We really benefit as a family from exploring and discovering walks with our National Trust Membership card and enjoyed visitng National Trust properties and sites whilst members.
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One place we have found through our membership is walking at Ankerwycke, this site is special as it’s home to the National Trusts eldest tree – just over the Berkshire border in Surrey and across the River Thames from National Trust site Runnymede. Ankerwycke makes a good circular walk which is dog friendly. We have been in both winter and spring, it was pretty muddy in the winter (so we suggest wellies!) The Walk goes across several fields and through trees and isn’t suitable for a buggy. There is also a pond and views of the River Thames.
Part of the Ankerwycke Circular Walk
Pond at Ankerwycke with views of the Runnymede Memorial
Ankerwycke is known for it’s impressive array of snowdrops as winter turns to spring, St Mary’s Priory built during the reign of Henry II, which is now in ruins opposite the Ankerwyke Yew, a 2500 year old yew tree which has some incredible stories to tell. The National Trust website states that ‘according to popular belief, it was beneath this tree that King Henry VIII courted Anne Boleyn, and some reports suggest that he even proposed in it’s shadow. While the Magna Carta is said to have been sealed at Runnymede, there are those who argue that the event actually took place on the other side of the river, perhaps under this very yew’. So if you love a love story or your children are learning about Henry VIII and his six wives at school this is a historic place to bring them to visit.
The Ankerwycke Yew – The National Trust’s Eldest Tree
St Mary’s Priory, Ankerwycke
Whilst we were at Ankerwycke we also enjoyed looking at the tall plane trees with their camouflage trunks around the site.
Plane Tress at Ankerwycke
Where to park?
Parking at Ankerwycke is at a different location to the National Trust Runnymede site and you can’t access the Ankerwycke walk from the Runnymede National Trust site as the River Thames runs in between. There is a small car park next to the Ankerwycke walk, here are details of how to get to the site.
Click here to read about other family friendly walks in and around Berkshire. We have found our walks at Ankerwycke really enjoyable and will return soon.
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