The Long Walk & Deer Park
No view better captures Windsor Great Park’s royal grandeur than The Long Walk. No landscape better reveals its history than the Deer Park.
Windsor Great Park has hosted Royalty since William the Conqueror’s victory at the Battle of Hastings. Over the centuries it was enjoyed for its riding, hunting and stunning scenery. It wasn’t until William IV, however, that the Windsor Great Park as we know it was opened to the public, allowing visitors from far and wide to experience its splendour for themselves.
The Long Walk
Created by King Charles II in 1682-85, this tree-lined avenue stretches almost 2.5 miles down to the ancient fortress of Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.
The initial work included the buying up of land to connect Windsor Castle to Windsor Great Park and the purchase of 1,864 young Elm trees.
At the highest point, standing over the iconic view, is the famous Copper Horse statue depicting King George III. It was erected in 1831 to commemorate the King’s significant contribution to Windsor Great Park.
The Deer Park
Visitors following The Long Walk will pass through the Deer Park – which was once part of a vast Norman hunting forest.
Windsor Great Park 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.
The current Deer Park was established over 70 years ago by the Ranger, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and is home to around 500 Red Deer. These are descended from forty hinds and two stags that were introduced in 1979.
Respecting the deer
Windsor Great Park is a place to see deer in their natural environment, but it is important to remember that these are wild animals and should be treated with respect. This is particularly the case during the autumn, when rutting stags fight for territory.
When walking through the Deer Park, visitors must follow a few simple rules:
- Keep to the main tracks
- Dogs must be kept on a short lead and under close control at all times
- Keep your distance – binoculars or a long-range lens are essential
- Do not approach or follow the deer
Deer rutting season
Deer rutting (breeding) season starts in September each year and lasts through until early November.
During this period, the behaviour of the deer changes where they are likely to display aggressive behaviour.
You will hear the stags roaring as well as defending their territory by challenging other stags and stamping the ground. This is normal behaviour.
There may be occasions that we have to close the Deer Park during the rutting season. Please check for visitor updates before you travel.
Cycling, scooters, rollerblades and similar
Windsor Great Park is perfect for taking regular exercise. There are many places for cyclists and visitors who wish to use scooters, rollerblades and skateboards. Take a look at the Windsor Great Park map & guide.
There are however some restrictions we have put in place to ensure that everyone can enjoy their visit. The following are not permitted, pushed or otherwise on The Long Walk and in the Deer Park:
The Long Walk & Deer Park frequently asked questions
For our visitors with access requirements, we work with AccessAble to provide detailed access guides for popular areas of Windsor Great Park. More information and links to the AccessAble guides can be found here.
These useful links will help you make the most of your visit to Windsor Great Park.
Park map & guide
View and download our Park map & guide to help you make the most of your visit to Windsor Great Park.
With world-class gardens, stunning vistas, convenient parking and outstanding facilities, take out a membership from just £1.92 a week* to enjoy Windsor Great Park and The Savill Garden all-year round.
As an operational Estate, it is sometimes necessary to close parts of Windsor Great Park. Please check visitor updates below before you travel.
Relax with family and friends with a picnic in Windsor Great Park. There are plenty of places to take in the fresh air and enjoy the stunning backdrop of the Obelisk Pond and Virginia Water Lake.