It was a major nostalgia-trip for me, taking my family on the five mile walk around Virginia Water lake, at the southern end of Windsor Great Park. Virginia Water was the destination for countless family walks when I was a child, a place where my grandparents took me, and the destination of my first seriosu bike ride. As a teenager I cycled through Windsor Great Park time and time again, experiencing a glimpse of countryside in the noise of outer London, from the der par, through Smith's lawn and down the hill to the lake; and the little trailer in the woods which sold coke's and juice bars.
I have seen it in dry, hot summers, torrential rains, autumn colours, and in ice too. When I was a child, Ashford Congregational Church used to organise an annual Boxing Day walk around the lake. In those days, the paths could be boggy and wet, and there was no cafe by The Wheatsheaf car park doling out hot chocolate drinks to the wet and weary!
We found ourselves there on a crisp autumn day last week,
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