Windsor is more than just a castle. Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park is hugely popular. It provides an alternative to the more familiar castle when visiting the royal town. The Park has been connected with our monarchs from before William I used the landscape as a hunting ground a thousand years ago.
The Park took shape through original planting of the Long Walk by Charles II. Queen Victoria so liked to entertain on the shores of Virginia Water. Today’s key Royal connections continue under the stewardship of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, and his title of the Ranger of Windsor Great Park.
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, and illustrates the regal grandeur and Royal heritage of Windsor Great Park.
Red Deer are easily spotted. They have a population of around 500 and so roam freely around the Deer Park enclosure. Established by the chief Park Ranger in 1979, the current herd are all descendants of 40 hinds and two stags originally introduced . The deer are accustomed to seeing visitors walking around, and will remain fairly close, often posing nicely for photographs!
In 1932 King George V commissioned the Garden. It was named Savill Garden after its creator, Eric Savill. The Garden span 35 acres and looked after by a team of horticulturists. They aim to produce a riot of colour all year round; even over the winter. Of special significance and must-sees are the original weeping willow tree, the Golden Jubilee Garden and the Rose Gardens.
Plant hunters journeyed across the globe to source plants, and later to breed them into the familiar cultivars. From the vibrant summer blooms of Paeonia ‘Augstin d’Hour’ from China, to the clove-scented flowers of the Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’, which come originally from the Himalayas and flower during the winter months.
Cumberland Lodge sits proudly in the centre of Windsor Great Park. It overlooks the Great Meadow Pond and the estate’s vineyard.
After the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell divided up and sold off lots in Windsor Great Park. Army Captain, John Byfield, built the house in 1650. After the Restoration, King Charles II made the house the official residence of the Ranger of the Great Park, a Crown appointment always held by someone close to the Sovereign. The house was called Byfield House until 1670. Renamed New Lodge, and at times also known as Windsor Lodge or Ranger Lodge. However it is 3.5 miles from the castle.
Making the best of your coach excursion
Combining a morning at the Castle with an afternoon at Savill Garden is a perfect use of our mini-coach. Because there is on-site coach parking near the Garden, this helps even those for whom the walk may be too taxing. And so everyone gets to see more of the delights Windsor has to serve.
To hire Holt’s luxury 19-seater coach for an excursion to Windsor, the cost is just £350
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