Virginia Water village guide 2015
PUBLISHED: 16:18 18 September 2015 | UPDATED: 17:19 18 September 2015
With some of the country's most premium addresses in the Wentworth Estate and one of the nation's prettiest man-made attractions in The Royal Landscape, Virginia Water's property is much in-demand around the world
Originally published in A Celebration of Surrey Life
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Did you know?
1 First dammed and flooded in 1753, Virginia Water Lake was once the largest man-made body of water in the British Isles. On the south bank you’ll discover an ornamental cascade and ‘Roman temple’ and on the north a 100-foot high Totem Pole from Canada.
2 These days, it’s also a popular filming location and perhaps the most spectacular recently featured a steamboat dubbed ‘Adelaar’ popping up there for the filming of Warner Bros blockbuster, Tarzan: The Untamed.
3 The Savill Gardens near to the north shore, meanwhile, are billed as Britain’s finest ornamental garden.
4 Over the years, Sir Bruce Forsyth, McLaren’s Ron Dennis and, somewhat notoriously, even the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet have called Virginia Water home, and its Wentworth Estate continues to be regarded as one of the country’s most prestigious addresses. The houses are eye-opening!
5 The most famous of the Surrey heath and heather golf courses – and also the most televised course in Britain – the West Course at Wentworth is where keen golfers can get a sense of the heritage, the glamour and feel special in strangely familiar surroundings.
6 Have you heard the one about the bunker under Wentworth? Not those combed sands that line the manicured fairways of the championship course but the military sort that lies beneath. Once upon a time, a combined services headquarters was to be built in tube-type tunnels under Whitehall. Although these were never constructed, a counterpart at Wentworth was and they would go on to be used as D-Day control bunkers.
7 As well as the world-famous Royal Holloway in nearby Egham, multi-millionaire Thomas Holloway also commissioned Holloway Sanatorium’s equally extraordinary gothic-style building and externsive pleasure grounds at Virginia Water in 1885. These days, it forms part of an exclusive housing development.
8 The Wine Circle in Station Parade is an independent wine shop, restaurant, bar, deli and fromagerie. How’s a bottle of Chateau Palmer Margaux 2004 at £200+ sound?! Other wines are, of course, available from their well-stocked range.
9 Just a few minutes drive down the road, you’ll find the historic National Trust site at Runnymede and its Magna Carta memorial. It’s a glorious location for a riverside stroll, as well as the chance to discover the place were democracy was formed 800 years ago.
10 Also nearby is Guards Polo Club, whose Cartier Queen’s Cup not only attracts a royal visit every year but also sees some of the world’s most famous stars descend on the area.
A pocket guide:
Drink at: As well as the aforementioned The Wine Circle, a short drive into the countryside to the Fox and Hounds pub is well worth the journey.
Eat at: Piccolino La Griglia has an outdoor area with a retractable roof for fantastic alfresco dining.
Stay at: You’ll find the stunning Coworth Park just over the border and past Virginia Water Lake.