History will come alive before your very eyes, as you experience the ancient landscape and fascinating landmarks of Windsor Great Park.
Windsor Great Park is full of important and historical features. Find out more about what you will encounter when you visit, and to make sure that you don’t miss anything!
Developed under Royal patronage dating back to George VI, The Savill Garden has been cared for and developed into the wonderful Garden we enjoy today.
Eric Savill was appointed as Deputy Surveyor in 1931, and began working on the Garden in the winter of 1932, with the support of George VI. From the original rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas planted by Eric Savill, to the Queen Elizabeth rose - recently planted to mark HM the Queen becoming our longest-reigning monarch - The Savill Garden team continues to respect the traditions of the Garden, whilst introducing new and exciting plantings and displays from around the world each year.
A popular Visitor Centre for The Savill Garden and Windsor Great Park, The Savill Building was opened in 2006 by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh - Ranger of Windsor Great Park 1952 - 2021.
It provides an impressive setting to indulge in freshly prepared food and homemade cakes in The Savill Garden Restaurant, or a spot of shopping in the Gift Shop and Plant Centre. The wooden grid shell architecture, designed by Glenn Howells, was constructed from sustainable timber sources from within the Great Park.
Virginia Water lake was first dammed and flooded in 1753 under the rule of the Duke of Cumberland in his role as Park Ranger, becoming the largest man-made lake of its time.
It was then extended to its present size under the guidance of George III in the 1780s - and its banks later became a favourite picnicking spot for Queen Victoria, who would often visit the lake.
These ruins arrived at Windsor Great Park in 1818, to create a folly that, in the fashion of the time, was built to look like a genuine Roman relic.
The surprisingly fragile stones recently underwent a restoration project to carefully repair and protect them – with all of the stone and bricks used coming from the original site, and all of the building methods remaining in keeping with those used in the early 19th century.
In 1958, the government of British Columbia gifted HM The Queen with this 100ft high Totem Pole, to mark the centenary of British Columbia.
It was carved by master craftsman Chief Mungo Martin of the Kwakiutl Indians, a tribe which is located on Vancouver Island. The elaborate ornamentation on the 12-ton pole still fascinates children and adults alike, as they take a moment to sit and admire its many faces, beside the rippling water of Wick Pond and Virginia Water lake.
The original waterfall was created in the 1750s, but was destroyed in 1768 when the causeway collapsed.
A new Cascade was built in the 1780s, when the lake was enlarged by George III, and its rushing waters can still be admired today.
The Virginia Water Pavilion opened in 2013 to support visitors who come to enjoy the magnificent lake and its surrounding historical features.
It provides a beautifully framed view of the lake, along with refreshments, facilities and visitor information inside the Pavilion. The building itself is a feat of modern architecture and, as with The Savill Building, it uses sustainably sourced wood from the Great Park.
After the Second World War, gardeners from all over the country donated shrubs – in particular azaleas and rhododendrons - to the care of the gardens of the Great Park.
These displays continue to grow and evolve today as our Gardens team carefully select each new introduction and placement, adding to the artistry of the landscape. Visit in May for the spectacular Azalea Walks display, showcasing many rhododendrons and azaleas originating from Asia.
This memorial was erected in 1975 to mark the passing of Lord Patrick Plunkett.
The Baron was the former equerry to King George VI, and then to Queen Elizabeth II from 1948-1954 as a Captain. He was also Deputy Master of the Household of the Royal Household from 1954 to 1975.
A stroll along the Long Walk and through the Deer Park is the perfect way to soak in the history of the Great Park, enjoying a landscape that has barely changed in 1000 years.
William the Conqueror was inspired by Windsor Great Park’s endless expanses of grassland as a place to build a residence, and so in 1070 the construction of Windsor Castle began.
Today you can visit the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, whose outer walls are still those constructed by William the Conqueror during his reign in the 11th Century.
If you enter Windsor Great Park through Cambridge Gate you will arrive at the start of the Long Walk.
The original avenue of trees was planted by King Charles II during his reign, as he had a liking for French architectural styles – then following the end of the Second World War, a newer generation of trees were planted to line this avenue from Windsor Castle to the Copper Horse statue. The Long Walk now includes a mix of London plane and horse chestnut trees.
Standing high on Snow Hill, the Copper Horse statue depicts George III on horseback, and was commissioned by George IV as a tribute to his father.
You can walk the length of the Long Walk to reach the statue, and then look back over the Great Park below, Windsor and Eton and as fair as the London skyline. The view is well worth the walk!
Our Red Deer herd was reintroduced by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1979, who was Park Ranger 1952 - 2021.
The Deer Park and meadows of Windsor Great Park were converted to arable stock to aid the people of Britain during the war effort, during which time there were no deer resident within the park. Today over 500 deer roam freely around the enclosed Deer Park, all descendants of the 40 hinds and two stags that were introduced in 1979.
As a popular area for families today, it’s certainly fitting that Obelisk Lawn hosts the Cumberland Obelisk – which is a monument that signifies the strong bond between a father and son, namely George II and George III.
The Cumberland Obelisk memorial can be found on Obelisk Lawn, and was erected in honour of the Duke of Cumberland, William Augustus - son of King George II.
The inscription reads - “This Obelisk raised by command of King George II commemorates the services of his son William Duke of Cumberland the success of his arms and the gratitude of his father. This tablet was inscribed by His Majesty King William IV.' An ode to a son from his loving father.
Cumberland Lodge was built in 1652 and in previous years was Home to the Ranger of Windsor Great Park.
It is now listed as an educational charity, where universities and professional organisations meet to discuss and learn, under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen. Visit cumberlandlodge.ac.uk for the latest news of their exciting events programme.
The Baroque design of Cow Pond was originally created as a serene setting for the Ranger of the Great Park to promenade with guests.
You can now follow in the footsteps of the aristocracy of the time, admiring the water lilies and our collection of carp and Mandarin ducks. Cow Pond was fully restored in 2012, with the oak arbour being crafted from the original 18th century Henry Flitcroft designs. The newly-restored pond was opened by HM the Queen in 2012, as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Home to Guard’s Polo Club, Smith’s Lawn is best known for the prestigious polo events held here throughout the year.
It is a fantastic place to experience this exciting and fast-paced game, including prestigious events such as the Queen’s Cup and the Royal Windsor. Guard’s Polo Club, formerly known as the Household Brigade Polo Club, was founded in 1955 with HRH the Duke of Edinburgh as its President.
This bronze figure of Prince Albert in military uniform on horseback was presented to Queen Victoria by the Women of the British Empire in 1888.
It was commissioned in celebration of her Golden Jubilee in June 1887 – and today, horse riders can still ride past this magnificent depiction of Queen Victoria’s Prince Consort, on the horse track which runs directly past the statue.
The original single row of elm and lime trees of Queen Anne’s Ride was planted in 1708, although it was formerly known as the Queen’s Walk.
The avenue was given a new title after Queen’s Anne’s fondness for riding her horse drawn carriage along this path. Replanting with young Windsor oaks has since taken place, and now horse riders, dog walkers, runners and walkers can share this royally-inspired walk, admiring the sweeping views of the Windsor Castle below.
The Jubilee statue can be found at the southern end of Queen Anne’s Ride and was officially unveiled to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Sculpted by Philip Jackson, it is the only statue of HM The Queen on horseback to have been commissioned to date.