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.”
Discover this enchanting woodland of twisting trails and sweet smelling flowers, located on the northern shores of Virginia Water.
Created by the shared vision of Sir Eric Savill and Hope Findlay, these 250 acres of undulating valleys were planted with exotic azaleas, magnolias and other blooms from all over the world.
Every season offers collections that will surprise and delight even the most seasoned of horticulturists all year round, including National Collections of Magnolia, Rhododendron Species and Glenn Dale Azaleas, as well as Himalayan and Chinese Birches.
While the heaths and clusters of native trees have historically been part of the landscape, more substantial plantings of exotic plants and trees were initiated by the Duke of Cumberland in the 18th Century. It was the end of the Second World War however, that saw The Valley Gardens transformed – with gardeners from all over the country kindly donating shrubs, in particular azaleas and rhododendrons.
With the blessing of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Deputy Ranger Sir Eric Savill and his head gardener, Hope Findlay, turned to the undulating valleys above Virginia Water to house these plants - inspired by the parallel valleys and ancient trees that lined the horizon.
After clearing the central valleys and restoring the views to the lake, they created paths and rides to form the structure of the new garden. Clusters of plants were added, flooding the landscape with vivid colour and creating a flowering forest of exotic shrubs. These displays continue to grow and evolve today as our Gardens team carefully select each new introduction and placement, to add to the artistry of the landscape.
Each season brings with it something new, transforming the scene with fresh displays to explore. For more information about what you can see all year round, please visit our Seasonal Highlights section.
Our guide to the Garden Highlights indicates which flowers, plants and trees within The Savill Garden are most attractive at the moment, so you can plan your visit accordingly.
We have a National Collection of Sorbus. It is a hybrid between a British native, Sorbus aucuparia and one of the best Chinese species, Sorbus pohuashanensis.
Mahonias are one of our National Collections. Usually associated as winter flowering shrubs. This particular one flowers in early spring, producing a lovely cluster of dense yellow flowers.
A rich shade of golden orange flowers with a strongly fruity and spicy scent – displayed in the Peat beds
Generally spineless leaves, splashed with a bright yellow centre, near the Birch Lawn, The Valley Gardens.
Exquisite miniature daffodils naturalising freely in damp meadows in The Savill and Valley Gardens.
Known as the Chinese Witch Hazel we have some large plants through the Gardens sporting sweetly fragrant golden yellow flowers.
Commonly known as Giant Redwoods, these trees are part of the 19th century plantings around Virginia Water lake.
A popular compact evergreen shrub flowering through late autumn and early winter. Part of our National Mahonia Collection.
Spring snowflake from the Carpathian mountains has a yellow tipped petals in the Winter Garden.
Good display of flowers
Peak of display and looking spectacular
These useful links will help you to make the most of your visit to Windsor 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.
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