The Royal Wedding in Windsor certainly increased the exposure for the Royal Borough. It’s put Windsor and its many attractions at the very top of a ‘must see’ list. Val Baynton took a trip to the town to find out the latest ideas for group visits.The Savill Garden in the heart of Windsor Great Park was commissioned by King George V and created by Sir Eric Savill in 1932. Royal patronage has continued ever since and the Queen has opened many of its themed gardens including the Queen Elizabeth Temperate House in 1995, the Golden Jubilee Garden in 2002 and the fragrant and colourful Rose Garden in 2010. This was designed with a special raised walkway to allow visitors to stroll above the roses to absorb their perfume and beauty.
Themed for all seasons and open all year round, the 35 acres of the tranquil Savill Garden are inspiring to visit as planting has been planned with the view of giving visitors ideas of what could be recreated in their own gardens. The Savill Building with two restaurant areas and a shop has been revamped, and produce from the local area including the Royal Farm is on sale.
Did you know?
The town’s Blue Badge Guides are experts in guiding groups around Windsor, highlighting its heritage and adding anecdotes about former residents.
Group visitors have many benefits with discounted rates, free coach parking and a free garden map plus a meet and greet from a member of the team.
A number of garden tours and catering options are available allowing you to tailor a visit to the interests of your group including relaxing with your members in a private marquee on the lawns of Savill Garden while enjoying either a Gardener’s Lunch with the chance to ‘ask an expert’ from the gardening team a horticultural question, or A Royal Heritage Afternoon Tea.
The Savill Building and Gardens is a good base for groups who want to explore Windsor Great Park too, as walking and cycling trails start right from the doorway. It’s a 20-minute walk to Blacknest Gate and another 10 minutes to the Deer Park, while the colourful Valley Gardens, renowned for daffodil, azalea and rhododendron displays and on the northern shores of Virginia Water, are less than a mile away.
Recognising the vastness of The Great Park – it stretches all the way from Windsor to Ascot and covers some 4,800 acres – there is a very special coach tour – The Royal Heritage Tour – that can be booked as part of the visit to The Savill Garden.
Did you know?
The Savill Building is a good base for groups who want to explore Windsor Great Park as walking and cycling trails start here.
Only one coach is permitted to enter the Park in this way a day, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from April to September, so to book this for your members is quite a privilege!
A member of The Crown Estates Team will join you to escort your coach around the estate and to explain its unique history pointing out notable places such as the Royal Lodge where Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother lived, Smith’s Lawn where polo is played, the Royal School founded by Queen Victoria and The Change, where the Royal Family exchange cars for horse-drawn carriages on their way to Ascot Racecourse every June.
A highlight is the chance to get off the coach below the Copper Horse Statue of George III and at the top of the Long Walk to see the view down the two and a half mile avenue to Windsor Castle.
To help GTOs with their planning, pre-existing packages combining a visit to the Savill Garden with Windsor Castle, a French Brothers River Cruise, Dorney Court or Frogmore House are available.
windsor.gov.uk +44 (0)1753 743900