On a sunny morning, the children and I set off to do The Long Walk at Windsor Castle. I do not plan to go all the way, but as soon as the kids spot a glimpse of the statue on the hill in the far distance there’s no turning back.
We walk the walk, through Deer Park all the way to the statue of King George III on his bronze horse on Snow Hill in Great Windsor Park. It’s more than 5 miles (8,4km). With a picnic and many pit stops to nurse our big baby it takes us more than 4 hours from the Queen’s castle to the King’s horse and back again.
Snow Hill, as the legend has it, was where King Henry VIII sat and waited for news of the execution of his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn. However, the path as we know it only came into being during the reign of King Charles II (1660-1685). King Henry VIII reigned England from 1509 to his death in January 1547.
The friendly guy we met near the castle with Mia the dog while having our picnic, assured us that there are thousands of deer to see in Deer Park. Would you believe it, we don’t see a single deer in Deer Park😭. Unlucky. The park must be bigger than it seems.
We later learn that it’s part of the 4000 acre Windsor Great Park.
Read about our date night in Windsor here.
We do the Long Walk on Global Big Day and we’re excited to see many new birds. Testament to our amateur birding status, the spot we chose for the day delivers more of the same species recorded before such as jackdaws, canadian geese, parakeets and mallards. Not much of a Big Day, but we submit our lists on our eBird app anyway. It’s still a contribution after all.
The Long Walk is a dead-straight even flat path from Windsor Castle to Snow Hill. Technically it’s easy. Don’t be fooled because it looks shorter than it is. Trees further off from the path provide shade all the way and on a beautiful day like today, it seems everyone in town came out to play.
There’s no shade on the path itself so we rest under the trees every now and then before we carry on up the path with the pushchair.
READ OUR GUIDE TO WINDSOR HERE
While fit people jog up and down like it’s a walk in the park (sorry, I couldn’t help myself there) I think to myself: “Good for them, but I’ll be doing this walk only once and very likely never again!”. My little people agree. It was just difficult walking in the sun with the kiddies and with Kate not wanting to go in the pram again. I carried her most of the way.
It’s time to get that toddler backpack carrier I’ve been meaning to order!
When we get near the statue I can’t get Kate to go up the hill. She’s terrified of the giant man on the big horse (or “bokko” as she calls it in her baby language) and screams at her brother and sister to come back. Who said travelling full time with a toddler is easy?
Most of what I do is dictated by her at the moment and that’s ok because she won’t be this size forever. She is still adjusting to this new travelling lifestyle and for her 2yr old mind, it’s strange to sleep in a different bed every week. That’s why I still nurse. It’s a constant comfort to her. One thing that doesn’t change every few days. There’s no way I can wean her now. It’ll be too traumatic for her so we’ll cross that bridge when she’s ready. One thing’s for sure. She’ll be the ultimate little world traveler soon, ready to bounce at any moment and loving the change.
I calm Kate down to a mild panic, just enough so that we can sit down halfway up the hill to catch our breath while the older two explore the statue from close-up. Sit down and look at that view! That’s why you did it. We’ve seen photos of the Long Walk online so many times, but now I take my own. It’s beautiful and I’m glad we chose a bright spring day to walk it.
Take enough water. As many bottles as you can carry. It’s hot and we have 1 water bottle between the four of us. Not enough! Leah, determined to get all the way to the statue, was panting halfway there already. Her special request to Her Majesty the Queen and her people is to install a water fountain near the statue, please? That is her one and only request and it will make a big difference when you think you’re going for a quick stroll in the park and end up doing a really really really long walk in the sun.
Remember hats for the kids too because the path itself is not shaded and the walk feels extra long in the warm sun. The walk back was the hard part. In the end, they were all so parched that the three of them took turns to go in the pushchair together.
The views are worth it. Just remember water, hats and sunscreen!
The Queen’s carriage still travels down the Long Walk route each year to the Ascot races. How awesome is that? To have your own special road through 4000 acres of natural beauty to beat the traffic once a year.
Cycling is not permitted at all, but horse riding is and we saw a few riders out and about.
The Long Walk is beautiful and you should definitely make time to do it if you ever get the chance.
Our Night Out In Windsor. Date Night!
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