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11 of the best royal gardens

Savill Garden at Windsor Great Park

Photo: Anguskirk/Flickr

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The gardens at Windsor Great Park

The Great Park was once part of a vast Norman hunting forest that was enclosed in the late 13th century. The 5,000 acres of parkland that includes a mix of formal avenues, gardens, woodland, open grassland and a deer park, was for many centuries the private hunting ground of Windsor Castle. Now largely open to the public, the parkland and its forest in the western London suburbs are renowned for the scattering of great ancient oaks, which add interest to the park’s magnificent history. Must-see gardens include the Savill garden, considered Britain’s finest ornamental garden, the valley gardens, which offer some of the best garden views in the British Isles, and the lake and other water features at Virginia Water, which was dammed and flooded in 1753 and was the largest man-made body of water in the British Isles until the great reservoirs were created.