It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. We extend our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and all members of the Royal Family.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was the Ranger of the Great Park for nearly 70 years and during this time his impact on one of the most recognised landscapes in the world has been immense. He has provided guidance and insight to our team to help them manage the Great Park and the wider estate, from the farms to the wildlife to the ancient woodlands, ensuring it can continue to offer a rich sanctuary for all, for generations to come. We will miss him greatly and there is no doubt that his influence will continue to be seen in our work across the Great Park.
His Royal Highness’s commitment to protecting the Great Park for the long-term can be best summed up in his own words: “The management of land is a very long-term business and the best results can only be achieved if there is confidence and continuity. We are enjoying the gardens and avenues and amenities planted by previous generations and it is because I feel myself to be a temporary custodian that I am planting for future generations.”
A progressive independent commercial business, created by Act of Parliament. Our portfolio includes the whole of Regent Street and much of St James’s in London’s West End, prime regional shopping centres, Windsor Great Park, rural land and coastline, and the UK’s seabed.
This impressive three mile long tree-lined avenue begins at the George IV Gateway at Windsor Castle and ends at the magnificent Copper Horse statue.
The most well-known image of Windsor Great Park is arguably the iconic view down the Long Walk, towards Windsor Castle at the far end. This tree-lined avenue stretches down towards the ancient fortress, illustrating the regal grandeur and Royal heritage of Windsor Great Park.
Red Deer are easily spotted, with a population of around 500 that roam freely around the Deer Park enclosure. Established by the Park Ranger for almost 70 years, H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh, the current herd are all descendants of 40 hinds and two stags that were introduced in 1979. The deer are accustomed to seeing visitors walking around, and will remain fairly close, often posing nicely for photographs!
Windsor Great Park has been enjoyed by Royalty since William the Conqueror’s victory at the Battle of Hastings, and the Deer Park in particular has a rich history as it was once part of a vast Norman hunting forest. Over the centuries it was enjoyed as a game hunting reserve and riding ground, as well as for its stunning scenery. It wasn’t until William IV however, that the Great Park as we know it was opened to the public, allowing visitors from far and wide to enjoy its splendour as they do today.
Created by King Charles II, the Long Walk was introduced in 1680 – although it was not until 1683 that the avenue was extended to its current length. The iconic Copper Horse which stands guard over the Long Walk was also a later addition.
This impressive statue, depicting King George III on horseback, was erected in 1831 to commemorate his significant contribution to Windsor Great Park.
A stroll along the Long Walk and through the Deer Park is the perfect way to soak in the history of the grounds, enjoying a landscape that has barely changed in 1,000 years. Windsor Great Park and forest is home to one of the largest populations of ancient oak trees in northern Europe. In fact, there are trees still standing today that saw William of Normandy ride past on Royal hunts.
These useful links will help you to make the most of your visit to the Great Park.
Whether you're a keen horticulturist looking for inspiration, a dog owner who wants an unrivalled variety of short and longer walks, or a family looking for a place to enjoy nature and history there is a membership type to suit you.