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Runnymede Air Forces Memorial

Did you know about Runnymede Air Forces Memorial on Cooper’s Lane in Runnymede? It’s based in Surrey, just up the road from Old Windsor and over the Berkshire border.

Runnymede Airforces Memorial

Walking to Runnymede Air Forces Memorial

When we visited Runnymede Air Forces Memorial we were members of the National Trust, so decided to park at Runnymede National Trust car park (details below) and walked to the memorial. Once parked we walked at the National Trust we walked through the site.

We went past the Runnymede 800th year Magna Carta memorials which included the Jurors.

The Jurors at Runnymede National Trust

Then we walked to Writ to Water (a giant concrete circular building) before heading into the woodland behind the building, climbing lots of steps up to the Air Forces Memorial, which is not park National Trust site. I highly recommend having a look inside Writ to Water as it’s really impressive.

Writ to Water Runnymede
Writ to Water Runnymede
Inside Writ to Water

From Writ to Water we went through a gate and walked up into the woodlands ‘behind’. We picked up signs to the Air Force Memorial. The walk is mainly through the woodland and there is a bit of walking on the road.

Woodland Walk at Runnymede
Walk to the Air Forces Museum Directions
Air Forces Memorial Sign

It was a good walk which isn’t buggy friendly and uphill – the good news is it’s downhill on the way back! The walk is dog friendly but you can’t take dogs apart from assistance dogs into the memorial itself, so we took it in turns to look round.

The Air Forces Memorial, I felt was a very peaceful, moving and thought provoking place, which remembers 20,000 airmen and women who sacrificed their lives during the Second World War. It certainly is a place for reflection and thought.

Runnymede Airforces Memorial
Air Forces Memorial Runnymede Grounds
Runnymede Air Forces Memorial

The memorial allowed us to talk about history and the importance of those who sacrificed their lives for us. A hard topic to start discussing with young children but one I believe is so important. The walls are covered in names, the ceilings have coats of arms, there are flowers which have been left in remembrance and there are the most spectacular views over Windsor, the River Thames and Heathrow from the large windows and viewing tower (currently closed for maintenance) plus a great view of air craft flying at Heathrow in the distance.

Coat of Arms
Runnymede Air Forces Memorial
Queen Elizabeth II Signature
The Tower at the Air Forces Memorial
Views of Windsor
Views of The River Thames
Views from The Air Force Museum

If you haven’t visited it’s a place I would highly recommend if you want to pay your respects or show your children a piece of history and the impact of World War II.

Top Tip: wear wellies or walking boots in the winter months, it was very muddy when we have visited this National Trust site in the winter.

When is the Airforces Memorial Open?

Click here to view when the War Memorial is open to the public.

What else can we do at Runnymede?
 

Whilst at Runnymede you can explore the Runnymede National Trust site where you can see two impressive art instillations The Jurors by Hew Locke and Writ in Water by Mark Wallinger in collaboration with Studio Octopi. You will also find a monument to Magna Carta plus memorials to JFK and the Allied Air Forces of the Second World War.

There is a coffee shop and picnic tables at Runnymede National Trust.

You can also either walk up to Runnymede Pleasure Grounds (which you can walk to along the river from the National Trust car park but its a good walk) or drive and pay to park. There is lots to do here including feeding the ducks, geese and swans on the River Thames, walking to Bell Weir Lock, playing in the play area or eating at the cafe.

Across the river (you need to drive to get there) is Ankerwycke, another National Trust site which is home to the Ankerwycke Yew which is 2,500 years old and the National Trusts oldest tree. Click here to view the walk we did at Ankerwycke.

Ankerwycke Yew

You can also take a trip along the River Thames from Runnymede with French Brothers. Do check their website to see when the boat trips are running.

Where can we park?

There is a car park at the Runnymede National Trust site, parking is included with the National Trust membership, but there is a pay and display option for non-members. If you are a National Trust member you just need to remember to get your ticket from the machine using your membership card.

The National Trust car park address is: Windsor Road, near Old Windsor, Surrey, SL4 2JL (SatNav: TW20 0AE)

There is a public car park 200 yards down the road from the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial if you’d prefer not to walk from Runnymede National Trust. Here is the location of the car park.

Found this blog post interesting? Why not have a look at other walks in Berkshire and the surrounding area?

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