We had been watching an episode of Hey Duggee on CBeebies where ‘the squirrels’ as they are known where collecting acorns to get their acorn badge. That episode was enough to give me inspiration as to what to do with our sunny autumn Saturday. We headed to Virginia Water Lake and the reason I chose this particular location was because I had walked the entire park a long time ago, back in my 20’s and back then, I thought it was by far the most beautiful park I had been to in the South East of England.
About 40 minutes away from High Wycombe, we took the back roads for a more scenic drive and our eyes gasped at some of the beautiful Windsor houses we passed (we are playing the lottery!!!). We first decided to have lunch at the Wheatsheaf Hotel pub, which is a 1 minute walk away from the park.
The place is huge and after we were shown to our table, which happened to look like a family corner at the back of the pub, we were then forgotten about. It took them 15 minutes to get us drinks and we had some dad behind us playing on a slot machine, which then Yara wanted to play with, despite being under 18. Not exactly clever planning on the pub’s behalf. After ordering our food, we waited ages upon ages for our food to arrive, and when it did, they just left us to it without asking if we needed anything else (sauces? drinks?). Had the food been awful, I would have walked out immediately but our meals were OK and I was too hungry at that point. I had the Seafood Medley which tasted good, Marwan had Irish Rib of Beef and Pulled Pork which he said was also good and Yara had a cheeseburger which was just meat and a bun as we could hardly see the cheese – Yara ended up just eating chips so likely that she didn’t like the burger.
All I would say is that if you have nothing (and I mean NOTHING) to do on a Saturday afternoon and don’t mind waiting AAAGGGES for average food, then this place is for you. I personally was out of there in a flash! Shame really as it looked so promising!
Onward and upwards though…we made our way across the pub’s car park straight into the entrance of Virginia Water Lake and the view just there is beautiful. Gorgeous lake, dotted with swans, families and walkers along the paths, giant trees above with the sun gleaming through the leaves. It really was the picture of autumn and Yara was loving it. Immediately we started looking for acorns and conquers and all sorts of things on the ground, and we began quite the collection. We walked all the way to the famous Totem Pole which is absolutely stunning. In 1958, the government of British Columbia gifted The Queen with the 100ft high Totem Pole, to mark the centenary of British Columbia. Nice present!
We then made our way through more woods and carried on hunting for acorns and seeing all the different birds, fluttering from tree to tree. We then came to an opening where were could actually get into the lake. We decided to sit nearby, watching all the dog owners throwing sticks into the lake as their pooches jumped straight in. Yara thought it was hilarious. It felt really relaxing to sit there watching the water – I could only have wished for a good book and a cup of tea 😉
Speaking of tea, we made our way back to the Totem Pole and then to the Virginia Water Pavilion cafe by the entrance. Yara and Daddy wanted ice cream, naturally. I had a good old builder’s tea. We played hide and seek in between the trees and Yara did a few rolls down a little hill.
All in all, it’s still one of my favourite parks in the South East and I’ll be going there again and again. However, Marwan made a good point in that it’s strange that a park this big doesn’t actually have a playground for children. What do you think? Should every park have a playground? Or is it better for children to explore nature rather than jump around in man-made structures for their entertainment? Over to you…