Virginia Water Lake in Surrey and Berkshire
Virginia Water consists of a large lake with landscaped gardens and is located at the southern end of the Great Windsor park and is accessible from various locations including by the A30 road in Sunningdale.
Great for dog walkers, picnics, cyclists and those just wanting a relaxing stroll along the 4.5 mile path, which is half paved and half natural. There are several curiosities to see along the route including a 100 foot totem pole, a waterfall called "The Cascade" and an obelisk imported as part of a ruin from North Africa. The lake itself is just over two miles long and at places is a third of a mile wide.
The totem pole is located in a wooded area to the east of the lake and is well signposted once you are on the footpath. At 100 foot in height and carved from a single ceder tree this is one of the well known landmarks around the lake. It was planted in 1958 by a team from the Royal Engineers after being carved by Mungo Martin - who is recognized as one of the great craftsman of his era.
This part of Virginia Water is popular with those wishing to picnic and there are some beautiful mature trees and nurtured landscapes nearby.
The Cascade is a man made waterfall feature located to the left of the main car park off the A30 road between Sunningdale and Englefield Green. There can be quite a torrent here after heavy rainfall when the lake overflows but it can sometimes be little more than a trickle during dry summer months. The Cascade is also located close to the main road so most people move on quickly. Worth taking a look if you are walking this route around the lake. It's doesn't take too much time to reach The Ruin from here.
The Ruins at Virginia Water
Tucked away on the western edges of the lake is The Ruins, a collection of artifacts imported from the Roman site of Leptis Magna, near Tripoli in Libya. Initially stored at the British Museum and erected this site at Virginia Water during 1826. The arrangement of the ruins was conducted under the direction of the Royal Architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville. Up until 1950 The Ruins was open to the public with no fences keeping visitors away from the crumbling ruins. In 1950 a barrier was erected and in the early 2000's further restoration work was completed to the area and a new fence put in place. The Ruins are well worth a look if you are planning to visit Virginia Water
Parking is available at Virginia lake (postcode GU25 4QF) just off the A30 about 2 miles south west of Englefield Green or at the Savill Garden (postcode TW20 0UU) which is a mile south east of Englefield Green. The M25 (J13) is the nearest motorway, the M3 is not too far away. The A30 runs adjacent to the southern end of the lake.
The nearest stations are Egham, Windsor and Virginia Water.
Entry to the lake is free but expect to pay for car parking.
These photos were taken in summer 2010 and Spring 2011: