Guidance for visitors to Windsor Great Park
Your safety, the safety of our staff and other Park visitors is our utmost priority, so please maintain social distancing at all times, staying at least two metres from people outside of your household. When meeting family and/or friends you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, you must not meet in a group of more than six (6), indoors or outdoors. Before visiting please familiarise yourselves with the latest Government guidelines. Please also refer to the guidelines about meeting others safely.
Before you leave home
Please note - there may be occasions where our team will ask you to move on if an area is becoming too crowded. Please respect their request.
The Savill Building
The Gift Shop, Plant Centre and toilets at The Savill Building are open. On busier days you may need to queue.
The Savill Garden
The Savill Garden is open for Friends and Members as well as a limited number of pre-booked tickets.
The children's play area - Obelisk Lawn
This area will remain closed.
Virginia Water Pavilion
Firstly, try The Savill Garden car park at TW20 0UJ. Other areas of the Great Park are within easy reach of this car park.
The following are also open:
The car park at The Valley Gardens remains closed.
More information about car parking can be found here.
Cycling in Windsor Great Park
More information about cycling can be found here.
Catering facilities in Windsor Great Park
The Savill Garden Kitchen is open with a reduced menu. The terrace is open from 9am - 11am for teas, coffees and pastries and then the lunch menu is available from 11.30am - 4pm.
During this time whilst we are operating a reduced service, we want to ensure that as many of our Visitors, Friends and Members are able to enjoy the restaurant facilities. Your table occupancy for dining is limited to one (1) hour with no return within two (2) hours. Thank you for your understanding and co-operation.
The following reduced take-away catering will be available:
We are constantly reviewing the situation and should Government advice change, or public safety be compromised, we will not hesitate to impose further closures or restrictions.
In the summer of 2017 a large poplar limb fell to the ground in The Savill Garden. There was no obvious reason and the cause was registered as what is known Summer Branch Drop (more common in Oaks). It was then decided that our team would remove this poplar and also some other examples that were very close to a major path running up through the Alpine Meadow, on the way to Summer Wood.
Over the next 18 months the team treated the invasive suckers and eventually removing stumps. During the winter of 2018 the team started to cut back and prune the ever advancing Rhododendron ponticum which divides the Alpine Meadow and The Orchard. The ponticum had engulfed several trees, including the Nyssa sylvatica (Tupelo Trees), and over 10 metres of the ponticum had crept almost unnoticed across the meadow.
Work continued last summer (2019) with the team digging out the remaining roots of the poplar. We took this opportunity to make some drainage improvements at the same time. A mini digger was deployed to start inserting a new drainage system whilst we removed the stumps. Pipe work was installed into the site which will help to remove the excess water on the surface. When we approached spring 2020, the area was mulched in preparation for new planting this autumn/winter.
The plan will be to develop the area for trees and shrubs that will give excellent autumn colour. One example of the improvements will be the addition of Nyssa sylvatica (Tupelo Trees) which were grafted by the propagation team from the best cultivars from the National Collection at Exbury Gardens in Hampshire. New selected plants will also include Neoshirakia japonica which has brilliant red leaves, Disanthus cercidifolius with red heart shaped leaves and small red flowers in late autumn. Fothegilla monticola from N. America which has powdery white flowers in spring, followed by orange/yellow autumn colour and a host of other interesting plants will be added to complement the new plantings.
The final stage in the design will be opening a new vista from the viewing platform. In the spring of 2016, whilst giving a guided tour, I noticed that the gardens lacked a vista from the viewing platform, or should I say it had a vista but it was hidden behind a wall of Alder trees (Alnus glutinosa). It was an easy solution. One Alder tree was removed to open the new vista to the pond and Casson Bridge beyond, thus revealing a glimpse of the Alpine Meadow in the distance. There was a problem however as a very large bulky clump of Rhododendron ponticum was blocking the view. Over the decades this clump just kept creeping outwards and over the original border, stealthily engulfing the plants below until it became the centre of attention. Its time had come and we took the decision to take back this part of the Garden – so one cold January day, the Gardens team took the ponticum out, roots and all, and reseeded the area to reveal a great vista from the viewing platform to the Alpine Meadow. Once the final planting is done this winter the vista will be complete.