Windsor Castle is the oldest of all the English Royal homes and the largest inhabited castle in the world, covering thirteen acres. William the Conqueror built a castle here 1000 years ago and almost all succeeding monarchs have made alterations to the building, giving the castle the unforgettable skyline we see today.
Many sovereigns and famous people are buried in St. George’s Chapel, including Charles I, Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.
The Long Walk, almost three miles long, connects Windsor Castle with the four thousand eight hundred acres of Windsor Great Park. It provides a magnificent tree-lined approach and remarkable panorama of the entire length of the Castle. At the far end of this straight walk, is the Copper Horse, a statue of King George III on his horse, erected on Snow Hill in 1831.
Charles II began work on the Long Walk in 1685, by planting a double avenue of one thousand six hundred and fifty-two elm trees, thirty feet apart. In 1710, Queen Anne added the central carriage road. The soil proved to be unsuitable for elms and over the years, trees have been felled and replaced by a mixture of horse chestnut (“conker”) and London plane trees. The present trees date from 1946, when major replanting took place following an outbreak of elm disease.
Whilst motor vehicles are banned from the Long Walk, the surrounding area provides superb opportunities for horse riding, an activity which is much enjoyed by members of the Royal Family.
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