36
  • Twickenham departs 10:40

Meeting point : Sunningdale station at 11:07

Suggested Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Windsor (all stations) and a single from Staines to Sunningdale

Brief Description

It'll probably be a bit of a squelch round Virginia Water, but there are quite a few firm paths which should make the walk a little easier underfoot.
You may find full details here

Suggested Lunch stops

The Savill Garden Restaurant (cafeteria) t: 01784 485 402

Suggested Tea stops

Cinnamon Café t: 01753 857879 in Windsor and Eaton Central Station. This is a suggestion by the poster. However there are many other delightful eateries in the town centre.


OS Explorer : 160

Return train times

Trains return from Windsor and Eaton Central Station to Paddington ( Change at Slough ) at the following times ... 16:00 | 16:32 | 16:52 | 17:10 | 17:30 and may suit Ealing Broadites and small brown bears.

Trains return from Windsor and Eaton Riverside Station to Waterloo at 23 and 53 minutes past the hour and will suit Clapham Junctioneers
Anyone spot the difference?
I presume 1038 at richmond jfk
As you can see, this walk was also posted on the preceding Sunday.
Unfortunately the poster for the Sunday walk didn't put the title on the Blog header, so Dent missed the clash : (
Anyhow it's a little late to change so I apologise to anyone who was intending to do this walk on Sunday and who was also intending to walk this Wednesday hopefully not too many of you!

forecast horrible for tomorrow so i'm out. too bad. M
6 drizzle and rain all day but never torrential.

Fair weather walkers stayed away, leaving 6 of us to venture forth on a day when the rain was never as heavy as forecasted. Not a good time of year to do this walk it should be done in April and May when the azaleas and rhododendrons are in bloom but that said we made the best of the day and the walk in very nice company and it was not too muddy or wet under foot. Lunch at the Savill Gardens caff was as expected, and 4 of us stopped for tea and cake in Windsor.
An enjoyable day out.

Wonderful day out in light rain.jfk
Sun, 24-Jan-16 2

First Sunday Walk

Book 1 Walk 18 Sunningdale to Windsor
Length: 16km (9.9 miles) Toughness: 2/10

09:39 Reading train from Waterloo (Vauxhall 09:43, Clapham Junction 09:48) arriving at Sunningdale at 10:44. See the link below for ticket options, depending on your preferred return route.

Two options for return trains: a) from Windsor and Eton Central to Paddington, changing at Slough, at xx:02 and xx:22; b) slow stopping service from Windsor and Eton Riverside to Waterloo at 15:01, 16:01, 18:01.

The recommended lunch stop is a cafeteria in Windsor Great Park, the Savill Garden Restaurant.

You will need to take either Book 1 or the online Walk Directions.
Anyone spot the difference?
Is there a difference
2 Sunny. Possibly only two because the same walk to follow mid week. Mostly mud free so a good walk for this time of year. Went a little off piste in the Park but as a result got close to two very impressive stags an saw a group of hinds and young.
Sun, 14-Jun-15 14

Sunday Second Walk - Celebrating Magna Carta

Book 1 Walk 18 variation – Sunningdale to Staines via Runnymede
Length: 17km (10.6 miles) Toughness: 2/10

10.09 Reading train from Waterloo (Vauxhall 10:13, Clapham Junction 10:19) arriving at Sunningdale at 11:00. Buy an off-peak day return to Sunningdale, which is three stops beyond Staines.

There are five return trains an hour from Staines to Waterloo, the fastest being at xx:11 and xx:41.

Some SWC walkers have already visited the splendid Magna Carta exhibition at the British Library, and this walk offers an opportunity to visit the place where the momentous meeting between King John and the barons took place on 15 June 1215. On the 800th anniversary itself a major celebratory event will be held on Runnymede meadows, where King John put his seal to the charter. But the celebrations commence in the days leading up to Monday’s event, and you’ll be able to view the river pageant which arrives at Runnymede on Sunday afternoon.

In the morning the route follows the Book 1 Sunningdale to Windsor walk, but after lunch at the Savill Garden Restaurant it diverts to head directly down to the Thames at Runnymede, before following the Thames Path downstream to Staines. It would also be possible to follow the Thames Path in the opposite direction to reach Windsor, but the station there is on a different line, requiring an extra rail ticket, so it is simpler to head for Staines, which is on the same line as Sunningdale.

As well as the usual lunch stop at the Savill Garden Restaurant, the diverted route passes a nearby pub, The Sun Inn (01784 432515), which could be an option for those who prefer a pub lunch. Please ring the pub when you get off the train to let them know how many walkers to expect. Two recent walkers reported having an unsatisfactory meal there, in terms of both quality and quantity, but the kitchen might have been having an off day, so it would be good to have more reports before dismissing it as an option.

During the weekend a River Relay consisting of about 200 boats will transport a facsimile of Magna Carta down the Thames, with stops en route. The flotilla will be passing Runnymede meadows in the early afternoon of Sunday, with the main flotilla reaching the Runnymede Pleasure Ground at 14:45 and the Queen’s Row Barge ‘Gloriana’ arriving at 15:15. There a re-enactment of the sealing of Magna Carta will take place as part of an all-day Pageant.

The Pageant is a ticketed event which will necessitate the temporary closure of a section of the Thames Path that runs round the edge of the site. At this point the path will be diverted for about 600 metres to go along the A308, where there is no footpath. At the RCDC sign turn left for 150 metres, following a public bridleway sign, to regain the riverside path, where you turn right.

For the morning route you will need to take either Book 1 or the online Walk Directions. The afternoon route can be downloaded here.

Looking forward to doing this. Is there a fee to pay to see the events at Runnymede?
To see the Pageant in Runnymede Pleasure Ground with all its activities, including the re enactment, you'd need a ticket, though this event has long been sold out. But there's no charge to stand on the banks of the Thames at Runnymede to watch the flotilla of boats pass by, and you might get a glimpse of everyone disembarking at the pleasure ground.
We had 14 initially, two late comers joined at lunch time. Morning ramble in various parks were lovely, loads of flowers in full bloom. Lunch at self service restaurant was good, they now have Leith catering on site, not expensive as some suggested. They even served Magna Carta beer. We reached river at Runnymede just before 2:45pm, all found a nice spot to watch the river relay. After visiting the Magna Carta Memorial, we head to the ticketed area (now open to everyone) for 'fun fair'. Several watched locals jousting. Five of us then had tea/drink at Mercure hotel cafe by the river in Stain o Thames. The weather: mostly cloudy with sunny intervals occasionally.
Sat, 15-Nov-14 4 Sunningdale to Windsor
Wed, 05-Mar-14 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sat, 31-Aug-13 24 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sun, 10-Mar-13 0 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sat, 06-Oct-12 Sunningdale to Windsor
Wed, 01-Feb-12 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sat, 30-Apr-11 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sat, 22-May-10 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sun, 31-Jan-10 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sat, 02-May-09 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sun, 25-Jan-09 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sat, 10-May-08 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sat, 15-Dec-07 Sunningdale to Windsor
Wed, 20-Jun-07 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sat, 05-May-07 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sun, 18-Mar-07 Sunningdale to Windsor
Sat, 09-Dec-06 Sunningdale to Windsor