On a beautiful breezy morning in Surrey, my son suggested we take the dog for a walk around Virginia Water. Tilly is a beautiful, very large Laborador, with boundless energy so this place was perfect for her to have a good run-around.
Virginia Water Lake is 6 miles from Windsor town centre, at the southern end of Windsor Great Park and very near Ascot. There is either a free car park a little way from the lake or a paying one right at the entrance.
Dogs must stay on their leads until you get past the sign post which tells you they are free to run around, and then they certainly do! Many people bring their dog or dogs to this beautiful reservoir for their daily exercise and there are also lots of dog-walkers (with many dogs) enjoying the beautiful scenery. It is a very popular venue for joggers too. There was even an Indian Wedding Shoot taking place at the time of our visit, the couple were having photos taken sitting on a Giant Mushroom!
You can enjoy a pleasant walk around the lake, which has many things to see, including a 100 foot totem pole and part of a ruined city imported from North Africa. I was amazed with the large variety of flowering shrubs and trees, some of them towering above us and some with trunks that looked like they had been deliberately carved into strange shapes.
Tilly had a great time jumping in and out of the water as did many of the other dogs. I was impressed that not one dog challenged any other, they were all very well behaved.
The circuit around the lake is about 4.5 miles, about half is paved and half a path, both surfaces providing easy walking conditions even with a pushchair. About half way round, we came to a little clearing with an ice-cream van, this part of the lake was full of ducks and a few swans. We didn’t go the whole way round but did a backwards semi-circle and ended the great walk with a snack and a coffee at the entrance whilst sitting in the sun. Bowls of water are also made available at this point for the dogs. Walking the dog can be as relaxing or energetic as you chose to make it, with Tilly it was definitely the latter this time round!
A lovely place to exercise, entrance is free and it is open all year round from dawn to dusk.