From Cranbourne Gate, stroll down to the village, around Poets Lawn and ascend Snow Hill from the back to be rewarded with one of Berkshire’s most iconic views.
To get to the start of this walk, drive out of Windsor along the A332 toward Ascot. As you leave town the glorious parkland opens before you.
Drive past the pink house of Rangers Gate and continue uphill to the second pink house of Cranbourne Gate. The parking can be found on your right. (If it is full, return to the Ranger’s Gate Car Park and walk back up.) The tower you can see at the back of Cranbourne Gate Car Park is all that remains of a royal residence, Cranbourne Lodge. This was home to William, Duke of Cumberland, and later Princess Charlotte, the daughter of George IV.
From the car park, cross the A332 and enter the park by Gatehouse, taking the tarmac road up into the park. After a few hundred yards turn right at the first crossing. The venerable Oak trees round here are some of the very oldest in England.
Head down towards the pond and into the village. This is the only village in England that doesn’t have its own name, being simply “The Village in Windsor Great Park”. The lovely little post office sells snacks and ice creams!
Carry on through the village and when you reach a broad grass path, turn right and walk up Queen Annes Ride as it is known.
Now turn left and enjoy the views at Poets lawn. From here walk along the path till you reach a large junction. Turn left again and go straight on a path that once more passes through a more wooded landscape. Ignore the first junction, but when you reach the T junction, go through the gate on your right and take the high footpath through the trees all the way to the Copper Horse Statue. The view of Windsor Castle in front with Heathrow and London off in the distance to your right is wonderful.
On a windy day, snow hill is the perfect place for kite flying.
Once you have had enough of this lovely spot, drop down the lawn to the tarmac path in front of the copper horse and turn left. This path will lead you through the deer park gate and then straight back to the Cranbourne Gate car park.